Monday, January 30, 2006
Singing Happy Birthday at Oiwake's,
Oh my! It's been a long while since I've gone to Oiwake's. (About five years?) Located in the Japanese Village Plaza on the second floor and accessible from the parking lot, this Japanese restaurant and karaoke bar reminds me of something I'd find out in Michigan. Lacquered wood, big screen television with the Laker game, other tv screens around the restaurant, and a cheesy mirrored disco ball to get you in the mood for some John Travolta and Olivia Newton John's "Summer Lovin'". With any karaoke place, you've got a plethora of songs to choose from - just flip the sheet protected pages like FM in the above picture, write down the number associated with your favorite song, and...voila! You're an instant star!
MS and I went to Oiwake's for dinner and drinks to celebrate our friend AO's birthday. But no one from our party wanted to go up and sing or dance in front of an audience. Instead, we cheered others on by clapping, shouting, and whistling. Some guy who turned another year older in his 30s belted out a bad bout of Britney's "Oops, I did it again!" This guy told some pretty lame jokes after a few drinks but had fun nonetheless. After all, that's what it's all about - having a good time.
When our waiter came by for our dinner orders, MS and I got a couple teri plates and some pitchers of whatever was on tap. I ordered the beef teriyaki plate that came with a side of iceberg lettuce salad, a bowl of white rice, and an orange slice. MS ordered one of the combos with chicken teriyaki, miso soup, and some fried gyoza. (Lucky for me, he always lets me sample a bite from his plate!) My beef was nice and sweet, dripping with just enough sauce. Too bad I had to cut off a lot of fat from my meat. (sorry, no pictures of the food.)
We enjoyed the bar food with a few glasses of cold beer. Listening to some of the older crowd get up and sing was good. Watching some of their funky moves, however, was another story.
A tip given to us by our friendly waiter was to NOT order any of their noodle dishes...
"Do not get the ramen here. It's not that good."
- check! I'll just stick with my favorite Ramenya on Sawtelle.
But for some casual eats and low key fun, I may head out to Oiwake's to relive some college memories and if I'm extra daring and spunky, get up and sing my little heart out.
Oiwake - where you can "eat, drink, sing, have fun"
street: 122 Japanese Village Plaza. Los Angeles, CA. 90012
hrs: lunch buffett | 11a-3p
dinner buffett | 5p-9p
karaoke | 9p-2a