The best of the bunch just might be King King, a former Chinese restaurant at 6th and La Brea that is drawing a clientele of Hollywood's casually (and not annoyingly) hip. Among those who have lain low there are Tom Waits, Dennis Hopper and Katey Sagal, and Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell was seen skateboarding through the door recently. But mostly the club is attracting a regular crowd of music fans looking for a respite from the crazy city.

"People need good live entertainment, roots stuff, music from the industrial era rather than the technological era of now," said Joe Altruda (known as Tupelo Joe) who books the live acts at the club as well as plays bass with the regular Tuesday night salsa band and spins records on Wednesdays.

"This is a break from the trendy dance clubs that have a funky name but turn out to be just a big disco."

Open seven nights a week, the 105 capacity King King has been able to maintain a steady flow of regulars with such house acts as Blue Shadows - featuring Blasters Bill Bateman and Smokey Hormel, with Dave Alvin usually sitting in - and the Tuesday salsa shows. Thursdays are designated as jazz nights, with Fridays and Saturdays reserved for acts drawn mostly from the local underground and alternative scenes. This week singer Julie Christensen is set for Thursday, the Nervous Brothers on Friday, and a special salsa show featuring Cuban conguero Francisco Aguabella.

Shows are set at 10 and 12 each night, but a lot of regulars like to get there between 8 and 10 to sit and chat or play backgammon. Or before or after the show, the Pick Me Up espresso bar next door also serves as a nice place to mingle, or just sit and watch the world go by.