Dining out is supposed to be an experience. Whether you’re out with friends, family or a significant other, visiting a restaurant is a nice escape from reality. You don’t have to worry about dirty dishes, botched recipes or anything really.
Good food is just one part of that experience, though. One way that many restaurants build on that experience is through live music. Hollywood is full of it: You’re likely to find an in-house cover band, a live DJ or some other artist providing the soundtrack for your meal.
Here are a few cool spots to hear some music:
Hotel restaurants are usually hit or miss for us. The Riptide Tiki Bar & Restaurant may not look like much at first glance, but the live music will sell you on it. Open until around 9 p.m., guests can expect a local talent like Rick Cafaro serenading them as they down ice-cold beers and other adult beverages.
Expect anything from oldies and blues to rock and country here – you never know what you’re going to find. Should you get hungry, the usual bar bites will help soak up all that alcohol. Did we mention the great beach views?
Since we’re on the topic of tiki, it’s worth mentioning another bar with great live music: the tiki bar at Caribbean Resort. On the weekends, the tiki bar is alive with good times and good people. Depending on when you go, you’ll find someone performing — either a DJ or another musician.
The big draw here (besides music): cheap drinks. Shots will run you only a couple bucks as will beer. You can easily spend an afternoon or evening here without breaking the bank, all while enjoying a great view and some fun tunes. Latin and jazz artists are especially popular here, so you may want to bring your dancing shoes. Fries, hot dogs, chicken wings and other bar fare are also available.
For patrons who prefer their live music with a side of air conditioning, Lucky Street Tavern & Grill is the place to be. Located across from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the colourful indoor venue boasts an array of sandwiches, pizzas, and tacos to complement their lively entertainment. No matter what you get, portions are big. Case in point: the Mile High Nachos — come hungry.
This place is open late every night (2 a.m.), and live entertainment is scheduled Wednesdays to Saturdays starting at 9 p.m. This place can get rowdy with everything with DJs, big bands and more performing their hearts out – the budget-friendly drink specials are also a big attraction here. Three words: DAILY HAPPY HOUR.
Caribbean vibes reign supreme at Ginger Bay Café. On Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9 p.m., the venue is filled with the sounds of live reggae; bands rotate regularly, so it’s never the same set. If you plan on a leisurely meal, we recommend you come during the day or early in the evening – once the band gets going, it can get a little overwhelming. On Sundays, there’s also jazz if that’s more up your alley.
Among the many food options are specialties like jerked wings, chicken fritters, curried goat, and oxtail. As expected, rum is the spirit of choice here but there are plenty of other choices as well. Keep in mind there is a cover charge for both men and women when there is live music. Trust us, though: It’s worth it.
This is a no-brainer. Unlike the local acts you’ll find in Downtown Hollywood and the Hollywood Broadwalk, national acts are the norm at Hard Rock Live. Just recently, Britney Spears performed three shows there and performers like Christina Aguilera, Sammy Hagar, Marilyn Manson and Alice in Chains are scheduled for later this year.
Instead of dining here, we suggest heading inside the casino before the show to enjoy a good steak at Council Oak or some super-fresh sushi at Kuro. We can’t wait to see what other tasty spots pop up after renovations to the casino and hotel are complete.
Can’t Make Up Your Mind? Just Listen for Music
As you can see, there are so many options in this beautiful city. If you can’t make up your mind, just walk down Hollywood Boulevard or the Broadwalk – before you know it, you’ll hear music in the air. Latin, jazz, rock, soul, reggae, hip-hop … it’s incredible.
Or check the local listings at Hard Rock Live to see if one of your favorite performers is coming to town. If they are, you have the opportunity to enjoy Hard Rock’s exquisite restaurants before – or after – the show. One thing’s for sure no matter what you decide – you’re in for a good time.
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Geoffrey Anderson Jr.