In The City — 25 August 2012
Entertainment, restaurants and books

Jake Cline
Jake Cline is the Sun Sentinel’s entertainment editor. He was born and raised in South Florida.

Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine and Padrino’s,
both in Hallandale Beach
www.lasvegascubancuisine.com; www.padrinos.com
Hallandale Beach is synonymous with many things — condominiums, early birds, horseracing— but Cuban food is not one of them. Nonetheless, two of Broward County’s best Cuban restaurants are located within blocks of each other on the city’s eastern edge: the long-running Padrino’s and an outpost of the Las Vegas chain, both of which are family-owned institutions and demand to be mentioned with the same breathless enthusiasm afforded their more-famous peers (Versailles, etc.) to the south in Little Havana.

The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery,
Boca Raton
www.thefunkybuddha.com
Until recently, the only thing wrong with bacon was that you couldn’t drink it. But then, the brewmasters at the Funky Buddha had the bright idea to craft a maple bacon coffee porter that will make you wonder how we ever survived as a species without it. Of course, this isn’t the only beer the Boca Raton venue has created, and we recommend you discover for yourself what other innovations flow from its taps.

Jillian Mayer
www.Jillianmayer.net
Her bizarre, minute-long music video I Am Your Grandma made Jillian Mayer semi-famous online, with some 1.7 million views and counting. So what did she do for a follow-up? Well, after appearing in a video installation as a self-amputating Venus de Milo, Mayer presented an interactive show in which viewers could pretend to delete the Internet page by page. Ironic? Yes. Contradictory?
Sure. Fun? Without a doubt.

Birds of Paradise,
by Diana Abu-Jaber
www.Dianaabujaber.com
The rare South Florida-set novel that chooses to focus less on the region’s inherently loony nature and more on what it’s like for real, (relatively) sane people to live here, Diana Abu-Jaber’s Birds of Paradise, published in 2011, is beautifully written, terrifically plotted and enormously heartbreaking. It’s a wonder.

 

Plains
www.Plainsmiami.com
Managing the neat trick of wearing its influences on its record sleeve (for starters: Husker Du, the Pixies and Nirvana) while sounding wholly original, the Miami band Plains released its thrilling self-titled debut album last year. Led by songwriter Michael McGinnis, Plains frequently performs in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Don’t miss it.

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