Bong opened at the beginning of the year, in the space once occupied by the restaurant Mezzanotte. A great deal of expense went into renovations turning the expanse into a sleek, attractive edifice combing modern touches with Asian artifacts. The finished result is a restaurant with an Asian theme, a lounge offering live music Fridays and Saturdays, and a facility that has a handsome contemporary feel while paying homage to its Oriental orientation.

Comfortable seating with cushioned back booths occupy the entertainment area, where a performer plays mellow music from a bandstand near the entrance.

Adding weekend entertainment was a bonus, providing guests with a relaxing way to unwind and creating a nighttime escape for those just wanting a light bite along with evening music. Performers change, but usually follow the same mellow format. The musician the night I visited satisfied the audience by playing such songs as Fly Me to the Moon and One Love.

Entertainers may change, but the exquisite environment remains. Appetizers as well as entrees are served in the lounge area (the $6.25 tuna roll was fresh and delicious). Bong has a full bar (cocktails start at around $7) and an extensive wine list.

Nightlife news

Tonight: Find cabaret singer-entertainer Baby Jane Dexter at the Royal Room, Colony Hotel, 155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach (561-655-5430). Doors open at 6:45; dinner and concert start around 8 p.m. Dinner-show price is $59. Reservations strongly suggested.

Saturday: Enjoy a mix of rock, reggae, blues and a touch of Latin at Surf Cafe, 395 NE Spanish River Blvd., Boca Raton (561-392-1965). Visit Respectable Street, 518 Clematis St., West Palm Beach (561- 832-9999) for live music in an eclectic atmosphere. Find booths and couches, an ample dance floor and outdoor back patio with beaches. Dance the night away at Zooks, 1999 S. Military Trail, West Palm Beach (561-969-3234). The large saloon has a friendly feeling and sports oriented environment.

Sunday: There's live music at Meyer Amphitheater, at the foot of Clematis Street overlooking Flagler Drive and the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach (561-659-8007). The 6-8 p.m. free event features the band Flight.

Tuesday: Take a stroll around Mizner Square off Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton and wind up at Gigi's, 346 Plaza Real, Boca Raton (561-368- 4488). The French-inspired tavern features the band The Edge, which performs high-energy dance music.

Wednesday: Support our local entertainers by visiting Lake Worth's Bamboo Room, 25 S. J St. (561-585-2583). The Dillengers are playing, and there's no cover to see and hear the West Palm Beach band play a mix of blues, punk, rockabilly, pop, surf and country.

Thursday: Listen to popular Latin music and classic rock 'n' roll by a band playing both in Spanish and English starting at 8 p.m. at Oh! Martini, Royal Palm Place, 131 SE Mizner Blvd., Boca Raton (561-955- 1238). Drink and food specials tonight include $5 for a pitcher of Miller beer, $3 for a glass of Sky vodka and 10 chicken wings for $5.

Joan Brazer Durante is a freelance writer based in Plantation. Please fax news concerning local entertainment events and performers to 954-835-2347, e-mail jbdurante@aol.com or mail to Joan Brazer Durante, Entertainment Department, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293.