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Restaurants that morph into club scenes

August 27, 2003|S. Irene Virbila | Times Staff Writer

Some serious restaurants are getting into the lounge act too, with special club or music nights.

Buffalo Club, the swank Santa Monica chophouse, features live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights on the patio, which is one of L.A.'s great outdoor spaces. There's a raucous outdoor bar and Chinese lanterns sway in the breeze over a small sea of tables. It's in an industrial part of town, so there are no neighbors to complain about the noise level. Patrick Healy's sophisticated American cooking is a sheer bonus, and is served late. His deconstructed Buffalo chicken wings, Cobb salad, fried okra and chicken pot pie make going hungry worth it.

Over on Third Street in Los Angeles, the affable Indian restaurant Electric Karma features live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights when an eclectic Euro-centric crowd slips in to sip Indian Sangria made with mango pulp and to tuck into the cuisine of chef Baba (he goes by just one name), a distinctive Anglo-Indian fusion. Everything is made with olive oil rather than ghee and most dishes are non-dairy as well. But for snacking, nothing beats his various pakoras, the mixed tandoori for two, Kashmiri chicken tikka or the Goan-style vindaloo accompanied by his oversized nan breads.

Menemsha, entrepreneur Brad Johnston's tribute to the Martha's Vineyard fishing port where he spent summers as a kid, has instituted Menemsha Lounge Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights after the restaurant finishes serving dinner. A bar menu, though, is still available so bring on the oysters, clams and lobster rolls while DJs from KCRW provide the music.

Buffalo Club, 1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 450-8600. Club hours: Thursday, 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Electric Karma, 8222 1/2 W. Third St., Los Angeles; (323) 653-2121. Club hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight.

Menemsha, 822 Washington Blvd., Venice; (310) 822-2550. Club hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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