5 Great Places in L.A. for Dinner and a Show | Squid Ink | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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L.A. Restaurants

5 Great Places in L.A. for Dinner and a Show

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Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM
click to enlarge Even the bartenders are known to do tricks at Hollywood's Magic Castle. - COURTESY: GREENLEAF & ASSOCIATES
  • Courtesy: Greenleaf & Associates
  • Even the bartenders are known to do tricks at Hollywood's Magic Castle.
Dinner and a show used to be the norm of Los Angeles nightlife - epitomized by the old Ambassador Hotel's Coconut Grove - and there remains a smattering of establishments that combine the city's passions for food and live entertainment.

Some these current venues have great live music, but unimpressive dishes or limited menus, while others have the perfect combination of both. Leaving aside the countless mariachi restaurants around town - which could form a list unto themselves - here's a rundown of the top five places to dine amid diversion.
click to enlarge Sterling's Upstairs has a classic dinner-theater vibe. - NICK SARTORIS
  • Nick Sartoris
  • Sterling's Upstairs has a classic dinner-theater vibe.
5. Sterling's Upstairs at The Federal Bar
The Federal's classic American menu includes some twists on the usual staples such as the crispy chicken croissant sliders and a falafel vegan burger. But not every dish transfers to the Upstairs menu because of the limited time window for dinner-theater guests. It's the same kitchen and same chefs on both levels, just more streamlined food up top. Still, the entertainment Upstairs is decidedly classic. It ranges from burlesque dancers to a stage show that's become known as the city's musical theater version of American Idol5303 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood; (818) 980-2555.

click to enlarge The cappellini checca from M Bar's "safe" menu. - SEAN J. MILLER
  • Sean J. Miller
  • The cappellini checca from M Bar's "safe" menu.
4.  M Bar
This venue's line up is as varied as its menu is basic. Owner Joe Reynolds describes the offerings as "safe" Italian-style cuisine, with pizza and pastas such as cappellini checca the most popular dishes. Entertainment runs from spoken word poets to comedians such as Margaret Cho. "It's so diverse, you have to find the show you want to see," says Reynolds.1253 N. Vine St., Los Angeles; (323) 856-0036.

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