California Dreaming

Seven more reasons to live in Los Angeles when the clouds go away. . . .

Avalon Live! on Catalina Island, 601 Crescent Ave., Avalon, (310) 510-0291. OK, so you have to get there by boat or chopper, but this rockin' nightspot might be worth the trouble. Although Catalina's only an hour away (by the Express boat), it feels like a different country. But Avalon Live! makes all guests feel at home, with live music on weekends. All ages (children must be accompanied by adults), cover varies.

Bob's Big Boy on Fridays, 4211 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, (818) 843-9334. See how the other half drives at this Friday night car hop, which features hot-rodders showing off their classic automobiles in fine style (the old-time diner will even serve guests on wheels on Saturdays and Sundays). All ages, no cover.

Jacks Sugar Shack, 1707 Vine St., Hollywood, (213) 466-7005. The surf's always up at Jacks, which keeps adding more and more kitschy Cali elements to its tropical-themed nightclub--which also serves up live music nightly. 21 and over, cover varies.

Lighthouse Beach, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, (818) 622-3474. It may be miles from the ocean, but this beachy cafe offers a place to kick off your shoes in white sand while people-watching the night away. All ages, no cover.

H2O, 401 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach, (310) 545-6220. The beach air and regularly featured reggae bands here could lift anyone's June gloom. 21 and over, cover varies.

Tiki Ti, 4427 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 669-9381. Who needs trendy when Tiki's always in style? This modest Silver Lake bar never goes out of fashion, perhaps because it sticks with the basics, i.e., rum and punch. 21 and over, no cover.

Toe's Tavern, 732 N. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach, (310) 374-4628. Only two blocks from the beach, Toe's Tavern offers college students a chance to kick out the jams on Wednesdays, where they're treated to discounted prices with proper ID. Also, live music Thursdays-Saturdays. 21 and over, cover varies.

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