By Aaron Heier / Photos by Brevin Blach
Momma says don't play with your food, so leave her at home and feed your soul at one of these San Diego eateries, offering entertainment with every mouthful.
Enjoy tapas with a side of Flamenco, fine dining with a generous helping of drag or dinner and a movie-at the same time. Making smiley faces out of peas and carrots is so first grade. Turn that frown upside down (and make Momma proud) by graduating to a new level of eat-o-tainment...and another reason to check in on Foursquare.
At downtown's The Shout House, dueling piano players pound the ivories, performing high-energy (and often hilarious) renditions of classic and contemporary rock hits as patrons hurl requests and sing along at the top of their lungs. The unfussy menu of burgers, salads and appetizers is fitting, since the true stars of this show are the ones belting out a huge library of songs without a teleprompter.
The Shout House
655 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp
WHAT A DRAG
The jazz-and-Broadway-flavored vocals of bodacious drag personality Tiffany Tanqueray accompany casual American fine dining and top-shelf cocktails at Martinis Above Fourth most weekends, while special comedy nights, live music and bingo brunches animate the rest of the month. The new owners are planning to add a stage for more cabaret and variety acts.
Martinis Above Fourth
3940 Fourth Ave. #200, Hillcrest
Rumba and Flamenco guitarists energize the tapas bar at Café Sevilla, a recently relocated Gaslamp landmark, seven nights a week. Two dinner shows-Gypsy Fusion (Fridays) and the Art of Flamenco (Saturdays)-offer guests a three-course meal of fine authentic Spanish cuisine garnished with live Spanish music and dance performances. Still hungry for fun after dinner? Head to the all-new Sevilla Nightclub downstairs.
353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp
Anthology, one of San Diego's premier supper clubs, dishes up world-class R&B, jazz and indie music. And with award-winning California Cuisine courtesy of Chef Todd Allison sharing the marquee, dinner at this acoustically exquisite space tastes as good as it sounds.
1337 India St., Little Italy
KISS MY SASS
The drag mother of all dinner theaters, Lips delivers its own brand of sassy burlesque from some of the hardest-working "gurls" in the biz. Watch these sultans of schwing lip-synch, dance and sashay across the stage (or host weekly sessions of "Bitchy Bingo") while you savor cocktails and Euro-American comfort fare. Lip-smacking fun, indeed.
3036 El Cajon Blvd., Bankers Hill
DON'T MAKE CONCESSIONS
Combining gourmet eats and craft cocktails with box office hits, Cinépolis has revolutionized movie night, making the silver screen golden again. Hobnob with friends in the lobby; nibble on sushi, seafood and paninis; and recline in plush comfort with at-your-seat service during the flick.
12905 El Camino Real, Carmel Valley
SHAKE YOUR FOODIE
Be prepared to channel your inner Shakira if you make eye contact with one of the Marrakesh belly dancers-they delight in giving impromptu hip-gyration instructions to guests, who often find themselves shaking it with the evening's entertainment. A traditional Moroccan menu and exotic drinks compliment the experience.
634 Pearl St., La Jolla