Don’t worry. We’re not going to point you to some kind of murder mystery dinner or yet another table-side performance of Beyond Therapy. Today we’re talking about places where you can get loud and soused for a roaring sing-a-long to showtunes. Places with performers that do things you can’t. Stirring meditations on beauty, music, and form, plus a hot spot where you can catch Molly Ringwald singing “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Take a look below to learn about six such places in L.A. that add wonderful and fun performances to their menus.
Rockwell Table & Stage: The restaurant formerly known as Vermont was recently reborn to accommodate the musical revues of For The Record. The weekend shows, starring fresh-faced vocal talent with deep live theater experience, pay homage to the soundtracks of great filmmakers like The Coen Brothers, Scorsese, and Tarantino with such a professional sheen and infectious sense of fun that even musical theater haters will be swayed by the final note. Weekdays, meanwhile, may find you watching real eighties icons like Jeff Goldblum’s jazz trio or Molly Ringwald singing a Breakfast Club classic. 1714 N. Vermont Ave. Los Feliz; 323-669-1550.
Don’t Tell Mama: This New York cabaret import recently opened in West Hollywood as a full restaurant with full-time entertainment from a gifted crew of singing waitstaff and regular piano bar performances. And since show tunes sound so much better after a parade of two-dollar mimosas, the cover-less venue is also open for weekend brunch with the piano bar in full-swing. 8279 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood; 323-380-7209.
Romanov: Decked out like a Valley version of the Czar’s winter palace, a Saturday night spent at this Studio City restaurant and banquet space is sort of like being on the set of Sabado Gigante, if that show were shot in Moscow. The performance begins at a table pre-set with ten cold dishes; a different hot course appearing every half hour amid perpetual pours of vodka, cognac, and Georgian wine. A quintet soon takes to the stage for roughly five energetic hours of Italian, Russian, and English dance-pop songs, while somewhere around midnight, acrobats, contortionists, and fire dancers take over. You’ll eat too much, you’ll drink too much, you’ll dance until two in the morning, and leave wondering if you’re still in the States. Set menus range from $75-$125, depending on how many courses you can handle. 12229 Ventura Blvd. Studio City; 818-760-3177.
El Cid: Following its legend as an address once utilized by D.W. Griffith, the most famous aspect of this Spanish restaurant is surely its sultry weekend Flamenco Tablao shows. Andalusian singers, guitar players, and dancers take over on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as over sangria during Sunday brunch, when the audience is involved in the show. $15 buys a seat to the show, with traditional (and recently improved) dishes like paella Valencia and gambas al ajillo served a la carte.4212 Sunset Blvd. Silver Lake; 323 662-0318.
Supperclub: This sizable Hollywood club has a fun set-up to enjoy its freaky-deaky experiences. After enjoying a preliminary cocktail in the lounge, every guest sits shoeless in an over-sized bed enjoying a three-course meal prepared from a center-piece open-kitchen. Once the curtain rises, dinner is served, cuing the mesmerizing procession of DJ beats, aerialists, wine-drenched opera singers, towering drag queens, freaks, skeezers, and weirdos. 6675 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood; 323-466-1900.
The Federal Bar: Starting this Sunday, Gary Calamar, the music supervisor on HBO’s True Blood, will curate monthly hootnannies featuring local bands from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., reprising a phenomenon that began in his living room over a mimosa-fueled brunch at this North Hollywood restaurant and bar. If that sounds tame, Friday night spikes the temperature a bit with “Wild Things: Pole and Burlesque Show,” priced at $25 per ticket, with a la carte dinner served before the show. 5303 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood; 818-980-2555.