Best Converted Strip Club

Twenty years ago, Sam Lanni’s Huntington Beach club Safari Sam’s was a mecca for punk rock, theater and poetry performances, a cultural epicenter for the O.C.’s thriving music scene. Bringing that idea to Los Angeles this year, in the space that used to house a trashy Hollywood strip club, Lanni had a rough time just getting the place open, but he persevered, and the result is a laid-back, spirited and spacious room presenting a melting pot of music and promoters. From the hip cliques who flock to Franki Chan’s Check Yo’ Ponytail Tuesday nights and Moscow man Keith Wilson’s Le Disko on Sundays, to Kiss or Kill’s nice ’n’ noisy, mostly local newbie rock, to the club’s anything-goes in-house-booking mix, Sam’s is re-establishing its legacy one raucous night at a time. Its cheap covers, central location between Silver Lake and Hollywood, ample parking (come early and you can even stock up on cheap toilet paper at 99 Cents Only across the lot), tasty grub and outdoor smoking area right in the front lot truly make it the most effortless club experience in town. It may be a jungle out there as far as nightlife is concerned, but Sam’s is an oasis.

Safari Sam’s 5214 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 666-7267

LA Weekly