Izzy's Steakhouse, the new restaurant and music venue located in San Ramon, CA, has quickly become a popular attraction. For Jim Hudak, who has performed as the pianist/entertainer there four times in the past two weeks, Izzy's is proving to be a most suitable venue. "This is really working out nicely," said Hudak over the weekend. "Sam DuVall, the owner, is an avid music fan, particularly in the areas of jazz and blues. Yet, he's open to all kinds of music, 'as long as it's good.' " Featuring a concert grand piano with a solid in-house sound system and stage monitor, Hudak sings the praises of Izzy's as a fun place to perform. "It's always nice when a restaurant is busy, which creates atmosphere. But to actually be able to hear yourself play (with the help of the built-in sound system), that's really an added bonus for this type of venue," Hudak says. "I can actually work a few songs with vocals into my act, and carry on with some banter to the audience. It makes my role more entertainment oriented rather than just providing background piano music." DuVall, who owns two other restaurants in the San Francisco area, is well known for opening the legendary Great American Music Hall in the city in 1972. He also hosted his own jazz radio show in the Bay Area for a lengthy time. "It's a fact of life that musicians will inevitably have some issues with restaurant and club owners," Hudak points out. "But with Sam, you've got a proprieter who knows and loves music, and who has abundant first hand experience in working with musicians. He treats them with respect and understanding. I hope to have a hand in helping him build his business here in the East Bay." Izzy's just may turn into a goldmine. There aren't a lot of high end restaurants in the greater San Ramon area, and the upscale population base there seems thrilled with a new place to frequent. While steaks are featured at Izzy's, there are several other items on the menu, including grilled salmon and other fish and seafood. And, of course, live music. Izzy's is located at 200 Montgomery Street in San Ramon. Their phone number is (925) 830-8620. Check the Calender Dates section of Jim Hudak's website to keep posted on his upcoming performances at Izzy's and elsewhere.

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