Jax has survived the whipsaws of economic ups and downs and store closures on Brand Boulevard in Glendale since 1984 because it's got great food as a mere backdrop to a never-ending series of fine, straightforward jazz acts. You can return to Jax again and again, and it's fresh, excellent and worth it. It's a skinny space, set up to feel like a comfortable living room with a bar and a small stage. But you won't be doing much talking with your dinner anyway, because the music is loud and works its way into your brain. You'll hear featured artists like Jack Sheldon, Bruce Lofgren, Andrea Miller, Fred Horn, Gina Eckstine, L.A. Jones and Papa Lee. The website has a killer calendar with acts and extensive photos set up well in advance, and it's hard to beat the $2 wheat beer during happy hour. 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. (818) 500-1604, jaxbarandgrill.com. —N. Jenssen

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