All good nights begin with a strong foundation of handpulled Chinese noodles. Vegetarians be wary: it might be difficult to get full on meatless dishes here. Start the night by nabbing the round table at Lam Zhou off the East Broadway F. If you need a beverage, the self-serve refrigerator is outside (we know, it’s confusing). Treat yourself to the Beef Noodle Soup (The #1) or the Noodles in Minced Pork Sauce (The #11) while relishing in the live slapping sounds of the old man pulling noodles in the back. Douse the dumplings (fried or boiled, you can’t go wrong) in all the sauces: light soy, chili oil, sriracha and vinegar. Be generous with the vinegar and you will be rewarded.
Then, drag your satiated, noodle-saturated selves two and a half blocks to Leadbelly on Orchard. You’ll be surprised that this adorable oyster and liquor bar is so trendy and not crowded. The drinks can get a bit pricy for C-town but grab a table and split their fresh Whiskey Ginger pitcher. It’ll go a long way.
Technically LES but close enough; Fontana’s will treat you to the next few rounds. The drinks here are not particularly fancy, but you’re a little boozed up from Leadbelly anyway, right? The back room is sneakily large. Oh, look! A pool table! Whatever.
When we first heard about exceptional karaoke outside of Koreatown, we were skeptical. When we heard that we could book a 10-person room for $75 an hour which INCLUDED another $75 tab of bar food and drinks, we couldn’t believe it. We were pleasantly astounded by K-One. Those familiar with room karaoke (where a room usually includes a huge cushy sofa, two mics, multiple screens for lyrics, and a buzzer to call in a waitstaff) will find that K-One utilizes some newfangled technology where the songlist is not an encyclopedia-sized book, but a touchscreen with a rather manageable learning curve. The English songlist is vast, mostly popular songs from the 80s forward.
Extreme bonus points: instead of weird, not-entirely related videos to accompany your lyrics, K-One actually plays the music video for many of its songs. This means you can finally sing No Scrubs by TLC WITH Left-Eye’s rap (RIP).
Other unexpected show stoppers may or may not include: Brian Mcknight - Back at One, Madonna - Borderline, Adele - Hometown Glory, Beatles - Oh, Darling!
Are you tired yet? Great! Let’s go dancing. Don’t make the mistake of going to M1-5 around midnight, unless you WANT to be squished by a bunch of sweaty, drunk bodies. No. The club thins out at 2am. That’s when you’ll strike. M1-5 has no cover and a line that moves quickly, if there is a line at all. The music is the perfect dance blend of Top 40 and hip-hop from all decades. Music videos with oldschool iTunes visualizer transitions are projected onto the walls and played on the screens above the island bar in the middle. If you have a coat or a bag, don’t worry — there’s a secret subterranean coat check downstairs.
20 Piece Chicken McNuggets. Because you can.