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WANNA DANCE?

Dazz Is the Place to Move and Groove and Eat Tacos

April 01, 1993|ROSE APODACA

Fans of Disco 2000 at Club 5902 in Huntington Beach now have an option to the long lines, stifling heat and over-crowdedness that have turned that Thursday night hot spot into a disco inferno too popular to enjoy.

The new hang is Dazz at BBG's in Newport Beach. And if you refuse to give up the other club, there's no need to freak, because this disco goes off Wednesday nights. For skeptics who believe nothing can compare to D-2000, check this out: They share the same promoters (Gary Blitz and Beej) and some of the same deejays (Roly and Beej).

Still green from less than a month in operation, Dazz has yet to bust the seams like its Thursday night counterpart. But among other pluses, this new club holds twice as many patrons, offers more variety and features a rather tasty taco table in the lobby.

Once you get your car valeted ($2 and a minus point), pass the ID checkpoint and slap down your $5 cover, there's the long list of BBG-dictated dress code no-no's to get by: no hats, tanks, shorts, sandals, bandannas and the ever-popular attitude! (major minus points--especially if you're having a bad hair day; fortunately the buck stops there with enough plus points inside to make up for it).

Turn left at the entrance and the route takes you to a large barroom complete with old film posters (the "Cabaret" one is particularly cool), a swordfish painted with racing flames over the long bar, plenty of bar and sofa seating and two pool tables that sandwich the lowered dance floor.

Boxy wall sofas and massive mirrors line one side of the dance space; the cushy seating is tops for taking five and checking out the action on the disco floor.

The prime feature of the room, however, is the presence of DJ Gary Tesch (of Funhouse and pre-5902/Night Moves fame). Tesch does his trademark magic with the vinyl, playing acid jazz, rare groove, early funk and an eclectic blend of songs such as a salsa-tinged instrumental of the Stones' "Satisfaction" recorded by Mongo Santamaria (so groovy).

This local legendary deej also accompanies his self-styled ensemble, Ba Ba Lou (the same name of another club he used to do). Tesch spins hearty funk and soul tunes while live musicians (a drummer, bongo/xylophone player, electric guitarist and bassist) augment the sound, giving it a stronger bass line or upping the beat. The group occasionally disintegrates when members wander off the stage, returning a song or two later, to add live flavor to an old Grace Jones or James Brown hit.

Ba Ba Lou plays from around 10:30 to 1 and turns out a bit experimental for some of the crowd. So those patrons mosey on over to the other wing of the club (that's a right turn at the entrance).

In the "Dance Room" (as its dubbed because, other than sitting, that's all there is to do in that room), DJs Roly, Beej and Kevin K are at the controls mixing '70s disco (ie, the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack to Kool & the Gang), '80s disco and rap (early Prince to Beastie Boys), and some '90s house and hip-hop.

Oversized copy machine photo reproductions of Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Andy Warhol grace the walls. Under the black light of the room, select features of these fluorescent-painted icons glow.

A rainbow of lights, two mirrored balls and a couple of strobes lend this room some feel of a mini discotheque, but it's apparent that its original intention was a restaurant or something.

On the topic of restaurants, the make-your-own tacos sell in the lobby for a buck until 1:30 a.m. They're fairly authentic, with the choice of carnitas, steak or chicken rolled in corn tortillas and three salsas to select from.

Extinguish your burning taste buds with the drink specials: $1.50 for wells, $1 for domestic drafts.

Aside from the bar in the first described room, there's another one through the Dance Room, in a section that's almost another little club in itself. Well-lit, the music is low enough to hear yourself talking, and there are two more pool tables to engage those not into shakin' their groove thang.

(Footnote: Deep house fans can look forward to promoter Blitz's new club, Sound Temple, debuting April 12 at California Dreams in Fullerton. The cozy one-night-a-week club holds only 200 and will be open to patrons 18 and over and until 3 a.m.)

Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition.

DAZZ

At BBG's, 353 E. Coast Highway, Newport Beach.

Wednesday nights only, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Cover: $5.

(714) 222-3036.

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