Spaghettini Grill and Lounge in Seal Beach takes top honors for best performance venue!

Written by The Jazz Gypsy

Spaghettini Grill and Lounge
3005 Old Ranch Parkway
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Reservations/Information: 562.596.2199


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If you're looking for a place where the music, food, drinks and ambiance are consistently exceptional, then look no further than Spaghettini Grill & Lounge in Seal Beach, California. Established in 1988, by California restauranteurs Laurie Sisnersos and Cary Harwick, Spaghettini's has always been known for their sumptuous Tuscan grilled cuisine, award-winning wine list, and their well-educated, attentive and professional wait staff. However, over the past several years, "Spags", (as it's affectionately known by the locals), has done all the right things to earn a stellar reputation as "THE" best entertainment venue in Southern California.

Since remodeling their Performance Lounge, and upgrading their sound system, Spags has significantly expanded their entertainment calendar to not only include some of the biggest names in the smooth/contemporary jazz industry but they also present A-list artists that are known in the Straight Ahead Jazz, Latin Jazz, Jazz Fusion, and World Music arenas. And, just like a good gumbo, it all seamlessly works together, bridging the sometimes artificial boundaries between various musical genres.

The Music
Here's a small sampling of who has or will be performing there soon:

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(Photos l to r: Dave Koz, Hiroshima, Jonathan Butler, Row 2: Karen Briggs, Jessy J (photo by Lori Stoll), and Chris Botti)

Smooth/Contemporary Jazz: Hiroshima, Dave Koz, Paul Brown, Lee Ritenour, Ronnie, Laws, Brenda Russell, Najee, Brian Culbertson, Chris Botti, David Benoit, Jonathan Butler, Marion Meadows, Euge Groove, Eric Marienthal, Michael Lington, Jessy J, Craig Chaquico, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, Jackiem Joyner, Paul Jackson Jr., Michael Paulo, Chris Standring, Jazz in Pink (Gail Jhonson, Karen Briggs, Althea Renee, Jeanette Harris), Gregg Karukas, Steve Oliver, Nils, Tom Braxton, Tim Bowman, Andre Delano, Shilts, Blake Aaron, Darren Rahn, Marcus Anderson, Jonathan Fritzen, Alexander Zonjic, Vincent Ingala, Slim Man, Native Vibe, and Earl R. Johnson, Jr.

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(Photos: l to r: Louie Cruz Beltran, Esperanza Spalding and Les McCann)

Straight Ahead Jazz: Esperanza Spalding, Les McCann, Alphonse Mouzon Quartet, James Torme, Gordon Goodwin's Little Phat Band, Al Williams Jazz Society, Anne Walsh, Brenna Whitaker & Her Little Big Band, Rob Mullins Band, Frank Stallone (yes, Sylvester Stallone's brother)

Latin Jazz: Fattburger, Louie Cruz Beltran, Incendio, Andy Vargas (Lead Singer of Santana)

Jazz Fusion/World Music: Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, Down to the Bone, Lao Tizer w/Karen Briggs, Quattro

Soul/R&B: Evelyn "Champagne" King, Ellis Hall, Ricky Jones,DW3, and Derek Bordeaux

Contemporary/Pop: Spencer Day, Kenny Loggins, David Pack (from Ambrosia),Christine W

Rock/Funk:: Randy Jacobs' Dynamite, Antonio Pontarelli

Blues: Ruby and the Red Hots

Tribute Bands: Terry Steele (Luther Vandross), Pretzel Logic (A Steely Dan Revue), Carlos, The Experience (Santana), Hollywood U2

The Location
Situated conveniently in the middle of Southern California where the 405, 605 an 22 merge together, Spags is easily accessible whether you are traveling from Los Angeles, Long Beach or from Orange County or San Diego. There is ample free parking or valet service for $3.00. Also, Spags frequently partners with the Ayres Hotel across the street, to offer reasonable hotel rates, making it uber convenient for those occasions when you'd like to stay over a Saturday night and return for Spags legendary Sunday Brunch hosted by 94.7 The Wave.

The Venue

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Spags is open 7 days a week and it's footprint includes several inviting, warm and beautifully decorated indoor and outdoor spaces that include The Restaurant, The Performance Lounge & Bar, The Bistro, The Library, The Wine Cellar, Enclosed Patio, and The Outdoor Patio. Because of the unique architecture, Spags can accommodate events of all sizes, making it a popular destination spot to meet clients, bring out of town guests, or host a special celebration or event.

Some of the recent and/or regularly occurring events/occasions include: Sunday Brunch live broadcast w/ 94.7 FM, The Wave, Sunday Night Family Dinners w/KOST/103.5 FM, charity events, A Tribute to Wayman Tisdale, Radio Personality Pat Prescott's Birthday Party, Terry Steele's 50th Birthday Celebration, graduation, retirement parties, & more.

The Food

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Open 7 days a week, Spags offers lunch (weekdays), happy hour, dinner, dinner an a show and Sunday Brunch. Their reasonably priced menu offers starters ($10-$24), soups & salads ($7-$24), sandwiches ($13-$16); brick oven pizzas ($12-$14), pastas (19-$29), entrees ($23-$39); sides ($8),and desserts ($5-$12). Some customer favorites include the prime pork chop, Parmesan crusted Chilean sea bass, the New Zealand lamb rack and Spags Executive Chef Victor Avila's signature dish, Pommerey Shrimp.

