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Pass the Beats

Restaurateurs are upping the hipness factor of their eateries by installing DJs

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How would you feel about a side of break beats with your osso buco? Restaurateurs are upping the hipness factor of their eateries by installing DJs who spin platters more club-than grub-worthy. At L.A.’s Asian-inspired Tengu, for example, noshers including Edward Norton and Salma Hayek sip sakes while DJs in a booth play music by Basement Jaxx and Massive Attack. ”Having a DJ, you can control the vibe of the room the entire time,” says Tengu co-owner Alan Nathan. DJs are also a staple at Manhattan’s Guernica, an Asian/Caribbean lounge. Still, don’t look for tableside turntables on every menu: ”To have a DJ at Carnegie Deli would be out of place,” admits Mike Gwertzman (a.k.a. Guernica resident DJ Sleepyface). ”But at a downtown bistro, it can be an added attraction.” And it sure beats singing waiters.