T.G.I.F! What are your plans for the weekend? For the most part, I’m a bit of a Karaoke barfly on Friday nights. Whether you love to Karaoke or just enjoy watching while people like me make complete idiots of themselves, it’s important that you find the right spot. Not all Los Angeles Karaoke venues are created equally.
For a many Angelenos, the words “Karaoke” and “Koreatown” are synonymous. While I will admit that Koreatown takes its Karaoke very seriously, it’s actually a bit too much overkill for me. If you’ve got a big group of friends and you want to be able to just sing to each other, you’re probably safe heading down that way. The vast majority of LA Koreatown Karaoke venues feature private rooms (that you have to pay for – but if you all chip in, it’s not so terrible). It’s a pretty cool idea for a birthday party or for those who just really hate to wait their turn, but I prefer the vibe of more “all-inclusive” Karaoke bars where you can enjoy your fellow man singing terribly, get drunk, and sing along to all of those 80s and 90s hits.
Having said all of that, I’ve picked a few Karaoke spots from around the Los Angeles area that should accommodate most locals who are in need of someplace to get their sing on this weekend. We’ll start with the downtown Los Angeles area.
Cafe Brass Monkey – This is the exception to the Koreatown Karaoke rule! This spot runs Karaoke every day (starting at 4PM on Sundays and weekdays, starting at 8PM on Fridays and Saturday) without the private party rooms. Despite its location, Cafe Brass Monkey features pretty traditional American fares like burgers, wings, fries, salads for pretty cheap (you can get an Angus burger and a plate of fries for $6.50). The’ve got a huge menu of house-invented drinks as well (ie: the Horny Monkey Martini). And if you decide to show up on a weeknight, you can take advantage of the very affordable happy hour menu.
Live in Santa Clarita? Check out:
Drifters – The first time I want to Drifters in Canyon Country, I got the stink eye (don’t worry -it gets better!). That’s probably because if I am being honest, this really is more of a “dive” bar and you’ll find some bikers here. I showed up in a dress and heels with my friends (not because we thought it was going to be fancy, but because that’s how we roll). I’m pretty sure everyone thought we were idiots at first. It didn’t take long for the bartender and the locals to warm up to my posse though, and we ended up having a great time. This is definitely a spot for “regulars”, but visitors are definitely not excluded from the Karaoke mix (in fact, our group was only there for a few hours and got to sing A LOT -definite bonus). They had a huge book available and at least four microphones so you can sing with a group if you’re too scared to go it alone. Unfortunately, they do not offer a Karaoke schedule on their Facebook page (I have gone on a Friday and a Tuesday) so you’ll have to call to confirm specific days and times. They’ve also got DJs and do special events (80s night, Halloween, etc.) so check out their upcoming events.
For those out in the sticks (AKA the Antelope Valley) like me, try:
The Longhorn Lounge – This is my regular spot. The Longhorn Lounge (“The Horn”) in Lancaster, CA is (in my humble opinion) the best Antelope Valley Karaoke venue. It’s definitely got more of the “dive” vibe like Drifters, and again, nearly everyone is a “regular” (how could they not be – it’s not like people just wander over to Lancaster from Hollywood lol). This is a really fun spot, though, and everyone is like family. I just started going in July and I’m addicted (save the month-long stint where I decided it was too cold to leave my house, period). Karaoke happens Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting at 9PM and hosted by Charthits Entertainment. A live DJ and dancing break up the Karaoke mix at about midnight. There are always sweet drink specials on different days of the week from $1 shots, to $7 pitchers of Rolling Rock and more. Plus they have AWESOME burgers and fries for cheap!
Let’s not forget the San Fernando Valley…
The Good Nite – This North Hollywood Karaoke bar is another that features amateur singing hour every night of the week starting at 9PM. In fact, the venue has been ranked #2 for Karaoke in all of Los Angeles. It’s a pretty casual atmosphere with cheaply-priced booze (for a bar) without that seedy, dive-y feel to it.
Now that you know where to go, you’ve got no excuses. Get your sing on this weekend!