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  • Writer's pictureSailor D. Gonzales

Live at The Baked Potato

Started with a risky late night text.... "want to get dressed up and go to a jazz club?" twenty million yelp and Tiktok exchanges later, we stumbled upon the most enticing offer: a jazz club that sells baked potatoes the size of your head. Deemed the Best Jazz Club in Los Angeles, The Baked Potato definitely has its quirks. Starting with a giant animated baked potato on the marquee to greet you from the street. We pull up to a line wrapped around the building of excited fans. the most cheerful man adorned with hoop earrings and a more salt than pepper mullet pops around the line to thank everyone for coming. When you get into the building, you'll quickly realize that by entering you are releasing your right to personal space. Seats packed in tight, knees touching back rests... if we were any closer we'd be sitting on each others laps. The excitement in air drowns out the discomfort of being so close to strangers. As we are getting seated the man from outside swings a guitar around himself and proceeds to play the most soul shaking, intoxicating jazz I've heard in years. Dancing, joking with his bandmates, cheering on sax solos, laughing and having the time of his life: The smile he met us with never for a second left his face. This man, my friends, is Thom Rotella. Between songs he mentions that he just came out with a new album Say Hey! and that the first time he played at The Baked Potato was in the 70s.... THE 70s?! turns out this hip, cool man is 72 and has had a life long career as an accomplished musician. And this little shoebox I was sitting in is nearly a biblical part of jazz history. First opening its doors in 1970, The Baked Potato has housed countless acts of some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

if you're down to clown, heres my tips: Street parking was pretty easy to find. Do NOT buy patio seating tickets, its in a completely different room than where the music is happening. you will get major fomo. It's a two drink minimum. Be prepared for it to get pretty loud. I got seated with my brain next to a speaker and felt the bass quite literally in my soul. Seating is first come first serve, so come early! (esp if you want to order baked potatoes as not every seat is at a table.) And if Thom Rotella is playing 20000% get tickets to his show. His album is great, but nothing compares to the immense joy of seeing him live.

address: 3787 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604


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