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(Photo: DW3)

Spags legendary Sunday Brunch ($49.95/adults and $14.95/children 12 and under) occurs every Sunday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. The brunch offers unlimited trips to the antipasto buffet that features over 80 food items, including authentic Italian pastas, fresh California salads, an extensive seafood station, homemade buttermilk waffles, pancakes topped with blueberry compote and a side of brown sugar candied bacon, handmade sushi rolls, and lavish desserts. The brunch also includes your choice of one entree from the regular menu made fresh to order, free-flowing champagne and beverages. Your meal can be enjoyed in one of the many dining rooms or in the performance lounge where there is a live performance by DW3 and a live broadcast by 94.7 The Wave that regularly features special music guests and free giveaways.

The Owners/Staff


Co-owners Cary Hardwick and Laurie Sisneros met while working at a chain restaurant over twenty-one years ago. After learning that they each shared a vision to open their own restaurant, they combined their dreams to birth Spahettini and built the restaurant from the ground up. With an immense passion for food and wine, and a deep respect for the people that they employ, Cary & Laurie have used servant leadership and intensive training to create a staff with the highest level of knowledge and service.


Cary Hardwick has been a teacher for the Cottonwood Leadership College in Los Alamitos, California, since 2002. He has also been involved with a number of local charities, and is on the Board of Directors for The Brianna Fund, which raises awareness and money for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Cary presently owns a consulting and promotions company called C.J. Studios which allows him to speak, teach and work with individuals to develop their businesses. Cary was a scholarship athlete in track and field at both Long Beach City College and Indiana University. In 2009 he was inducted into the Long Beach City College Hall of Champions. He is also an avid surfer who has traveled the world in search of the perfect wave. Cary and his wife Joy live in Long Beach, California and have four children. Cary is available for speaking engagements, management seminars, promotional event planning and business consulting. He can be reached at


Laurie Sisneros has been in the restaurant and entertainment business for many years and has a strong passion for all things food, wine and music related. Her love of the business started in Boston, Mass., where she managed entertainment venues for the largest club owner in Boston. She later moved into corporate restaurant management where she had responsibility for over a dozen restaurants throughout Southern California. Following her dream to one day open her own restaurant, Laurie partnered with Hardwick in 1988 to create the legendary Sunday Brunch.

In addition to Spaghettini, Laurie owns a business consulting firm called Wine & Dine Enterprises which allows her to share her knowledge and experience with others who are trying to develop a new or existing business. Along with a complete staff of highly qualified professionals, Wine & Dine Enterprises brings over thirty years of proven expertise to assist others in achieving their goals.

Laurie actively works to improve her community. She has helped to build a home for Habitat for Humanity, tutored elementary school children with learning challenges and was a literacy teacher for adults who were unable to read. She also co-founded a program within the Orange County Probation Department that mentored juvenile offenders and their families.

Laurie has a husband Fred and a mischievous sheepdog named Barney. She loves to travel the four corners of the world, where she is able to further explore her love of food, wine and music. She has taught a management seminar in Vietnam, attended cooking and wine classes in Italy, and sailed the Caribbean with the world�s top jazz artists, all in the name of following and developing her passions.

Laurie is available for speaking engagements, management seminars and all levels of business consulting. She can be reached at


Vienna Yip, a.k.a. JazzieGirl
Vienna works closely with co-owner Cary Hardwick to bring a diverse array of entertainment to Spags. She is the Jazz Music Director @ FM88.5-KSBR, a Contemporary Jazz station at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. She is instrumental in bringing the music of talented musicians to listeners all over the world. She is particularly proud that she can help deserving indie artists to get airplay, whose music would not otherwise be heard on commercial stations.

An engineer by trade, Vienna had a great run for the money, but her life-long passion for music led her to her current career in the music industry. As a teenager, she used to save up all her allowance for concert tickets and has been regularly going to clubs to see and support live bands for over thirty years. As a result she has made many life-long friendships with musicians.

Vienna owns her own business, JazziGirl Productions, and is an Artist Representative where she has earned a stellar reputation through her impeccable work ethic, unquestionable integrity, detailed follow-through and always going above and beyond what is required and expected. Working with a roster of over 80 artists in all genres of music, she books artists/groups into various clubs, venues, festivals, and private events. For Vienna, no venue is too big or too small. She can work within your budget to book a solo artist all the way up to a 12-piece big band, and anywhere in between. She can book Steely Dan & Eagles tribute bands, Motown cover bands, old school R&B bands, and music from the 70's, 80's & the disco era. Vienna is currently looking for opportunities to expand her business into the international arena. For bookings: Email, or call 949.582.2956. You can find her online at:


Q was the Entertainment Director at Spags for many years. He now enjoys his position as the Sound Engineer, working to insure that the artists deliver the best listening experience for the audience. The last Wednesday of every month at Spags, "Q" presents Q's favorite artists. Q is an avid surfer and also works with The Dave Koz & Friends Cruise franchise.

Upcoming Calendar
4/21 (Sat) - Jonathan Fritzen - CD Release Party - 7:30pm - $25
4/22 (Sun) - Sunday Brunch w/DW3 $10; Evening Show The Droppers - 6:30pm - $10
4/23 (Mon) - Oak Middle School Fundraiser - 6:30pm - $10
4/24 (Tues) - Chris Standring Dinner & Show - CD Release Party - 7:00pm - $55
4/25 (Wed) - Q's Favorite presents Michael Parlett - 7:00pm - $10
4/26 (Thurs) - DW3 - 7:30pm - $10
4/27 (Fri) - Earl R. Johnson Jr. - 7:30pm - $20
4/28 (Sat) - Nocy - 7:30pm - $20
4/29 (Sun) - Sunday Brunch w/DW3 - $10; Evening Show - Native Vibe - 6:30pm - $20

Please check their website for additional shows and more details: