Great Nights Out: Dance

Jump, twist, grind, repeat. L.A.’s coolest club nights are hopping

Illustration by Andrew Roberts

On the first Saturday of the month, hip-hop fans clad in baseball caps converge on Grand Star Jazz Club, a 60-year-old Chinatown bar. The night features resident DJs like Inka One spinning Grandmaster Flash and Doug E. Fresh while folks break dance. It’s all about the music here, so expect few frills (though the dance floor does light up) but tons of gritty character with a hint of Eau de Dive. Did we mention the drinks are cheap? » Cover, $5 before 10 p.m.; $10 after. 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown, 213-626-2285. 

Dance Right
From the outside, La Cita Bar—the venue for Dance Right’s Thursday-night event—resembles a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. Inside, the room is awash in red light (à la Scarface) and pulsates with sweaty energy. Resident DJ Pube$ (hey, we didn’t name the guy) plays disco and remakes of Pointer Sisters classics. Sneak off to the back patio when you want to come up for air, albeit smoky. » Cover, $5; free with RSVP. 336 S. Hill St., downtown, 213-687-7111. 

Get Bent
There’s no sign to distinguish the Bar from the gas stations and seedy motels lining this part of Sunset Boulevard. Maybe that’s why the spot, with its vintage wallpaper-lined bar and red jukebox, is a favorite of paparazzi-shy habitués like Drew Barrymore and Leonardo DiCaprio. At this Monday-night party, the dance floor is so mobbed that revelers have to stand on the banquettes to groove to the Modern Lovers, the Stone Roses, Radiohead, and the Rolling Stones spun by DJ Adam 12 (of the electronica duo She Wants Revenge). » No cover. 5851 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, 323-468-9154. 

A Club Called Rhonda
Famous for its flamenco dinner theater, El Cid restaurant in Silver Lake is the venue for this polysexual dance fest, which usually takes place every second Saturday of the month. Lady Gaga-inspired outfits and sassy cries of “Hey, bitch!” permeate the crowd, an attitude-free mix of gay and straight twentysomethings who rock out to house and disco. » Cover, $10; $5 with RSVP. 4212 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, 213-482-2313 or 

C U Next Tuesday 
On Tuesdays at the Saint, house-music pros DJ Rokit and Sir Olly work the turntables, playing everything from Soulwax and Chromeo to Michael Jackson and the Beatles. The spacious candlelit club allows for dancing just about anywhere, though most stick close to the DJ’s home base in the back lounge, which is done up in red drapes and plush sofas. » No cover. 1235 Vine St., Hollywood, 323-871-4060. 

The Floor Improv Night
Picture South America’s most sultry, happening neighborhood milonga, throw in some of Hollywood’s most talented career dancers, and you get a sense of the scene during this one-of-a-kind night at King King Hollywood. Every third Monday of the month, stylish couples swarm the warehouse-like space to dance freestyle combinations of mainly tango, swing, and hip-hop. A live band provides an improvised blend of jazz, funk, Latin, and Afro beat. » Cover, $12. 6555 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 323-960-9234 or