The percussive rhythms of reggae and dancehall music can make anyone start moving toward the dance floor. Los Angeles has a small, yet passionate community of music lovers who cannot resist a night with live artists or rocking DJs. If you are in search of a place to groove, here is a list of a few of L.A.’s top spots for a little Caribbean fun.
9300 Venice Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
Culver City’s own Carbon kicks off every Tuesday night with DJ Trixter and DJ Sloe Poke, as well as KG Superstar hosting the party. The Riddim City event also offers a few surprise DJs and live performances each week. Sit at the bar or hit the floor and enjoy a mix of reggae, dancehall, soca and roots from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. There’s no cover, and the bar even boasts happy hour until 10:30 p.m.
1154 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
It’s the middle of the week, and you’ve been hit with an itch for a sweaty dancefest. The Echoplex has just what you need – a night of reggae, dancehall, dub step and more — twice a month. Resident DJs include Tom Chasteen, Roy Corderoy, The Dungeonmaster and Boss Harmony. The evening starts at 9 p.m. Entry is free before 10 p.m. and $7 after (cash only). Make sure you have a few extra bucks on hand for a slice of Two Boots Pizza at the bar if all that moving works up an appetite.
1714 North Las Palmas Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90028
Las Palmas hosts its weekly Jamaican Gold event every Thursday night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is $10 before 11 p.m. and $20 afterward. Of course, you can pay to enter at the door, but it’s pretty easy to snag a ticket online. Get ready for four sweaty hours of ska, reggae and dancehall right in the middle of Hollywood.
10842 Magnolia Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Coley’s Cuisine has long been regarded as an authentic spot for Jamaican food. Now, you can head to the Valley for more than just dinner. Each Friday night, a DJ plays a mix of world, dub step, dancehall and reggae to keep your head bobbing as your fork dives into the plate. If you’d rather pop in for just a drink, there is a full bar to quench your thirst. Don’t be scared to get up and start a dance party. You will receive nothing but a warm welcome among the Coley’s crowd.
8771 Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
The Joint has been around since the 1930s, making it one of this city’s long-lasting music and entertainment venues. As of late, two Sundays out of the month are dedicated to live reggae, lovers rock and rock steady sound, featuring headliner Margaret Young and various rotating guests. Grab a ticket for $30, and you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat Jamaican buffet from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The music starts at 9 p.m. and ends at midnight. Check The Joint’s June calendar for upcoming soca performances. Trinidad and Tobago’s own calypso sounds will have you moving from beginning to end.
Haskall’s Prospector Steakhouse and Saloon
2400 7th Street
Long Beach, CA 90814
The Prospector may go by a long name, but it only takes one word to summarize its monthly reggae and dancehall event — Crucial. Prince Rod-I and Sonic Dread started the event in 2001, and now they, along with DJ Gregory G and Virginia Slim, have been rocking LB for 12 years. Every first Saturday of the month, catch reggae, groove and dub step vibes from the 60s to the 90s. Shows start at 10 p.m., and the entry fee is just $5. Check the venue’s calendar for each month’s artists.
Chrystal Baker is a freelance food, events, culture travel contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine, Frugivore Magazine and Politic365. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere, as well as the Farm 2 Plate Culinary Club site.