Settle into one of many urbanized nooks in the expansive reaches of Karaoke Boho, where private brick-lined lounge rooms come fully furnished with top-quality speaker boxes and crisp flatscreens. This generously sectioned-off space provides you and your backup singers the freedom to let loose on the mics with the safety of a buffer between you and crooning karaoke strangers. To loosen up the vocal chords, order some courage-boosting liquid concoctions such as melon balls, martinis, Long Islands, and other fine spirits ($7–$12 each).
Rihanna, Shania Twain, Mumford & Sons, and Elton John. That's not from the playlist of an indecisive radio DJ—it's from the song list at Radio Star Karaoke, which boasts more than 28,000 English and Spanish tunes. Visitors belt out melodies from nine private rooms, the biggest of which can fit up to 40 singers. Bolder singers exercise their pipes on the stage of the ultra-modern bar area, decked out with translucent plastic chairs illuminated by multicolored, club-style lighting. Dots of laser light flit across the entire space, framing wrap-around couches and flat-screen TVs. In the front hallway, a museum of vintage microphones and RCA Victor radios is on display to inspire singers. Fueling the festivities, which on some nights can last until 4 a.m., is a menu of spirited beverages and sharable appetizers that have all been stolen from Prince’s kitchen.
It’s a typical night at Mickey's Bar and Grill—sports games glisten on rows of flat-screen HDTVs, upbeat jukebox tunes fill the air, and friends crowd around the bar, calling for shots of Jack Daniels and pints of Guinness. Bartenders bustle about behind the bar, whipping up the martinis and mixed drinks lauded by reporters from The Record. Servers emerge from the kitchen, bearing platters of lauded, plump buffalo wings, juicy burgers, and mini sliders. Some nights, daring guests take the stage for karaoke, boldly belting out popular tunes or whispering confessions of overdue library books into the microphone amid the cheers and applause of the boisterous audience.
Neon lights dart across the Cali Red Lounge to decorate the stone and tile walls with luminous graffiti. These rays of indigo and green provide a backdrop that complements colorful signature cocktails such as the refreshing Sunflower made with peach schnapps and Midori, the pucker-inducing appletini, and the all-ages water on the rocks. The expansive space fits a variety of moods with beer-pong tables, flat-screen TVs for sports, and a network of private Japanese-style karaoke rooms. As disco lights splash banquettes with glowing confetti, patrons can croon a beloved ballad and munch on Cali Red's savory snacks including wine-flavored edamame beans, onion rings, and popcorn chicken.
The sound and warmth of a crackling wood-fired grill drape across Leña's sleek, honey-hued wooden floors and circular tables. As the early-morning sun creeps across rough-hewn walls and racks of kindling, crispy potato and beef empanadas rest beside cool glasses of mango, pineapple, and honeydew juices. Chefs begin with a blank canvas during lunch and dinner, giving diners the choice to adorn plates with Latin-inspired chicken, steak, or fish heated by crimson fingers of flame. A septet of sauces calls upon flavors such as blue cheese and smoked chipotle while drawing nervous glances from collectors of rare napkins, and 10 additions, such as avocado and coconut rice, add healthy accents to feasts.
Amateur singers of all skill levels grab microphones and belt out show-stopping tunes on the stage at Keats, entertaining friends and bar patrons alike. A line of performers forms seven nights each week, and, according to staff, it has sometimes included celebrities such as Vanessa Carlton and Nick Lachey as well as cocker spaniels dressed in trench coats. At the bar, the sounds of live karaoke mingle with the clinking of pint glasses as servers arrive with plates of fish 'n' chips, burgers, and spicy buffalo wings.