Spin 4 a Cause at Axiom Sushi tonight benefits Kidd’s Kids

Hey Mr. DJ

Don’t say music can’t bring people together. That’s the weekly goal of Spin 4 a Cause with DJ Jose G. Every Wednesday S4AC is intent on “bringing together community leaders, music and food to raise awareness and funds for local nonprofit chapters and organizations.” This week’s guest DJ is Derrick Brown and the night benefits Kidd’s Kids. So all that and happy hour drink specials? Umm, yes, please.

DEETS: Axiom Sushi Lounge,4123 Cedar Springs Road. 6 p.m. No cover.

—  Rich Lopez

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.29

These kings wanna get rocked
The peeps behind this show are pretty brilliant — not to mention a kick-ass flyer. Drag kings and local bands make up Mustaches & Music hosted by Christina Love. After Julian 4Play and the rest of the kings perform, Screaming Red and Electro-Shock Machine bring the rock out to finish the night. Sweet.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

 

Saturday 04.30

No, it’s OK to have that buzz
Festivals come left and right this time of year, but we’re prone to those encouraging us to eat and drink. The Dallas Wine and Food Festival has been doing just that for 27 years. We long for Saturday’s wine seminars at Mockingbird Station spots topped off by happy hour at Margarita Ranch.

DEETS: Mockingbird Station, 5321 E. Mockinbird Lane. 11 a.m. Through Sunday. $15–$25. DallasWineFest.com.

 

Sunday 05.01

Spoken word with purpose
Audaciously Speaking presents the 4th Annual Evolution of Spoken Word. Local out poet, Audacious brings together an impressive lineup of local poets and artists, all who are ready to drop some knowledge on you.

DEETS: Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave. 3 p.m. $15. 682-472-9396

—  John Wright

Drive-by Tasting: Rock N Taco

SCENE OF THE CRIME | Carne asada and carnitas tacos lacked punch, but still had more than the watery margaritas. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

One visit. One meal. One shot to get it right

Direct marketing works. But it can backfire, as it did with Rock N Taco.

After a long, hard week at work, I needed to unwind. As if the World Wide Web sensed my stress, an e-mail popped into my in-box: $2 margaritas at Rock N Taco for happy hour, it said. Free appetizers. I had my plans.

Problem was, when I arrived at the nearly deserted McKinney Avenue restaurant, there were no apps set out, no reminder from the waitress of the great happy hour prices on tequila drinks. In fact, she told me they were three dollars.

Strike one. But it’s only a buck, right? Might as well. I ordered one on the rocks.

Strike two.

When the margarita finally arrived, it had about as much punch let in it as a boxer in round 9. Flat and favorless, it was a watery waste of agave nectar. I ordered a second, frozen, to see if the volume provided by the ice improved things. It did, slightly. Now you couldn’t tell so much that the alcohol content tasted on par with the basement brunch at the local Baptist church. At least it left me free that evening to operate heavy machinery.

I still don’t know what the appetizers taste like at Rock N Taco, as they were never set out and I didn’t bother ordering any. I stuck with the “rock your own” taco plate.

Let’s discuss the name for a second, too: Taquerias are as common in Dallas as vowels at the end of names in the barrio. Adding the word “rock” to one doesn’t, alone, justify charging three bucks per. (The best tacos in town are from the little lady inside the Fiesta on Ross Avenue. One dollar and she smiles at you.) You wanna rock me? Rock me! That doesn’t happen here, despite the zebra-print upholstery, signature drink called a “pink thing” (please, guys — grow up) and TVs blaring sports from every peripheral angle.

The tacos are the style I prefer: Small and packed densely with protein. But the carne asada taco, while flavorful, was as tough as a calculus midterm; by contrast, the juicy carnitas seemed like they hadn’t been seasoned at all. Of course, you can add some salsa (the tomatillo version is actually quite delicious, with lots of heat) and some a la carte sides: I tried the sliced avocado (good, but how can you mess that up?) and a chile-lime corn relish that was gummy but engaging.

