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Eclecticism's on the Menu at Upstairs at Cava

February 16, 1996|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LOS ANGELES — In the past four weeks, Upstairs at Cava has joined the ranks of L.A.'s entertaining supper clubs. The elegant venue, already noted for its Latin American cuisine, is showcasing an eclectic lineup of live acts Thursday through Saturday in its upstairs dining area, which includes a sizable stage and the most flattering lighting a diner could wish for (think extremely dim).

Cava's 3-week-old "Beyond Jazz" series on Thursday nights is a highlight. Featuring an offbeat, lounge-style approach, "Beyond Jazz" has Sinatra-style crooner Bernie Meisinger returning on Feb. 29. The Meisinger Jazz Quartet is the perfect dining accompaniment, with soothing renditions of such classics as "Moonlight in Vermont" and "Girl From Ipanema." Rather than camping things up a la Bill Murray, the handsome vocalist plays it straight and cool, sounding better than Sinatra has in years.

In addition to the Thursday series, the 2-year-old venue has updated its weekend repertoire to include repeat performances by lounge artiste Joey Altruda, who performs his Latin-jazz "Cocktails With Joey" revue. Also performing regularly is Makina Loca, who brings an Africa/world-beat vibe to the Latin American-flavored venue. Eclectic, indeed.

* Upstairs at Cava, 8384 W. 3rd St. All ages, no cover (two-drink minimum at tables if not dining). (213) 658-8898.

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