Karaoke Bars in Orange County, CA
So you're looking for some good karaoke in Orange County. After doing a quick search, I found that there were no good sites that had detailed reviews of karaoke places around the OC. For shame! Since these places tend to be varied in their fun factor and atmosphere, it's scary to aimlessly pick a place and hope for the best. Luckily, I plan on helping you in your quest for finding a good karaoke spot.
I hope you've already read my 10 Best and Worst Karaoke Songs to Sing hub so you don't embarrass yourself before going to any of these joints. If not, go read that before or after reading this. Here are my honest reviews of the karaoke places I've been to in Orange County, CA.
Elvis Karaoke Studios, Fountain Valley
Pros: Bring 2 friends or 10 friends, you pay for your own personal room (named after famous musicians like Elvis), and you don't have to wade through drunk people to get to the stage.
Fun for those who get stage fright or don't like singing in front of strangers- it's easier to make a fool of yourself at Elvis because less people are watching you!
You always get to pick the songs that are sung, and you don't have to listen to some old guy sing country songs all night (a SERIOUS pro). They've got a pretty great song selection here…I love my 80s and random pop music, and there was plenty of that to choose from. They even had Disney songs! They've got the books of Asian songs too, if that's what you're seeking.
Cons: It ain't free. Rooms cost a fee per hour you're in them. You also can't booze it up- they have a no alcohol rule. They do, however, have lots of (semi-overpriced) sodas and snacks you can purchase.
You have to work the karaoke machine yourself and put the songs in with a remote. It's not hard, but it does get glitchy sometimes. Some of the songs we put in didn't take, and there was one song we just couldn't get to play.
Welcome to Pineapple Hill.... (it's amazing what you can find on YouTube)
Pineapple Hill Grill and Saloon, Tustin
Pros: Plenty of space for you and your party to spread out. Sit at the bar, take over a couch or grab a table. It doesn't seem to get overcrowded here, so you're bound to have a spot to sit. Drinks are also reasonably priced.
Another huge pro (especially for attention whores): you can sing anywhere in the entire bar! There's no stage, but instead they've strategically placed flat screen TVs on the walls- pick any screen to help you with the lyrics. You can sing while you're sitting, you can stand up and sing OR you can be obnoxious and walk around while you sing (I did and it was fun).
The crowd seems to be pretty cool here, and the amount of stupid drunks isn't as substantial as most karaoke bars. If you're looking for a supportive crowd, this is the place.
Cons: There's no stage. If you're not a karaoke person, singing here can be real awkward. If you choose to stand, you'll probably be standing right next to a bunch of strangers while you sing. Not for the weak-hearted.
Also, this can be kind of an old people hangout. Though they tend to congregate at the bar and may not pay attention to your singing, this is not the best place to make new friends if you're under 50.
The karaoke DJ allows people to sing anything (at least when I went), which I think tends to be more of a con than a pro. We had to listen to a bunch of depressing Sarah MacLachlan songs because the same girl kept putting them in...karaoke DJ didn't stop depressed girl at all, which would have been nice.
Taka-O, San Clemente
Pros: This is the ultimate karaoke party bar in Orange County. It's everything you think of when you hear karaoke bar: it's loud, everybody is wasted by 11pm and people mostly sing fun songs that everybody knows. It's also a Japanese/sushi restaurant...great if you're hungry (but the restaurant doesn't stay open as long as the bar does).
Taka-O is open every night for karaoke. It starts at 8pm Sunday through Thursday and 9pm Friday and Saturday. After 9pm, you gotta be 21 to be in here; but you can bring your kids for karaoke from 8-9pm.
The crowd is usually crazy here. If they don't like something you're singing, you'll know it (this is where I've gotten groans and sighs). But if you sing something they do like, you'll be a big hit. This crowd looooves singing along, so you'll never feel like you're alone on the stage. People are mostly friendly too and will often give high fives to their favorite singers.
Cons: The usual karaoke DJ is a stickler when it comes to song choice. You won't get to sing just anything here- he tends to favor the 80s rock songs: Guns N Roses, Journey, anything that sounds similar. If you like singing opera or anything weird, I guarantee you'll never get to go up and sing. He also seems to dislike most pop songs, just to warn you.
