Inside the Torrance Marriott, chefs toss together farm-fresh ingredients to create flatbreads, sandwiches, and well-balanced entrees that complement a wine list of more than 40 different vintages. A two-story water feature gives meals a soothing backdrop for thoughtful conversations or raucous celebrations in anticipation for a new quarterly budget report. Outside, flickering flames from the fire pit cast a glow on the zen garden's orange-cushioned lounge chairs beneath the clear Southern California sky.
Studio Restaurant and Lounge is equal parts food and festivity. Here, filet mignon sandwiches and country-fried chicken are regularly served to the beat of drums, the strum of guitars, or the stylings of resident and guest DJs. Red and green light drenches the crowd on the dance floor as well as diners digging in to burgers and bacon macaroni ‘n’ cheese. Studio Restaurant and Lounge also entertains its guests with football nights and speed-knitting tournaments.
At Kah Asian Restaurant & Lounge, Chef Vit Suttichanond blends Thai, Japanese, and Chinese flavors into pan-regional cuisine that Easy Reader News has praised for its presentation and its approachable flavor combinations. Familiar Thai curries and noodle dishes fill most of the menu, although wok-fried orders of kung pao chicken and meaty fried rice lend distinctly Chinese touches as well. The sushi chefs also breathe new life into sushi-bar staples with inventive aesthetic details, such as the crimson slivers that explode from the center of the dynamite roll.
Sconce-lit walls and exposed ceiling beams surround the dining room's gleaming wooden tables. Separated by a line of high-backed booths, the lounge area's backlit bar brims with potent spirits and a collection of bottled sakes that diners can knock over in hopes of winning an enormous stuffed animal.
There's only one thing hotter than the surface of the sun—the dance floor at its core. Nightclub SOL lives up to its celestial namesake with a weekly lineup of dance parties, live DJs, and top-shelf drink specials. On a given night, live music, Top 40, hip hop, and house music pulse from the speakers, some mixed with a hint of Latin of vibes. Other times, artists spin the latest techno tunes from all over the world, or electronic musicians present new remixes and original music. Other special events include comedy shows and holiday parties.
Rusty's Rhythm Club's founder, the hyperqualified Rusty Frank, took to dancing at the tender age of 6, and has been light-tripping professionally since her college days. Since then, she has been inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame and has performed in locations from the Hollywood Bowl to Disneyland and other worldwide locales. Rusty is joined in instruction by her effusive teachers, who bear multitudinous dancing awards as well as an actual portal to 1920s-1940s America.
They impart the dancing skills of the 1940s at both Rusty's Rhythm Club, a weekly swing dance emporium, and Lindy by the Sea beginning-class series, a dance school for all experience levels. Rusty's Rhythm Club sharpens soles with an all-ages dance fest accompanied by the tunes and Prohibition-era conversational topics of live bands in the air-conditioned Westchester Elks Lodge in Playa del Rey.
When Sagi Rochman was drawing up the plans for his new restaurant, he knew he wanted it to be cool. So he named it Sababa, which is Hebrew for "cool"?a designation the chic lounge has easily lived up to. The space brims with plush curtains, modern art, and sleek couches, where groups sit as they sip on craft beers or one of Sababa's award-winning specialty martinis. The spa martini is particularly refreshing, a blend of cucumbers and freshly muddled strawberries that cools patrons as they sit on the outdoor patio under the rays of the Earth's only remaining sun. "The" Margarita is also popular with guests, an unorthodox mixture of tequila, Grand Marnier, freshly pureed passion fruit, and pineapple juice, which one regular swears is the best margarita outside of Mexico.
The cocktail list gets some stiff competition from the food menu. To build up the gustatory roster, Rochman enlisted the talents of celebrity chef Eric Greenspan, a contestant on Food Network programs such as The Next Iron Chef. Inspired by Rochman's heritage, Greenspan constructed a fusion of Mediterranean and Israeli flavors, resulting in dishes such as goat-cheese pizzas and seared ahi tuna with harissa mashed potatoes. There are plenty of small plates as well, including grilled eggplant with tahini and chicken kabobs with an olive-date sauce. As if the inspired tapas and lauded cocktails weren't enough, the lounge regales diners with a slew of events held throughout the week, including wine flights on Tuesdays and dance parties with live DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.