Monday, February 11, 2008

Yakitori Boy

Saturday night some friends, Mike, and me headed in to Philly for cheese steaks, had a few beers at one of my favorite Philly haunts, Tattooed Mom's (the upstairs) and then made our way over to Chinatown to what all we knew was a brand new Japanese Karaoke bar. Our friend's co-worker was having a party there and he invited us so we kind of crashed the party.

Upon walking in, I was pretty damn impressed. We were whisked away escorted through a very nice looking restaurant and sushi bar to an elevator where we were brought to the second floor, out through a very large posh looking bar to a hallway with many doors on each side. Each door had a small slit window so you could see in just enough. I couldn't help but smile. One room exposed two girl friends dancing rather vivaciously in a small room amongst their friends to what I'm sure was either a Madonna or Spice Girls song. Another room revealed a bachelor-ette party doing more of the same.

Our escort opened the door to what was to be our party and there sat a handful of drunk Asians singing God only knows what.

It was a small room and hot so we hit the bar for some Sapporo. I later ventured back for a decent rendition of the duet Summer Lovin' (Grease) with a new friend. I know everyone gets a little hotter the drunker one gets, but does that work for singing? I can't help but wonder if the sake and Sapporo improved my voice or at least how it was received.

We planned to stay for fifteen minutes, stayed for five hours. At one point, I was singing in the little room thinking to myself how much it was just like the karaoke scene in the movie Lost in Translation minus Scarlett's pink wig when a waiter brought in the most beautiful and BIGGEST platter of California, salmon, and eel rolls. The ginger was formed into the shape of a flower as was the wasabi molded into a similar shape. It was the freshest and most delicious California roll I've ever had. Yes, I was drunk. But I really think it was.

Later my group ended up at the large bar and Rudy, Roman, Jay and Mike belted out the funniest and most enthusiastic version of Journey's Don't Stop Believing I think anyone ever heard. The whole bar applauded. I then took on Lisa Loeb's Stay and Mike seems to think the bartender turned off the music after my performance. I think he's just picking on me - I did fine.

Really. ;-)

Anyway, the night ended around 3 am with all of us crammed back into the little room, all of us singing at the top of our lungs to none other than Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody head banging and all. You know it. And let me tell you something, there's something pretty damn cool about being drunk, drinking Japanese red wine out of the bottle and singing Bohemian Rhapsody with a bunch of Japanese people you've never met.

I would definitely go back there. The rooms can be rented for $30/hour and vary in size. Before 11:00, the rooms are $15/hour. The bar prices are pretty ridiculous. However, I was told that the food prices are very reasonable which offsets the price of the alcohol. I think that if you rented a room, it may not hurt to bring a bottle of a little something in addition to getting your Sapporo at the bar. Overall, I really liked the place and would totally have a party there.

But I think my friends and especially Mike have had enough of my voice to last a while.


Doug Walsh said...


I'm so glad that we've gotten past the phase where it was "cool to hate karaoke" because it's actually really fun. Especially if you're with the right group of friends... or Asian businessmen.

And yes, Don't Stop Believing and Bohemian Rhapsody are always big hits.

The only one I would add to that for the guys is "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. We end up belting that one out everywhere we go. That and Don't Stop Believing and Journey's other goodie, Faithfully.

Perceptiveone said...

Yes! I was just convincing my best friend that the karaoke party that she's supposed to attend this weekend will be a lot of fun. At my high school post-graduation all night party, I sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" with a group of friends. It was a ton of fun.

I loved reading your entry, and immediately when you began describing the night, I thought of the seen in "Lost in Translation" as well. What an awesome time you had..I'm so glad! :-)