Service didn’t impress me. Not at all. The margaritas took forever to arrive, and my water remained un-refilled as if they were rationing it in deference to Japanese tsunami victims. The waitress made me tab out early because her shift was ending and spent most of her time chatting with the only other person in the place (not a customer, it seemed, but a friend). I skipped dessert as I didn’t have another hour to wait for it to arrive.

Overall impression: Lacks buzz, lacks service, lacks consistent flavor in the food. Some of the items might actually deserve props (that salsa!), only it would require a repeat visit to get them.

Recommended: No.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Nightlife

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DICK DANCER DESTINATION
The Tin Room

2514 Hudnall St.
Open Sunday­–Thursday till 2 a.m.,
Friday–Saturday till 3 a.m.
214-526-6365
TinRoom.net

We could sit here and pretend that the reason the Tin Room won as the top Dick Dancer Destination has something to do with the atmosphere, or the bar service, or the variety of cocktail options. Yeah, and we read Inches magazine for the articles. But less just ‘fess up: The reason we love the Tin Room is because it has hot, fit, tattooed young men who shake like the San Andreas on a trampoline. And they’re friendly. And we’re certain they are good people. And there’s a cage. And a shower. Yeah, we definitely could use a drink.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


LESBIAN HOT SPOT
Sue Ellen’s

3014 Throckmorton St.
Open daily till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
214-559-0707
Caven.com

We love that Sue Ellen’s moved into the big digs once home to TMC a few years ago: Dallas’ long-running gal-pal spot feels right at home in its current location. There are plenty of spots to hear live music (a longtime selling point for female and male patrons), lots of nooks to get all cozy on handsome sofas and chairs, spacious dance floors, even dandy spots for daytime laptop work while enjoying a beverage. It’s geared for the ladies, but appeals to men, too.

— Mark Lowry


BEST NIGHTLIFE EVENT TO ATTEND IN THE MIDDLE OF DAY
Chill Sunday

House of Blues’ Foundation Room
2200 N. Lamar St.
2–6 p.m.
Facebook.com/SXSProductions

Truth be told, the gays cannot do a Sunday afternoon without a mimosa and a brunch menu. Thankfully, SxS Productions and Janus, the guys behind the monthly Chill Sunday, take it to a different level without the guilt of an overindulgent meal. Don’t worry. Lunch happens at Chill, but alongside the Bloody Marys and bottomless mimosas, the music by a rotating lineup of DJs is always a downtempo beat, which makes for a cool way to bring the weekend to a close.

— Rich Lopez

 

ULTIMATE DALLAS CLUB
The Round-Up Saloon

3912 Cedar Springs Road
Daily 8 p.m.—2 a.m.
214-522-9611
RoundUpSaloon.com


ULTIMATE FORT WORTH CLUB
Rainbow Lounge

651 South Jennings Ave., Fort Worth
Open daily until 2 a.m.
817-870-2466
Facebook.com/RainbowLounge

 

BEST HAPPY HOUR
JR.’s Bar & Grill

3923 Cedar Springs Road
Open daily till 2 a.m.
214-528-1004
Caven.com


BEST AFTER HOURS CLUB • TIE
TMC: The Mining Company

3903 Cedar Springs Road
Open Thursday–Sunday till 2 a.m.,
after hours dancing Friday–Sunday
214-521-4205
Caven.com

Station 4

3911 Cedar Springs Road
Open Wednesday-Sunday till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
214-526-7171
Caven.com


FRIENDLIEST CLUB STAFF
The Round-Up Saloon

3912 Cedar Springs Road
Daily 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
214-522-9611
RoundUpSaloon.com

 

SEXIEST BARTENDER
Carter Young

JR.’s Bar & Grill
3923 Cedar Springs Road
Open daily till 2 a.m.
214-528-1004
Caven.com

 

