Best Eastside Club Night - 2012
As if she were performing in a funky corner of Granada, Spain, a dancer called La Tigresa does staccato stamps and quick spins accompanied by guitar, cajón (a box-shaped, Afro-Peruvian percussion instrument), and a trio of DJs. The music is flamenco with an electronic twist and touches of hip-hop, funk and cumbia, while revelers sip sangria and beer. But this is not Granada — it's Subsuelo, a free event held the third Wednesday of each month at Eastside Luv Wine Bar & Queso in Boyle Heights. DJ Canyon Cody, who studied flamenco as a Fulbright scholar in Granada, runs the show, whose name roughly translates to "underground." Ten artists join forces to blend styles and talents, and they pack 100 or so into the narrow venue to dance into the night. Eastside Luv's blood-red brocade wallpaper, twinkly chandeliers and colorful paintings create a vibrant, unique setting. The bar, which doubles as La Tigresa's stage, serves only wine and beer, but the crowd seems to care more about the music than the booze. 1835 E. First St., Boyle Heights. (323) 262-7442, subsuelo.org.
—Daina Beth Solomon