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WANNA DANCE?

For One-Stop Dining and Dancing, Mum's the Word

January 27, 1994|ROSE APODACA | Rose Apodaca is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition. and

It's so typical of many to write off the county as a wasteland, with nowhere worth clubbing. These same people tend to consider La-La Land as the only hip place, even though some of them have only made the drive north less than a handful of times in their (night) lives.

But as annoying as it is to admit it, sometimes the best places to party are past the county line, though only just a hop, skip and a jump in nearby Long Beach. In that city's renovated downtown is Mum's, a one-stop dine-and-dance dig in grand tradition that peaks with its Friday installation upstairs of Tango.

The night is hosted by Indigo Productions, the promotion team that has long brought Long Beach and Orange County denizens rip-roaring nightclubs, including the Thursday night disco happenings at Roxbury South in Santa Ana.

To Mum's, the team brings all the energy, dress-to-impress attitude and cordial spirit of other Indigo Productions. Only in its third week, the several hundred stylish twentysomethings already packing the place mark another success for Indigo.

That success, however, is measured in execution and not innovation: The mainstream dance pop doesn't earn the club any points in the music department. Patrons in the main room listen to deejay Blake Davidson spinning the likes of early Prince and current Salt N Pepa. Heading up a ramp and onto the roof leads to deej Eric Gailer, giving the crowd old school, new wave and classic KROQ.

But with so many folks gettin' down and having a genuine good time, who's keeping score?

The freshest sounds can be heard in the VIP room, with its eclectic mix of compact discs alternating a cycle of Billie Holiday, then a Grace Jones song, followed by a flamenco track.

Environment plays a key role throughout the two-story building. The main room features a large dance floor, its own glass walls giving view to the town and two enormous, gilded demon heads overlooking the bar.

The ramp takes a steady stream of customers past the unisex restrooms to the rooftop patio. This is one place that should rage come summer time.

Downstairs at Mum's, patrons who shell out at least $25 a head in the restaurant can skip the cover and line into Tango.

But don't bother showing up for dinner without reservations. Guests dine on gourmet pasta, fresh fish, salads and pizzas, from $7.95 to $18.95. Tasty appetizers such as crab cakes and beef carpaccio run $6.75 to $9.95.

From any of the building's bars, a glass of wine is $3.75 to $4.50, wells are $3.75 to $4, Coors Light and Bud are $2.75, while Carlsberg Light, Becks, Becks Dark, Samuel Adams and Anchor Steam sell for $3.25. Sodas are $1.25, and bottled water is $2.

Though Tango is orchestrated courtesy of Indigo, the festivities below should not be ignored. Eddie Reed's jazzy lounge ensemble downstairs keeps the joint jumping.

* TANGO * 144 Pine Ave., Long Beach. * (310) 437-7700. * 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday night at Mum's. * $10 cover, but passes are available.

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