1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-525-5054, Ashkenaz.com
Going out for a night of salsa dancing need not require special shoes, dazzling threads, and Gene Kelly's chutzpa, but simply an old-fashioned sense of fun. And the crowd at low-key Club Montero's in Albany proves just that. Sure, there are the salsa whizzes, all hummingbird blurs of twirling arms and swaying skirts, but there are also plenty of newcomers and shy folks who watch from the sideline until they, too, get swept in. The adjoining Mexican restaurant's tropical aesthetic of bright yellow walls, with fake palm trees and Frida Kahlo prints, gives the club a festive atmosphere, and sipping a cold drink after getting sweaty on the dance floor can definitely give you the feeling of stepping into another latitude. But the most infectious aspect of a night at Club Montero's is a bit unexpected: Take a break from keeping up with the rhythm for a few minutes, and watch the club's passionate over-sixty contingent show off their moves. For those lacking their decades of experience, try cutting in to learn the ropes, or come early for the free salsa lessons. Or just wait for a break from the salsa and shake to some reggaetón.