Melody Bar & Grill
9132 S. Sepulveda Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 670-1994
www.melodylax.com
A true gem tucked in the heart of Westchester (where?), that's by the airport in case you don't know, the Melody Bar & Grill may not look like much from the exterior but that just makes this truly cool haunt an even cooler secret to know about.

From the outside, in front of busy Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester, right by the airport, Melody Bar & Grill looks like a sports bar dive (and I say that fondly). Even the art deco neon sign doesn't completely light up. Inside it looks like a barfly haunt with its Bordello red walls and giant gaming room with pool table, dart boards and cigarette machine.

But, then you notice the impressive fireplace and the elegant dining room. Sure, they pour stiff drinks, as any good bar should, but sit down and gander at their savory menu and you've just landed at your destination: culinary heaven.

Originally opened in 1952, Melody Bar & Grill was known as a steakhouse that served the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, the King even brought his mother with him. And long before the Staples Center opened, Kings and Lakers were known to frequent the place back in the old Fabulous Forum days. You can still hear the occasional plane fly overhead.

Two years ago, restaurateur and chef Christian Warren (formerly of Santa Monica's Ma'Kai) took over the place. The renovations have been vast but he's managed to keep still it a neighborhood watering hole as well as a hip live music venue (their Wednesday night Guitarology series is a standing room only hit and a great opportunity to see big name guitar players jam in an intimate room), as well as a great place to eat.

Start out with the tasty albacore tuna salad; beautiful presentation with an even better taste. The mini Angus beef slider with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and bbq sauce, served on Hawaiian bread is the perfect combination of sweet and sour. The mini crispy chicken sliders with spicy buffalo sauce are just as tasty. I bet you can't eat just one.

The NY steak asparagus with sesame and soy seasoning is a treat for the taste buds. It's an old favorite from Ma'Kai actually. And if you're really hungry give the hearty Mac N Cheese a try. Served with Fusilli pasta, a creamy cheese blend with truffle oil and baked Parmesan, you get your choice of a mushroom crust, or for the meat-eaters, a caramelized bacon, cheddar cheese and jalapeno crust that is to die for.

Still hungry, the Baby Back Ribs, double dipped in a special honey bbq sauce is finger-lickin' good. The meat practically falls off the bone. And make sure to give their very own brews a try. This is the only place you can have the Melody Blonde, a California honey blonde nut ale, and the Melody hefeweizen.

A comfy, casual setting with excellent food, good drinks, and live music (as well as weekly comedy and karaoke nights) Melody Bar & Grill is a great destination if you don't want the attitude and pomp of Hollywood or the West Side. In fact, you don't really need an excuse to go; it's a great destination for a fun night out, period. No boarding pass needed.

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