Your guide to the 10 best karaoke bars in LA (including the 4am one)
It's no surprise that LA's got a ridiculous number of places to sing karaoke, since we also have a SUPER-RIDICULOUS number of people who think they're good singers. What is a surprise though, is how little information there is out there on 'em, which's why we put together this sweet-ass guide, so you can tell a 4am karaoke bar apart from an "Adult Film Star Karaoke" one.
Best Karaoke For: Beachcombers
The Whaler (click here for address and deets)
This tiny Venice dive's one of those karaoke bars that subsists on charm and not much else, unless you count the extremely colorful locals and heavy-pour drinks that've made it a longtime favorite. Which we will. (Sun, Mon, and Thurs only.)
Best Karaoke For: Insomniacs
Max Karaoke (click here for address and deets)
Little Tokyo/West LA/Torrance
This rent-a-room-by-the-hour mini-chain regularly updates its lists with ultra-current songs, which is great if you want to prove your devotion to One Direction. Also awesome? Their hours. They're open 'til 3am on weekdays and 4am on weekends, meaning you now actually have an answer when your friends ask, "What now?" after last call.
Best Karaoke If: You've already had a few, and by a "few", we mean, "way more than a few"
Brass Monkey (click here for address and deets)
Its dark, it's grimy, and you're guaranteed to hear "Gangnam Style" at least once, but this beloved K-town dive has a monstrous drinks list, stellar hangover food, and a very un-judgy clientele, which means now is finally the time for that "Bohemian Rhapsody" group-sing, people.
Best Karaoke If: You're Downtown and just had "a few"
The Falls (click here for address and deets)
Since parting ways with now-defunct Lava Lounge, Kinky Karaoke has been going strong for the last few years at this golden, Downtown cocktail bar, which has a high-energy host who ensures your version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is the bar's more memorable ever (... until someone else sings it). (Sunday only.)
Best Karaoke For: "Hey Now"
Sardos (click here for address and deets)
This hole-in-the-wall Valley dive hosts "Adult Film Star Karaoke" once a week -- a meet-up point for actors & actresses (but hopefully mostly actresses) who get together and sing not-at-all-predicatable songs like... "I Want Your Sex". (Tuesday only.)
Best Karaoke If: You're just not that into Katy Perry
The Complex (click here for address and deets)
Started a year ago as a reaction to the by-the-numbers karaoke everywhere else, Ground Control Karaoke's basically your spot to sing if you weren't exactly a Glee Club kid in school. The venue's got a custom book with multiple selections from out-there-as-far-as-karaoke-is-concerned artists like Perfect Circle, Arcade Fire, and The Smiths (LOTS of Smiths songs), with a smattering of mainstream picks, just in case. (Mondays only.)
Best Karaoke If: You can really sing
The Gaslite (click here for address and deets)
Crowds at this Wilshire bar can be harsh if you don't bring it (pro tip: this is NOT the time for that "Bohemian Rhapsody" group-sing), but if you can wail, it's go-time. If you light 'em up, they'll keep screaming for more, and if you become a regular, they'll make sure you get up there a bunch -- even on a busy night.
Best Karaoke If: You can't carry a tune
Smog Cutter (click here for address and deets)
This dump -- we use the word sparingly, but this place is definitely that -- is full of the oddest weirdos anywhere, has a terrible song book, and extra-cheap drinks. So if you can't hit a single note during "Livin' On A Prayer", you're fine. No one will notice.
Best Karaoke If: You're really good at making decisions
Boardwalk 11 (click here for address and deets)
Often called the best karaoke bar in LA, this spot has (wait for it...) 50,000+ songs in its song book, which means you'll have to come by at least three times before even understanding the selection, let alone choosing something.
Best Karaoke If: You've ever wanted to sing while a lovely lady strips next to you
Dragonfly (click here for address and deets)
Stripperaoke is exactly what it sounds like: some chick pole dances while you try to concentrate on getting the words right to Clarence Carter's "Strokin'". Good luck with that. (Sundays only.)
That's Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor, Jeff Miller, in the above photo, singing "Humpty Dance", which he changes the lyrics to every time. Get at him on Twitter @thrillistla and on Instagram at @jeffmillerla.