Bella Via Restaurant and Night Club, 2591 S. Highway 101, Encinitas. This 2-year-old restaurant (Italian cuisine), including an upstairs deck with a view, is an archetype for the laid back North County life style, with a touch of class. The intimate listening bar with an ocean view offers contemporary jazz acts Friday and Saturday nights. More mainstream jazz, such as the Bob Haggart Quartet, is featured Sunday nights. The Bella Via is just a block from the site of the old Beacon Inn, one of the top local jazz clubs of the 1950s. During the summer, the Bella Via will offer music five nights a week. The cover charge, which can be waived for diners on week nights, ranges from $2 to $20, depending on the act.
- Elario's Restaurant Bar, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla. La Jolla fashion plates mingle with jazz buffs in this intimate club perched atop the Summer House Inn with its unparalleled view of La Jolla Shores. The music, from blues to swing and be-bop, is played Wednesday-Sunday nights and features a variety of name acts such as jazz guitarist Joe Pass, fiddler Papa John Creach and be-bop saxophonist Benny Golson. The back-up band--usually locals such as the Mike Wofford Trio--are just as accomplished musicians as the name act. Two-drink minimum.
- Croce's Restaurant Bar & Jazz Cave, at 802 5th Ave. It's a fair bet that more jazz is wailed, thumped, blown, beaten, stroked and plunked at Croce's than anywhere else in the county. An impressive array of quartets, quintets, trios, duos and soloists get in the groove at Croce's ever-changing bar scene, playing the great hits from be-bop, swing, the blues and boogie-woogie to original compositions. The bar is regularly jammed elbow to elbow with a mixture of downtown office workers, couples, singles, jazz fans and the plain curious. Even youths under 21 are admitted through a system of hand stamps that indicates they won't be served alcohol, said Ingrid Croce, singer-songwriter Jim Croce's widow, who owns the place and loves the music. There is music every day, normally from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5-8p.m., 8:30-after midnight. Two-drink minimum.
- The Palace Bar, Horton Grand Hotel, 311 Island Ave. One of San Diego's most gracious bars, the Palace offers exquisite mainstream jazz played in a charmingly restored Victorian setting. A solo pianist plays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, followed from 7:30-11:30 Wednesday through Saturday with piano trios or quartets. The music ranges from jazz treatments of standards by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Cole Porter to Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and Bill Evans' original music. The Palace Bar is one block south of The Crossroads, which until it closed a few years ago, was San Diego's oldest jazz club. No minimum.
- DW's Pub, San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, 333 West Harbor Dr. The Ron Eschete Jazz Trio, featuring Eschete on guitar, plays through July 31. While their first set is frequently Latin dance music, Eschete and company indulge in some fiercely serious jazz. Eschete's be-bop byplay with bassist Hank Dobbs and drummer Dave Coleman projects an infectious vitality across the casually luxurious lobby lounge with a view of the palm planted swimming pool court. They play from 8:30 p.m. "until," Tuesday-Saturday in the new tower. No minimum.
- Circe Lounge, Hyatt Islandia, 1441 Quivira Road. Guitarist-vocalist-pianist Ronn Satterfield and flutist Holly Hofmann play a varied mixture of swing, be-bop, fusion and original compositions. A casual ambiance prevails in this hexagonal-shaped bay-side lounge of wood and glass. Despite their instruments' delicate sounds, the music of Hofmann and Satterfield, who is an impressive scat singer, is marked by breathtaking intensity and improvisational flair. 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Tuesday-Thursday.
- Jazzmine record store, 5726 La Jolla Blvd., Birdrock area of La Jolla. Some of the best jazz in town is played live week nights at this snug record store. Owner Walt Friederang prohibits booze and smoking, which doesn't bother some of the city's top musicians who play mostly for joy of it, splitting the door charge of from $3-$5. The music ranges from Dixieland to be-bop. Performances are from 7:30-9:45 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Sculpture Garden cafe, San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park. The Bob Hamilton Trio (piano, bass, drums), performing al fresco, play a range of traditional and be-bop standards from 1:45-4 p.m. Sundays.
- Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. North County yuppies and seniors take over this erstwhile rock emporium for some serious swing dancing on Wednesdays when Tobacco Road plays from 6-8:30 p.m. This hot combo including piano, brass and winds, specializes in tight, three-part harmony \o7 a la \f7 the Boswell Sisters. The music ranges from ballads to big band boogie-woogie. No cover.
- Winston's Beach Club, 1921 Bacon, Ocean Beach. The rhythm and blues that are the normal fare in this funky honky-tonk, make way Sunday afternoons for the acoustic jazz of Tobacco Road. A diverse crowd of seniors, bikers and 1960s hippie holdouts soak up the musical delight in tunes like "Baby Face," "Swingin' All Day," "Somebody Stole My Gal," and "The Object of My Affection." No cover.