My girlfriend and I are avid karaoke peeps. We just moved to LA from Santa Barbara and have been searching for good karaoke spots. So far, Brass Monkey has been one of the better singing spots, but has a few problems to be aware of. Let me preface this review by saying, in Santa Barbara I was a singing bartender at a popular karaoke spot and my girlfriend has KJ'd on a few occasions for her uncle who has one of the best shows you'll ever go to. That being said, we know what makes up good karaoke and good service.
Upon entering the bar we were (like the last poster) confronted by a cocktail waitress who was adamant about taking our drink order. I declined and told her we would try and find a spot at the bar. She looked at me like I was crazy and with quite an attitude persisted to convince me to order through her. I've managed a restaurant and bartended at a similar bar, and in no way should employees ever barrage a guest upon their arrival, it starts things off on a bad note. I brushed past her and ignored her request to serve us and headed for the bar. Once I got their, I noticed all the seats were taken so I asked the cocktail waitress if I could sit at a table, the only one which wasn't reserved for a party later. She reluctantly accepted, but told me she would have to kick me and my gf out of the seats once a larger party wanted to sit there. Mind you this was only a small two person table. I didn't really want to get into anything even though this is fatal protocol for a business who wants returning guests.
We finally ordered our first two domestic beers and put in our karaoke slips. The KJ started his show a little early at around 845 and we got in two songs before the bar completely filled up around 930. Throughout the meat of the night, the service was good, we weren't kicked out for a bigger party, and we got in 3 songs apiece before the rotation was 3 hours long (so go early).
After singing our last song, I asked the cocktail waitress, who had been attentive to us throughout the night if we could split the payment between my gf's and my credit cards. We had 5 beers apiece so I figured it would be pretty easy. Well her reaction was as though I asked her to bake me a cake. She asked, "seriously?". I said "yes, if it's not too much trouble". She huffed off and returned with our bills. We were surprised to see that Coors Light goes for $5 a bottle, especially after hearing about reasonable drink prices. $5 for C- is an absolute rip off but I guess it's not too unexpected for an LA bar.
All in all, my gf and I had a fun night, but we won't be going back to Brass Monkey until we've searched for better karaoke spots. If the beer was a little less expensive and the cocktail waitress not as pushy and bitchy, we would surely be returning customers.
Pros: good karaoke, good crowd
Cons: cocktail waitress' attitude, $5 domestic bottles