Mood music's a must at most restaurants, but what's going on in the kitchens? A quick survey found that some local chefs create in silence while others crave a particular sound to boost their creative juices:
Hans Rockenwagner, chef and owner of Rockenwagner: the sounds of the '70s, in particular, "anything by the Bee Gees."
Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill: big-band salsa.
Chefs at Yang Chow: "concentrate on their cooking," but sometimes listen to soft rock, a la KOST.
Vincenti's Gino Angelini: Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli, or the modern Italian singer Luciano Battisti.
Versailles and Mimosa: silence.
Fred Eric of Vida and Fred 62: no music when he's cooking, but loves to have Ry Cooder or Milt Jackson playing while he thinks up new dishes.
Gina DeCew of Spago: reggae or '70s beach music in her kitchen--"something fun."
Pinot Bistro's Octavio Becerra: " '80s punk; for us old fogies, World Beat, it gives us flavor. Ska and reggae for the Rasta men."
Pinot Hollywood: Van Morrison and Dire Straits.
Michael's: pastry chef Dorte Lambert-Milman is an avid KCRW listener, while chef Sang Yoon likes KROQ. Chef and owner Michael McCarty prefers Maria Callas while cooking at home.