Get your dancing shoes on…the Conga Room has reopened at L.A. Live.
He Conga Room has been a Latin music destination hotspot since it opened in 1998 and now 10 years later has just gotten hotter! On December 10, 2008 The Conga Room officially reopened, having now moved to L.A. Live! Entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.
The move has allowed the venue to truly expand as it is now three times as large as the original space and will be able to accommodate over 1000 people. It is evident that no expense was spared for what club founder and principal owner Brad G luckstein calls “a legacy project”.
At 15,000 square feet The Conga Room’s eclectic décor includes slick, dark hardwood floors, sexy red chandeliers, a gorgeous and plush VIP room, a one-of-a-kind Papaya Bar designed by Cuban-American artist Jorge Pardo and loads of Latin-inspired artwork on various mediums including a digital mural that is very m uch like “a moving painting”.
The Conga Room also boasts Chef Alex Garcia, a pioneer of Nueva Latina cuisine, who will be in charge of the menu at Boca, the club’s well-reputed restaurant. In addition to creating a menu with classic Latin items such as plantains and empanadas, Garcia also utilizes his grandmother’s Cuban culinary influence to c reate delectable new dishes that make mouths water.
Garcia first gained widespread attention working alongside revered chef Douglas Rodriguez. In New York, this renowned twosome opened Patria, which quickly earned three stars from The New York Times. Garcia decided to strike out on his own, garnering rave reviews for his sassy, splashy Nuevo Latino hotspots, the former Erizo Latino, and the crowd-pleasing Calle O cho.
It was at Calle Ocho that Garcia used his innate knowledge of Latin cuisine to transform authentic ingredients into an innovative menu that packed the restaurant night after night, and introduced a new audience to his Latino fare. This popularity — combined with his winning personality — earned him a weekly spot on the Food Network’s hit cooking show M elting Pot.
As one of the nation’s leading Latino chefs, Garcia has become a highly sought-after consultant, and has lent his services to Carnival Cruise Lines, Walt Disney’s Disneyland, the California Avocado Commission and Catena Wines. He has also served as a spokesperson for the Goya line of products and R ums of Puerto Rico.
One of Garcia’s most cherished accomplishments was the publication of the cookbook In a Cuban Kitchen, which Publisher’s Weekly praised for its “terrific” recipes and its “enlightening” exploration of the origins of Cuban c uisine.
Garcia now brings his immense talent and knowledge to the restaurant, Boca at The Conga Room at L.A. LIVE, where he’ll develop a world-class Latino-infused menu for foodlovers in downtown Los Angeles. Garcia will preside over all the culinary offerings served at The Conga Room, to include lunch, dinner and the highly anticipated after-hours dining e xperience.
According to Garcia, the menu at Boca will be inventive and alluringly flavorful, and will feature memorable Caribbean-inspired dishes like Plantain-crusted Halibut and Pollo Mojito as well as decadent desserts like C hurros Con Chocolate.
This culinary hotspot promises to keep guests coming back for an enticing menu, festive ambience, and a chef who never fails to make critics and taste-makers sit up and t ake notice.
Guests are also invited to enjoy signature cocktails from the awe-inspiring Papaya Bar, designed by internationally acclaimed Cuban American Artist, Jorge Pardo. All private parties and special event attendees will take advantage of the catering services of worldf amous Wolfgang Puck Catering.
Of course, the biggest pull to the impressive Conga Room is the music and dancing. With the ability to attract incredible Latin bands such as The Gypsy Kings, Buena Vista Social Club and Los Lobos, it has officially cemented its’ reputation as one of the top places to hear live Latin music. Salsa and meringue are still the club’s signature sounds; however the repertoire now also includes sounds such as World Beat, jazz, mariachi and Brazilian.
Oscar Hernandez is the incredibly talented director of the club’s musically gifted house band and said that his vision” is to basically create the perception that this is an elite t eam, this is an elite ensemble of musicians.” The Conga Room is certainly a must-see for all salsa dancers (and those that like to watch) as this hip yet classy club promises lots of entertainment bang for your buck.