The Granada LA is a party school. Part dance studio, part nightclub, it's a place where students can learn the steps of West Coast swing and merengue one night and put them into practice while enjoying bottle service and eats from the on-site restaurant the next. If they do venture out onto the dance floor of the 1930's Spanish Revival-style nightclub, they'll be treated to live music that leans heavily toward salsa. The nightclub, like whatever village The Village People were from, attracts a variety of people: casual dancers looking for zesty nightlife, and also students of the attached dance studio.
Not much has changed at Jake's of Pasadena since 1947, the year the diner first opened its doors along historic Route 66 in Old Town Pasadena. The eatery recalls Southern California's golden era of surf music, hot rods, and drive-ins through its nostalgic decor and classic diner grub. Feel free to build your own burger ($5.99+) or outsource the decision-making to the cooks by ordering one of Jake's signature menu items, such as the BBQ cheeseburger ($7.99). You can complement any sandwich with chili fries or onion rings or sip a shake while you gossip about which mailman is stealing the football team's letterman jackets. There's also a billiards room downstairs that is open nightly.
Kings Row Gastropub ups the ante on typical pub fare with gourmet cuisine and craft beers. Begin menu endeavors with a starter of crunchy tacos barbacoa, complete with avocado salsa, cojita cheese, and grilled jalapenos ($11). The wood-grilled, dry-aged burger, smothered in onion confit, blue cheese, white cheddar, and thick bacon, recalls the days when every burger had a wood-burning stove ($15), and the duck sliders accent exotic patties with hoisin-shiitake mushrooms ($14). Sumptuous versions of hearty Old World classics abound as well, including oxtail osso bucco with turned potatoes and carrots in a red-wine bourguignonne ($19), and tagliatelle tossed with house-cured pancetta, fresh peas, parmesan, and a fried duck egg ($15).
Dog Haus Biergarten, mentioned in the Los Angeles Times as a go-to place for dependable dogs, rewards all-American appetites with 10 varieties of quarter-pound all-beef hot dogs and sausages and 10 gourmet burgers. Certified Angus beef burgers formed into third-pound patties act as base camp for such eclectic toppings as The Freiburger’s all-encompassing panoply of cheese, fries, coleslaw, and a fried egg. On the Reuben’s Cube, beef line dances with hot pastrami and swiss cheese as thousand-island dressing builds up the courage to flirt with tangy sauerkraut. Bartenders pour chilly draft IPAs, Hefeweizen and wine, preemptively served alongside The Hangover burger, named for its ability to soothe the tummies of trapeze artists. All burgers nestle atop King’s hawaiian bread, revered for its sweet taste and structural soundness.
With a name that salutes the community centers that filled Rio de Janeiro in the 19th century, Boteco beckons all walks of life to eat and drink at its contemporary wooden bartop and sleek, square tables. Historically, these centers incorporated the region's diverse array of northern European, Mediterranean, and Arabian cuisines, and Boteco continues this tradition.
In addition to crisping pizzas made from locally sourced ingredients, the chefs simmer pots of Portuguese stew with cod and potatoes, and arrange sizzling sirloin next to rice, black beans, Brazilian pico de gallo, and caramelized plantains. The chefs also use tiny kitchen tools to construct small bites of tapas and appetizers, all while bartenders whet whistles and other woodwind instruments with 50 domestic and imported craft beers alongside wines and mixed drinks.
The owners of 38 Degrees aren't strangers to pressure: they opened their alehouse and grill just in time to participate in the 2009 Los Angeles Beer Week. Since that hurried opening, they've had the chance to take their time curating the restaurant's rotating list of 38 domestic and international draft and cask beers. Owner Clay Harding tries out at least 25 new brews each week for possible introduction into that list, always striving to represent a range of styles from brewers such as Epic Brewing Company, Full Sail Brewing, and Ballast Point Brewing Company. Chefs complement this draft roster with a menu of gourmet pub dishes inspired by several ethnic cuisines and a week spent spying on a UN ambassador. In the kitchen, they assemble calabaza and Korean short-rib tacos, curry-seasoned salmon cakes, duck burgers, and pork schnitzel.