Korean karaoke, known as noraebang, is way more than just singing — it’s an all-encompassing (and usually all-night) experience that brings together entertainment, camaraderie and seemingly endless amounts of soju and tasty Korean nibbles. From private-room meccas with bottle service to a walk-in friendly dive bar, we’ve found five places to karaoke in Koreatown. Go ahead, grab a mic, rally your crew, and get to singing.
Ready for a trip back to the funky New Wave days of the ‘80s? The Break Room 86 bar inside the Line Hotel will take you there… and serve as a rowdy spot for some cool karaoke and cocktails. The mysterious bar is accessed through the hotel’s loading dock, and if that sounds exciting, the karaoke rooms are hidden inside the bar behind a telephone booth and vending machine. Lined with ‘80s album covers and cassette tapes galore, the song selection encompasses that decade and many others. Be ready to sing and dance under a disco ball while sipping drinks like the Magnum P.I., a peachy tequila refresher. Word to the wise: book your karaoke rooms in advance because the place fills up.
One of the measures of a neighborhood is its dive bars, and Brass Monkey proves that K-town knows how to do it right. This karaoke staple, known for its stiff drinks and ‘70s chalet-style décor, has provided a public platform for drunken revelry for over 50 years. It still hosts karaoke every single night, so you can chill by the bar or get up on stage and embarrass yourself in front of strangers like everyone else. Judging by the celebrity photos on the walls, you’ll be in good company. Parking is free with validation after 5 p.m. in the lot behind the bar, a godsend in K-town.
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Hanging out at the biggest and hottest club in town is a favorite pastime of Angelenos, and karaoke is no exception. Pharaoh boasts 34 private rooms replete with lasers, strobe lights and flashing neon. But the constantly updated selection of more than 4,000 songs in multiple languages puts this karaoke giant in a class of its own. As with most high-end karaoke spots these days, you can pre-order packages with bottle service, starting with small rooms for two to five people all the way up to party rooms for 35 people with a full spread of Korean favorites like pork katsu, beef bulgogi, spicy rice cakes and chicken wings. The top-notch Champagne, whisky and vodka selection at Pharaoh is worthy of a splurge.
K-town has plenty of noraebang (song rooms), but many of them offer practically interchangeable menus and karaoke experiences. Refreshingly different is The Venue, a swanky below-ground club where the dishes come from a Boa Steakhouse veteran and are served in a smartly appointed setting with plush booths, gold accents and leather chairs. But you have to find it first; the entrance to this basement bar is via a private stairwell off Wilshire Blvd. You’ll find 13 private karaoke rooms of various sizes, with the largest holding up to a whopping 50 people and a playlist spanning 100,000 songs.
When it comes to private room karaoke, Rosen is one of the OG’s of the scene dating back decades in K-town at 8th Street and South Hobart Blvd. This pioneer is still going strong, open seven days a week from 6 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Wild neon lights and sheer jubilance share the program at this popular spot boasting 20 rooms, sweet happy hour specials and valet parking for customers. Here, you can reserve rooms with different food and alcohol packages in advance, but walk-ins are also welcome.
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