BEST CLUB DJ
Ronnie Bruno


TWINKY TOWN
Station 4

3911 Cedar Springs Road
Open Wednesday-Sunday till 2 a.m.
After-hours dancing till 4 a.m.
214-526-7171
Caven.com

 

DADDY DEPOT
The Dallas Eagle

5740 Maple Ave.
Open Sunday­–Thursday till 2 a.m.,
Friday–Saturday till 4 a.m.
214-357-4375
DallasEagle.com

 

BEST KARAOKE
The Round-Up Saloon

3912 Cedar Springs Road
Daily 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
214-522-9611
RoundUpSaloon.com

 

OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Jack’s Backyard

2303 Pittman Road
Open daily till 2 a.m.
214-741-3131
JacksBackyardDallas.com

 

IT’S STRAIGHT BUT WE GO
The Grapevine Bar

3902 Maple Ave.
Open daily till 2 a.m.
214-522-8466
TheGrapevineBar.com

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

High Tech Happy Hour at Monica’s tonight

High Tech Happy Hour, the month gay mixer sponsored by the Texas Instruments gay employees group but open to anyone (even those not in the tech field) has moved from its original location. It’ll be return to an old favorite tonight, Monica’s Aca y Alla in Deep Ellum. It’s the last one of the year, so raise a glass from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Fin Sushi now open at ilume

Last week we told you Fin Sushi was ready to open at ilume, and apparently that has now happened. From Scott Barretto at StraightOut Media & Marketing:

WHAT: Fin Sushi is a new Asian fusion restaurant and sushi lounge concept serving a unique menu of sushi, sashimi and pho noodle dishes. Fin Sushi currently occupies 4,000 square feet of space on the southeast section of ilume®, a five-story, self-contained, mixed-use development housing 316 luxury apartments and 23,000 square feet of retail space and the first green built apartment building in Dallas.

The restaurant can seat 160 guests and offers a full service bar with an extensive sake menu accessible from inside the restaurant and the adjoining outdoor patio. The interior décor of the restaurant features numerous water features including a 400-gallon tropical fish tank and 10 ft tall water wall at the restaurants entrance. A one-of-a-kind, hand-cut mosaic featuring three large Lion Fish was specially commissioned for the restaurant.

Fin Sushi is a new concept from the owners of Sushi Axiom, a multi-unit restaurant with four locations in North Texas; including Dallas, Fort Worth and Burleson.

WHEN: Lunch
11:00 – 2:00 p.m. Mon – Fri
Happy Hour
4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Mon – Fri
Dinner
5:00 – 10:00 p.m. Sun – Wed; 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. Thu; 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Fri – Sat
Late Night Lounge
11:0 0 p.m.. – 2:00 a.m. Fri – Sat

Walk-ins Welcome; Group Reservations:  214-443-3840

WHERE: Fin Sushi
4123 Cedar Springs Road, #102
Dallas, TX 75219
Tel: 214-443-3840

—  John Wright

Another World AIDS Day event: DFW Sisters to tour Metroplex with Veil of Remembrance

From the DFW Sisters:

Join us as we tour the Metroplex with our Veil of Remembrance. We will start in Fort Worth at the Tarrant County Public Health Carnival and Fair. We will arrive in Dallas around Happy Hour and tour the strip with a few other stops along the way. If you have trouble finding us, please check with us on FB or send us a message.

One of the Sisters will be wearing the Veil of Remembrance. We welcome you to write the names and any memories you have of loved ones who have passed. We will take the veil and make it a part of our House archives where we will guard and protect the memories you have entrusted to us.

For a list of other World AIDS Day events in North Texas, go here.

—  John Wright

Restaurant’s closure forces Toast to Life to go fish for a new Happy Hour date in January

Resource Center Dallas’ Rafael McDonnell sends along word that tonight’s Toast to Life Happy Hour has been canceled and will be rescheduled for sometime in January. Turns out the venue where the Happy Hour was to be held, Go Fish Ocean Club on Alpha Road just north of the Galleria, closed abruptly over the weekend. Read more about the closure at City of Ate.

—  John Wright