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arts and entertainment like the color of money, Easy Street hosts billiard tournaments with cash prizes. Pros are known to stop in to hone their craft, so don’t let hubris get you hustled when looking for a game. BEST CLUB FOR ROCK Salty Seal Brewpub & Sports Bar 653 Cannery Row, Monterey (831) 920-2327, Rock and roll often reveals the masks we wear during our normal, boring lives, and invites us to exit for a moment and be honest. The happening club (and former brothel in the old Bear Flag building) invites local rockers to dance the night away with two full bars, a restaurant, darts, pool, and foosball accompanying a jukebox. Check the rotating lineup of live music and linger (or dance) depending on your mood. BEST CLUB FOR JAZZ Cibo Ristorante Italiano 301 Alvarado St., Monterey (831) 649-8151, Three simple words are etched on the wall of Cibo: “Cocktails, Dinner, Jazz.” It’s from Steinbeck’s The Moon Is Down, a tale of nightlife in…nah! We’ve never even read The Moon Is Down. But these words tell you that this is a place where good times are to be had, and in appreciation. Windows blue as the cool, sultry tunes of Glenn Miller or Charles Mingus and a bar that somehow reminisces the ocean as a smooth character will greet you at this long-time classic jazz club—a staple of Monterey County. You can find great local jazz musicians at this groovy venue playing on Wednesday nights to accompany your dinner, followed by revelry on the weekends with a nearly-packed bar open until 2am. BEST BLUES CLUB Deja Blue 500 Broadway Ave., Seaside (831) 324-0044, With his novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck painted a truly dire portrait of scores of people hoping to remove themselves from the calamity that was the Dust Bowl, a series of severe dust storms over the drought-stricken southern plains of the U.S. during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Hopefully no one reading this has the blues on such a big scale as that, but the blues do come in all shapes and sizes. If that resonates with you, head on over to this big-time blues, jazz and comedy club for some real relief via solid live blues and other music, great cocktails and a soul food menu including braised oxtail, jalapeño hushpuppies and shrimp, grits and eggs to set things just right. BEST PLACE FOR COMEDY Golden State Theatre 417 Alvarado St., Monterey (831) 649-1070, In three years, Golden State Theatre in Monterey will be 100 years old, and that by itself is impressive. Built as a Castilian castle in 1926, a time when Steinbeck was an unknown, it was supposed to be a fancy venue that could be attended by the masses. Once the largest theater between San Francisco and Los Angeles, it had 1,600 seats, which means that back then it could have entertained onethird of the city (population 6,000). These days you have to fight for tickets to go experience a night of laughter. Big stars like Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Paula Poundstone and Al Franken have made local audiences laugh here. It is also a wonderful venue for small concerts by bigtime artists such as Patti Smith, the Pixies and Macy Gray. 32 BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 FINEART ARCHIVES PUBLISHING CREATIVE Let your walls tell a story… Visit our gallery on-line to see the best in fine-art photography. The hills are alive, with the sound of... WOODY’S THANK YOU! TIM WOOD BEST CHEF 2023 How do you solve a problem like Maria? Take her to Woody’s! WOODYSMONTEREYAIRPORT.COM ’23