Best of 2000: Best Undiscovered Beach Club

Calypso Café
576 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
(760) 632-8252

Up at Calypso on Old Highway 101 in Leucadia, the scene is faithful to the feel of this coastal strip of sandwich and surfboard shops, Lou's Records, and a coffeehouse in an old train station. Calypso resides in a yellow wood building expanded to a deck covered by a canvas roof. Owner Gilles Knafo was born in Morocco, where his family ran a club in Casablanca. At Calypso, locals feed from a Mediterranean menu including breast of roasted chicken, gnocchi Raquel, and four variations on mussels, but it's the piano bar that adds the right flavors. The Cheap Leis, Latin A Go-Go, swing queen Candye Kane, and boogie woogie pianist Sue Palmer are among players who make appearances here. Jack ("Peaceful, Easy Feeling") Tempchin, who lives in Encinitas, has also played Calypso.

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