THE CHARLESTON SUPPER CLUB
SANTA MONICA GASTROPUB & JAZZ CLUB HITS THE RIGHT NOTE
Maybe there’s some truth to the notion that the Westside, and especially beach communities like Santa Monica, live a more laidback life. But they sure do know how to unwind and party too. And a speakeasy haven like The Charleston, a leading Gastropub in Santa Monica, easily features one of the best Happy Hours in town. But there’s more to this place than just a rockin’ happy hour and killer Sunday jazz brunch—it’s also the perfect place to relax and enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal.
Sure, the speakeasy decor at The Charleston evokes the spirit of the 1920’s, offering a wonderful “dinner and a show” atmosphere which really comes to life when it morphs into a live jazz club, making it one of the best places in West Los Angeles to catch live music, from jazz to rock, to acoustic, or even a live DJ weekend set.
Happy Hour at The Charleston is king and runs every day from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, but also Sunday thru Monday “All Night Long” and don’t forget the special “Late Night Happy Hour” Tuesday thru Thursday from 11:30 pm to close. Happy Hour includes bottomless, yes bottomless, house wine, domestic beers (Bud Light, Pacifico, Stone IPA, Stella Artois) and your choice of a happy hour food item from the gastropub menu. Happy Hour options include your choice of any small bite and bottomless beer or house wine for $19 or your choice of any two small bites or one main entrée and bottomless beer or house wine for $25. We dare you to find a better way to quench your insatiable thirst!
During our recent visit for a weeknight extended happy hour of our very own, meaning we just chilled there for a couple of very happy hours, we started with a couple of house specialty cocktails, of which there’s plenty to choose from. The Whipper Snapper, mixed with Jack Daniels, unaged rye, sugar, and angostura bitters, comes across like an Old Fashioned but with that all too familiar and welcomed Jack Daniels kick.
The popular Black Dahlia, a nice mix of Grey Goose Cherry Noir, lime, wild hibiscus simple syrup, organic dark chocolate with cayenne and cava, is very nice and surprisingly, especially considering my taste, which appreciates the harder stuff, was not too sweet. It’s a great starter drink.
And speaking of nice starter items, how can you not begin your festivities with a perfect bar dish like Crackl’n Jacks – aptly made with bacon lard popcorn, candied bacon, salt, topped with bacon and duck skin dust? Does it get better than that? Another favorite from the Bites menu is definitely the Short Rib Tacos, prepared with Brussels sprouts, Korean salsa, and onion in a house-made tortilla.
A not to miss item from the Sides menu is the hearty 3 Cheese Truffle Mac made with muenster, cheddar, manchego, bread crumbs, and truffle oil—with a drink in hand, now that’s living the good life.
Time for a couple more cocktails? The Sweet Bri, mixed with Bulliet, maple syrup, orange, cranberry, and lemon juice is nice but don’t complain that it’s too “sweet” since it does say so in its name.
Meanwhile, the Wood Spice, mixed with Woodford Reserve, strawberries, chai cinnamon syrup, and white balsamic bitters, is very pleasant with a good kick. You have to hand it to The Charleston bar team for choosing top notch liquor for its drink ingredients…much appreciated.
Looking for a nice and light menu item, then the Roasted Beet Salad is the way to go. Fresh, healthy and quite delicious, this dish is good for you and good to taste.
Now if you’re looking for something tasty and filling, the Chicken & Waffles, made with buttermilk brined fried chicken, waffle, compound butter, and served with maple syrup, is the way go. It’s a deliciously decadent order so you might as well pair it with a good drink like the Victoria’s Secret, made with Herradura Reposado, strawberries, and the rest is a secret. This drink is a little sweet, thanks to the strawberries, which goes great with the waffles, but also potent because of the phenomenal Herradura, which goes great with the savory chicken.
Another way to go is with the Georgia Peach, made with Grey Goose, St. Germain, peach puree, lemon, and basil, as it’s very light and refreshing and pairs well with the eclectic flavor of Chicken & Waffles.
And if you’re looking for an interesting drink just because, the Sesame Straschio, made with Grey Goose, Dumante pistachio liqueur, white balsamic, strawberries, and sesame oil, is a winner. I love that there’s so much to choose from for every varied palette, from cocktails to even menu items such as Beer Battered Cod and Chips, Pork Belly Burger, and Bacon Mozz Flatbread. The Charleston is a place you’ll keep going back to try every cocktail and menu item, and then just keep going to have your favorites in a cool, speakeasy atmosphere.
The Charleston Super Club & Dinner Theater is located at 2460 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica. Call 310-828-2115. Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 5:30 pm –1 am; Thursday – Saturday, 5:30 pm –2 am; Sunday Jazz Brunch, 10:30 am–3 pm.
By: Jose Martinez
Photography courtesy of The Charleston