Not all that long ago, Mario Melendez was a doorman working clubs like the Flaming Colossus and the Blue Angel. But he got tired of hearing a steady diet of hardcore. Plus, he wanted to start his own place.

"I wanted to create a place to showcase music that wasn't hard rock, metal or punk. There were plenty of places to hear that kind of music, but not many places to hear blues, rockabilly or Afro Cuban jazz."

So Melendez bought an old Chinese restaurant at Sixth Street and La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles four years ago, remodeled the joint and opened up for business. He called the club King King - that was the name of the restaurant, so why change it? - and started booking the music that would fulfill his vision.

Pretty soon, the hipsters started coming to Melendez's joint. Tom Waits could be seen hanging out, and Iggy Pop might drop by and sit in with the band. Movie starts like Keanu Reeves and Crispin Glover started making appearances, chilling out after a hard day on the set.

"Mick Jagger's been down here and Bruce Willis is almost regular - he comes to jam with the Red Devils," says Melendez. The blues band holds down the regular Monday-night spot and Willis sidelines as a blues harmonica player.

"Billy Idol's been here, and the guys from the Black Crowes and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The cats from Fishbone are here all the time. We get lots of musicians and lots of industry people."

This week's lineup is typical. Tonight you can go harmonica ace James Harmon and his band laying down some smoking blues, and Saturday night the club's holding a Lightnin' Hopkins tribute, featuring Smokey Harmel (guitarist with the Blasters) and Lester Butler (harpist/singer with the Red Devils). Sunday you can see Sono Lux, a band that plays funky acid jazz and Monday is the Red Devils, a blues band signed to Def American.

On May 30, Blues fans will want to catch Hook and the Hitchhikers, a band led by the Hook Herrera, a harpist from Austin who Melendez considers LA's very best.