There are never enough tables for everyone to sit because it's a small bar. Get here early if you want a table, especially if you've got a good sized group with you. As the night goes on, tons of people end up standing and fill the areas in between tables. Don't come here if you're claustrophobic!
This place is a straight up bar, so also don't come here if you hate being bumped into, almost having a drink spilled on you or having people yell at you from the stage. Also: smokers love coming here (karaoke DJ smokes too), and they leave the door open where all the smokers smoke, so avoid this place if that bothers you.
American Idol contestants sing at Taka-O?
Patsy's Irish Pub, Mission Viejo
Pros: Another place that has karaoke every night. I like the stage here because it's in the corner...it allows singers to choose between standing in plain sight or being semi-hidden by the huge TV. If you're a shy karaoke goer, this is a good place to start.
The atmosphere here is chill. It's a more laid back karaoke place where people tend to sit and enjoy the singers. Crowd here doesn't seem to get rowdy, and the bonus of this place is that it's split down the middle with a wall- the karaoke room is essentially separated from the bar area, so you can escape to the bar area if you're tired of watching.
There are a good number of tables here, but it does fill up. So get here at a fairly decent time (my guess would be before 11pm) and you should find a place to sit. Also: the karaoke DJ when I went was really nice and seriously appreciates people who can sing decently.
Cons: REALLY weird people hang out here. This is the karaoke place on this list where you have the best chance of being bothered by a total stranger. And it's because this place tends to attract crazies. I couldn't tell you why, but it's the darn truth.
If you're looking for karaoke excitement, this isn't your place. It's so mellow, it can be boring for those of you who are used to crazy places like Taka-O. People sing their songs, sometimes people sing along, everyone claps, and they move onto the next song.
And to be honest, Patsy's doesn't really attract the best singers. So if you have a good ear, you might be a bit pained by some of the people who like singing here. [When I went, my friends and I seemed to be the only group who could sing well-and the DJ told us so.]
Plush Karaoke Lounge, Irvine
Pros: This karaoke place is BOTH plush and lounge. It's like Elvis where you reserve a room for you and your buddies, but this karaoke place was much nicer than Elvis. Rooms were comfy, and they have actual food you can order and a huge menu of drinks (boba, soda, even some alcohol like beer).
Song selection here was good. They have a book for Asian songs, then another book for English songs. They had tons of hilarious pop songs that my friends and I had a blast singing. Song selection was pretty current too, better than some karaoke bars I've been to.
The other great part about this place is their hours. Mon-Fri they're open 7pm-2am. Sat-Sun they're open 3pm-2am. Staff is accommodating. When we went in, they didn't have any rooms available. They offered to call us when a room opened up, which was cool because this place is in a shopping center with a bunch of places to eat/drink/hang out.
Cons: Again, like Elvis, you gotta pay to karaoke here. The prices seemed pretty standard for the rooms, but you could end up spending a good chunk of change here if you get food and drinks as well. Plush seems like a busy karaoke lounge, so it might not be the best place to stroll into if you're looking for a room right away.
The system here was a little hard to figure out at first. We struggled for a good 15 minutes to get the hang of it, but it's fine once you realize how it works. They explained it to us. We were just slow at picking it up.
- Elvis Karaoke Studios
- Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill Tustin - Tustin, CA
18 Reviews of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill Tustin "I don't know if they have karaoke every night. I went on a Tues night and a few patrons looked a little confused when it all went into full swing. Drinks are well poured ;) and my
- Taka-o Karaoke
- Patsy's Irish Pub - Mission Viejo, CA
26 Reviews of Patsy's Irish Pub "Ive spent many nights at this place... This is my regular Friday and Saturday night hangout. Fair drink prices and a mix of people of all ages and races. Inside you'll find plenty of seating (not
- Plush Karaoke Lounge
More by this Author
I've logged a lot of concert time. After seeing hundreds of bands, mostly at general admission shows (seats are for wimps), you learn a thing or two. I've done it all: backstage, onstage, met bands, crowd surfed,...
I'll admit it. It's embarrassing, but my friends and I are karaoke junkies. It wasn't always this way. We would karaoke every now and then, for something different to do. Now, we crave it. We make lists of songs to sing...
People in long distance relationships are like the kid in your class who does the extra hard math problems at the end of each section just for fun. Or the person who wakes up at 4AM to run 16 miles every day, up a...