Pulsating inside the former music studio frequented by Donna Summer and Prince, among others, the beacon of dining and dancing known as District Grill Restaurant & Eleven Nightclub proffers savory sustenance and spinning tunes. Inside District Grill Restaurant’s multi-tiered art-deco dining hall awaits a menu of imaginative modern American fare. Flirt with appetizers of smoked bacon-wrapped dates dressed to kill in blue cheese ($7.95), or bow down to Idaho's national vegetable at the frites bar ($5) where Belgian-style russet or sweet-potato fries, each served with a seasoning of parmesan or pesto chili lime, swing with sauces ranging from tangy ranch to curry ketchup. Entrees showcase fresh seafood, char-grilled steaks, creamy pastas, and more. The signature, handcrafted Boystown burger ($10.50), outfitted in Angus beef, arugula, and provolone, is a local favorite, and a platter of slow-cooked, tender braised pork carnitas with achiote served with rice, beans, and guacamole ($15.50), preps dancing feet for District Grill’s happening other half, the Eleven Nightclub. Every night offers a different theme or extravagance at this LGBT-friendly hotspot. Sing along to showtunes on Musical Mondays, outwit the room on Trivia Tuesday, or grab a stiff libation from a scantily clad bartender on Fresh Fridays, where partygoers flock to DJs like snakes to a plane.
In 1947, owners Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs assembled a staff of 14 carhops to serve passing motorists at the first Mel's Drive-In. For the next two decades, customers partial to automobile dining flocked to the chain’s 11 California locations, eager to wash down grass-fed half-pound burgers with thick milk shakes. As fast-food outlets outpaced the drive-in's once-speedy service, its popularity declined, and it was eventually scheduled for demolition. The building got a temporary reprieve, however, when filmmaker George Lucas decided to use the drive-in's original location on Lombard Street as the colorful backdrop for his film American Graffiti. As bulldozers destroyed the last remnants of the historic drive-in, American Graffiti opened in theaters.
A decade later, though, Mel's son Steven reopened Mel's Drive-In in an attempt to carry on his father's dream. Steven restored the drive-in's multiple locations to mirror their original motif by stocking each with midcentury must-haves such as illuminated marquees, jukeboxes, and Elvis-themed WiFi passwords. The drive-in’s menu, meanwhile, balances period-appropriate fare, such as hot dogs and burgers, with healthy options, such as the Haven’s Famous vegetarian sandwich, two slices of nine-grain bread topped with avocado, sprouts, and tomatoes.
Before diners lay eyes on the bright-pink hull of the Baby’s Badass Burgers food truck, they may first notice its wafts of enchanting smoky grilled beef.. At stops around town, the crew of burger babes serves stacked meats and condiments such as the She’s Smokin, a vision of smoked cheddar, crispy onions, and bacon doused in barbecue sauce. Co-founder Erica Cohen created their flagship burger, the Original Beauty, a combination of grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, swiss cheese and special sauce.
The truck has achieved its own spotlight with an appearance on Entourage and by winning an episode of Food Wars, in addition to frequent stop ins from celebs who are fans. More adventurous diners can tackle the ultra-deluxe Cougar burger, which pairs aged beef with St. Andre cheese and shaved black truffles, or the half-pound Bombshell that challenges even titanium stomachs with two bacon-cheese melts for buns and taunts of “chicken” on the way down.
From its first location in West Hollywood to its free-range food truck, Rounds Premium Burgers doles out mighty American burgers made with beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie patties along with a large selection of fries. Specialty rounds include The Slopper, a messy pile of chili, cheese, and onions. Custom burgers start with a foundation of daily-baked bread and a patty, which are then slathered with exotic sauces (from chipotle aioli to buttermilk ranch and tabasco ketchup) and layered with toppings such as crispy onion strings, breaded jalapeños, and grilled pineapple. From the burgers to the sweet-potato fries, the griddlemasters make all of their hearty, old-fashioned fare by hand.
Canadian electrofunk duo Chromeo exhales party-starting inertia, kicking off its Night Falls Tour by rolling out a carpet of dance-floor passports. Melding the talents of guitarist, vocalist, and French-literature buff Dave 1 with the dexterous fingers and throwback savvy of synthmaster P-Thugg, Chromeo has earned reverence from funkophiles for its slick grooves and mastery of jam architecture. Fans can expect congenial beats, riffing Moogs, and songcraft that father-and-son yachts can enjoy together in support of the band's latest album, Business Casual. Inflating the soulful evening, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne channels wandering Motown spirits with a retroactive Detroit sound, and mustachioed party maestro DJ Sammy Bananas sets the scene with genre jumping and remixes that rumble like tubas in a Cuisinart.
Like when the tech world first put a camera into a phone, something many assumed impossible, Chop Stop brings healthiness to speedy dining with more than a dozen signature salads for dine-in or carryout. They also offer custom salads to allow diners to blend a choice of greens with a dressing and up to six toppings from a selection of more than 40. The eatery's commitment to human health dovetails with their responsible practices toward the planet itself, using locally grown produce and compostable bowls and cups that vanish off the face of the Earth in a manner almost as sustainable as bowls made of a magician's ace of clubs