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Apr 28, 2007 07:15 PM

Dinner and Big band music - does it exist in LA?

Parents 50th anniversary coming up. Would love to show them a good ol' time.

Thanks in advance for your rec's

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  1. I've seen big band (swing) and swing dancing at the Derby in Los Feliz (Los Angeles). I bet they still have swing night. I don't know about dinner, but they did have drinks, back in the day.

    The Derby
    (323) 663-8979
    4500 Los Feliz Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90027

    There is also the Dresden. They used to have a lounge singer and pianist, and I think they offered dinner. This is also in Los Feliz.

    The Dresden
    (323) 665-4294
    1760 N Vermont Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90027

    I have not been to either place in years, but you might look into their websites for more info.

    1. At Vibrato in the Glen, you can get dinner and jazz...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Emme

        Again, not big band, but Spazio on Ventura also has live music a fair amount of the time...

      2. Not big band, but Red White + Bluezz in Pasadena is another restaurant that has a has a live band regularly.

        1. Too bad Merv Griffin's Coconut Club is no longer in existence (RIP 2002?)- it would have been perfect- loved that place.

          Agree with both the Vibrato and Red White + Bluezz recommendations. Catalina Bar and Grill is similar...Colombo's in Eagle Rock also has music (love Erik Ekstrand)..tho' no dance floor.

          The Dal Rae in Pico Rivera has a small/medium size dance floor in their lounge, great food,...definitely fun and a Las Vegas dinner club feel from the 50's....but doubtful they have big band scheduled- generally lounge lizard or jazz/pop combos.

          You might check out the Pasadena Jazz Institute- great music events, including jazz/big band type ....located in the Paseo Pasadena. They only have a bar, but you could eat somewhere else and go there afterwards... unfortunately no dancing. Paul Lines who runs the place and his staff are very accessible, answers all email, so you could check with him re details. My dad, now 83, LOVES their events.

          Places with dinner/dancing, BUT only including these for background, ...well, I'd definitely not consider them serious contenders for a special evening:
          Las Hadas in Northridge and the Alpine Village in Torrance still have true Big Band (15 plus members with a big horn section, etc.). Generally BB is on week nights, not weekends; fun if all you're focus in being there is to dance. Take your sense of humor (the bands are always good- the environment is festive - but think Cinco de Mayo for Las Hadas, and Oktoberfest for Alpine Village). Also the Elks Club in both Pasadena and Redondo Beach have live BB, you don't need to be a member...again, not a dinner/dance club by any stretch of the imagination-focus is on dancing.

          Memories in Whittier has live swing bands, dancing and dinner...(relatively younger crowd and not big band- wouldn't be a place my parentals would enjoy).

          Nix on the Derby- no question -great music, equally entertaining lindy and balboa dancers to watch, and love the horseshoe bar (good martinis). Bands are primarily if not solely Jump Swing, and now only on Sunday nights (alas the Derby of the mid 90's swing surge has disappeared along with the Hollywood Athletic Club and other swing meccas)... The room can get crowded, esp. the front room... dance floor which is relatively small becomes almost competitive for the good dancers- if you don't have a table next to the floor, you won't be able to see the dancers...there's not much seating in the back room, they pipe the band music in, so you only hear parents are good sports, love a good dance exhibition, but wouldn't consider it a "good ol' time".

          Hope it works out!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Local

            For Las Hadas, also think "disgusting food and lousy service". That place should not be allowed to serve the food that comes out of the kitchen...eventually, anyhow.

            What about the Sportsman's Lodge? (also not so great food)

            1. re: Diana

              dunno, but doesn't appear to be much traditional BB at Sportmen's these days...

              1. re: Local

                one more thought... definitely all about the music but if the parentals are truly big band fans maybe this might be a reasonable alternative?

       - single-event prices/times are on pg.6.

            2. re: Local

              as much as i love jazz, gotta warn folks that the food at catalina is not chow-worthy .

              1. re: westsidegal

                It never was. Order the least expensive item and drink.

            3. The Sky Room in Long Beach used to have "big band" type entertainment a couple of years ago, I haven't been in a while, but it might be worth a call (

              I believe that there is a "supper club" in Agoura Hills (The Canyon Club). They have a wide variety of live acts, some are "big band"/swing (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, etc.) I've not been there personally, so maybe someone else on the board can provide feedback.