A step back in time, via an <em>Iron Chef</em> vet

Grand opening Thurs in Santa Monica, The Charleston charge, of our days, and our niiiights is a '30s-era supperclub-cum-sippery in Santa Monica run by former Iron Chef challenger & lauded restauranteur Jet Tila, whose decked out the old Angel's space in decade-appropriate beaded chandeliers, a studded, white-leather bar, and plush, red booths, which're probably the first place to look for left-behind dead presidents.

The food will work in two ways: they'll do popup dinners by famous chefs like Angeli Caffe exec/KCRW "Good Food" host Evan Kleinman, as well as a there-all-the-time menu w/ upscale-y bar goodness like short rib tacos w/ shaved Brussels sprouts & Korean salsa; sausage, arugula, and fennel flatbread; and grilled salmon w/ roasted tomatoes and chickpeas, ironically served by a second chick with a cup. Drinkiness leans classic, w/ specialties helped along by a master 'tail-mixer (who's developed booze programs at Vegas' Bellagio, NY's Po, and SF's Starlight Room): there's the Minted Mule (vodka, lime, ginger beer, mint sprig), the namesake Charleston (whiskey, green chartreuse, Dom Benedictine, bitters), and the gin-fronting Poison Rose, which's really what Leo should've done if he wanted a place on that life raft.

They're also going to have tons of entertainment going on, from '80s cover bands, to burlesque, to dueling pianos, to karaoke -- which, like John Wilkes, you'll probably straight murder.

Photo by Brandon Friend-Solis