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Nov 9, 2012 03:51 PM

Need help from dancing Chow people!

Hello Chow people,

I am looking for a recommendation of a place to celebrate my birthday with our closest friends-- 5 other couples. But I'm looking for a place with certain requirements-- I'm not sure what i'm looking for exists, other than the Sky Room in Long Beach.

The requirements are the place has to have good food and dancing-- and I mean REAL dancing (sorry I don't mean to offend any of you who like just wriggling around to the music), but space for at least some swing and cha-cha, if not outright ballroom. While I'm not adverse to skipping good food for an evening for the dancing-- not all our friends dance- so the food quality has to be there too.

I'd like to hear opinions from folks about what I've considered-- as well as any other recommended suitable places-- Thanks ever so much!!!

Here's what I've considered:
I know that Mandaloun in Glendale closed and re-opened. I haven't been there since it closed. Before it closed, the appetizers were great, but the main courses were very dry. I didn't mind, because the appetizers were sufficiently filling. They used to have a variety of music to dance to early in the evening, and then belly dance music and not only did "professional" belly dancers perform, but after that the crowd did belly dancing-- some much better than the performers-- and the whole evening was really fun. Does any one know that status of the dancing and the food?

A couple of years ago, we stumbled into Las Hadras in Northridge. The food was okay Mexican, nothing to write home about. The dance floor was nice and there was dj'd salsa, cha-cha, etc. I read a couple of reviews that said the food was horrible. Does anyone know the current status of the food?

888 Chinese in Rosemead has a combo and a small dance floor. Not so sure about the quality of the food. Now if Newport Seafood had a dance floor, I'd be jazzed.
Does any one know how busy the dance floor is on a Saturday night? We were there early one Friday night and there were only a few people in the room with the music.

The Granada in Alhambra, has a nice live combo, and the dance floor is wonderful, but the food is mediocre at best and it's no place to take my friends who don't dance ( some do and some don't, but they all like good food!) Is there anywhere like this place that has good food?

The Sky Room in Long Beach. The food is generally excellent. The dance floor is small, so only room for slot dancing. It's better when the swing band is there because the non dancers stay off the floor, unless they play something really slow. When the latin band is there, the non dancers clog up the floor jiggling around to the music. The problem with the Sky Room is that it's very expensive to take a large party there, so better kept for my next milestone birthday.

Thoughts, helpful suggestions???

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  1. Not sure what price point you want to keep it around, but there's a very nice swing event at Cicada (downtown). check out: for more info and scheduled dates.

    1. El Floridita in Hollywood has ok Cuban food and better than ok salsa dancing.

      1. Try the Cicada Club. They have swing dancing/ 40s style dancing, a live band with a crooner. People dress up for the dinner and show. Dinner tables are set up around the dance floor and also upstairs., which overlooks the whole floor and band stage.

        1. never thought i'd be responding to a dance related question on this board. ( i dance ballroom, swing/blues, WCS salsa & AT, done some film/TV including some chacha on an episode of big bang theory last season) i haven't danced at the granada on sunday night for at least a couple of years now. they're probably still the best option on the dance side (music geared towards dancers in terms of tempo, song length as well as a floor *almost* big enough to accommodate line of dance), while the sky room is probably the best option food-wise. another choice might have been the derby before they closed when you could order food from the italian restaurant next door. i went to a banquet at 888 once. i don't remember much, but i do remember leaving to go dancing somewhere else, but that was at least five years ago. you haven't mentioned alpine village on monday nights but the food, while german based, is on a par with that at the granada. the reality is that any place that's about the food isn't going to want to waste space that could house more tables on a dance floor, especially with the cost of space per square foot. and if no one who really dances is in charge, the music tends to be unsuitable. if you just want to dance there, try to pick a night when the geo valle band is playing.

          other options? there's a monhtly venue out in ventura that does a dinner dance, but they charge something like $100 a couple *and* they want you to join their club.

          there are certain places that feature live music where i've organized a small group of dancers to show up and make a night of it. most of those times centered around a personal favorite of mine, barbara morrison; she appreciates dancers and encourages them to dance even if there's no dance floor. we've danced to her music at places such as the lounge at the four seasons in beverly hills, the casa del mar in santa monica, etc. but sadly, her recent problems with diabetes has cut down her schedule pretty drastically. but you might still want to consider something like a tuesday night at the casa del mar when the route 66 trio plays the food's overpriced, but you can stare out the window and gaze at the ocean, etc.

          or you could consider doing dinner on the QM in long beach and then dance in the observation bar (floor even smaller than the one at the sky room, unfortunately) friday nights feature jumpin joz, saturday nights more rockabilly with maureen and the mercury five.

          one last suggestion: hipkitty out in claremont on a saturday night. (turn down your volume, the volume of music is kinda loud ( is their menu.

          the tim gill all stars is the best band IMO that plays there, but YMMV.

          does this board allow PMs? if so feel free to send me one if you have any questions.

          3 Replies
          1. re: barryc

            barry - you can only get PM's if you post your address in your profile.

            a lot of folks spell out 'at' instead of @ to skip the spam. some list the username on a different social medium.

            1. re: hill food

              Thanks to all who replied. Sadly, I think the answer is what I'm looking for doesn't exist.

              The Cicada Club has swing on Sunday nights--I'd rather do my celebration on Saturday-- we all work on Monday. Besides, the food for what it is there is overpriced and the kitchen is always utterly disorganized, and service is always poor. I also don't like that when you spend about 80 dollars or more a person, that they run a "socialist" club and let people in just to dance without even a cover-- and then there is no room to move. It's definitely a fun venue, but again the food leaves a lot to be desired.

              We went to El Flordita last year, and that worked really well. The food at the price was quite good-- definitely better than the food at the Granada, so I didn't have to feel guilty for bringing some non-dancers there.

              The Sky Room comes the closest.

              But alas-- I think a great dinner party is the answer-- and leave the dancing for another night at an appropriate venue-- like PBDA or the Granada. Both wonderful for swing and ballroom respectively.

              BTW, Barry, if you are as good a dancer as you say you are, you should go to the Granada. There are always women saying they wish there were more men. They start at 4:30 now.

              1. re: withabandon

                in response to your turn of phrase, i think some of the granada crowd can testify to my skills as a lead. when i'm contacted to work as a dance host, no one quibbles over my hourly rate of $60. as it turns out i have a running DJ gig on sundays.

          2. This is an absolutely wonderful thread, offering a window into a world of dancing that I am entirely unfamiliar with. Thanks to all the posters, this is truly a great read!