Backstage Bar & Grill

Dive Bar / Karaoke Bar / Restaurant
Backstage Bar & Grill Aspiring divas will want to head to Backstage Bar and Grill, a modest little dive bar that's home to one of the best karaoke scenes in town. Los Angeles United States 34.016252 -118.400097
3.77 23
Backstage Bar & Grill - Dive Bar | Karaoke Bar | Restaurant in Los Angeles.
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Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Aspiring divas will want to head to Backstage Bar and Grill, a modest little dive bar that’s home to one of the best karaoke scenes in town. Located across the street from Sony Studios, the venue attracts an exuberant... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 11am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Backstage Bar & Grill Review

The Scene

Aspiring divas will want to head to Backstage Bar and Grill, a modest little dive bar that's home to one of the best karaoke scenes in town.

Aspiring divas will want to head to Backstage Bar and Grill, a modest little dive bar that’s home to one of the best karaoke scenes in town.

Located across the street from Sony Studios, the venue attracts an exuberant crowd of local regulars, studio employees, hopeful singers, and maybe even a celeb or two who all come to stretch their vocal cords on the more than 125,000 songs available.

The space itself is little more than a dark room sparsely decorated with strings of twinkling lights and old photos – including a gem featuring Johnny Cash flipping off the crowd – and simply outfitted with a bar, a fire pit, a pool table, and a makeshift stage in the corner.

Though the ripped vinyl bar stools and beer-stained tables have seen better days, the outgoing patrons don’t mind at all – they’re happy just to get their spot in the singing lineup and then get hammered on cheap, strong drinks while they wait for their turn at the microphone.

The bar also provides plenty of flat-screen TVs to keep sports fans happy, but the real focus at Backstage is definitely the amateur entertainment, which usually includes a few wannabe actors living out their Broadway dreams and the requisite drunken birthday party belting out off-key tunes.

For a feel-good time in a friendly environment, it’s hard to beat Backstage, where even the shyest songbird – bolstered by a tequila shot or two – will feel comfortable grabbing the mic.

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Tip from Emma:

The line to sing fills up fast on weekend nights! Get your song requests in as soon as you arrive – anyone signing up after 11:30pm probably won’t get to rock out to Guns N’ Roses while playing air guitar.

  • Crowd

    Easygoing neighborhood locals, wannabe actors and musicians, workers from Sony Studios, and the occasional celebrity, 25 to 35.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Karaoke Thursdays through Saturdays from 8pm. Live music on Wednesdays, trivia on Sundays. Sports shown on several flat-screens Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Bar food, burgers, and salads. Happy Hour daily 4–8pm.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $4–$8, burgers and salads $7–$12. Beer $2–$6, cocktails $7+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Super casual, mostly t-shirts and jeans.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Biggest crowds show up for karaoke Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

  • Close By

    Joxer Daly’s Irish Pub and Restaurant (11168 West Washington Boulevard) has a similar dive feel with an Irish aesthetic.

Backstage Bar & Grill User Reviews

Average rating:
Fun, Drinks, And Great People
Krystle M. Aug 7, 2013
Whenever I go to Backstage there is always something happening. Once I went on a game night where we had to answer a numerous of questions while drinking cheap, conversation starter drinks. While another time it was 80's Karaoke. After having a couple of shots and mingling with the crowd I was on stage giving a full out performance to God knows what song, and having the crowd sing and dance along. The people here are great. The mixture of ages range from mid 20's to early 30s. With the bar being across from Sony studios you never know who you might run into. The past two times I've been there I met a couple of directors. The best part of this bar is the DRINKS ARE CHEAP.
Cheap drinks, butchered songs, and good times!
Elizabeth F. Aug 5, 2013
Backstage is the perfect dive bar for when you're in the mood for a no-nonsense fun night that won't leave you bankrupt. Their happy hour is 7 days a week and runs from 4-8 which is perfect for those of us who work a bit later. Their drinks are very cheap but get the job done. Domestic beers are $2 and wells start at $3. During the week, it's rarely ever jam-packed, but on the weekends it gets very full, and you'll probably have to wait up to an hour to karaoke (It's worth it!). That being said, the vibe is laid-back and everyone seems to be there to have a good time. You'd be surprised how well some people karaoke! Trust me, you have very little to lose and a great time to gain. Tip: On Mondays they serve their 1/2 pound Backstage burgers with garlic fries for $5. Not healthy by any means, but delicious and a STEAL.
A Succubus Behind the Movie Lot
James H. May 3, 2013
When you get fed up with everybody in Los Angeles trying to be somebody, and you long for a night that is stripped down, raw, and real, look no further than the hole-in-the-wall bar that is aptly called Backstage. Located just behind the Sony Studios back lot, in a sketched out neighborhood that is yet to catch up with the gentrification of downtown Culver City, Backstage does lure celebrities out of hiding and into the public, but rarely. It’s a dive bar, for sure, one of those venues where well drinks actually go down smooth, because the caustic fumes of cheap vodka and whiskey perfectly match the already ramshackle ambiance. Definitely steer clear if it irks you hearing your favorite ballads sung by tone deaf drunks. On Fridays, the karaoke rocks out. Supposing you can endure the good spirited wailing, in exchange, you will encounter bartenders who actually seem pleased to serve you, waitresses edging sideways, navigating the wall to wall densely packed crowd to bring you a deep fried snack, and best of all, beers priced at less than what you would pay for a six-pack of the same brand in a grocery store, unlike the robber baron clubs and lounges up in West Hollywood. Say what you will of it, a small town bar in the big city, Backstage is one place in Los Angeles where you could conceivably be the most beautiful person in the room.
Local regular and still obsessed!
Lindsey S. Apr 18, 2013
For you How I Met Your Mother fans out there, Backstage is like the MacLaren's Pub for me and my friends, but with karaoke! I have been going there for over a year now and still haven't had one bad experience. With the laid back atmosphere and great vibe, this dive bar is great for small and big groups, locals and out-of-town folk. A great highlight of the Culver City area. Thursdays thru Saturdays are karaoke nights, which draws in the biggest crowds. Be sure to get there before midnight if you want to sing! From time to time, the bartenders come up and sing a song or two - they must audition while applying to work at Backstage because they all have fabulous voices! Another unique trait to the Backstage personality. Sundays are trivia nights - smaller crowd, mostly locals, but still a great place to unwind and to test your pop culture knowledge (INSIDER TIP: look up the Billboard's Top 100 List before playing, 9 times out of 10 they have a question relating to that!). The best part? You can get a few drinks and good food for under $20. And some celebs like to stop by too - on one occasion, I saw and chatted with Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights! Still don't get tired of this lovable bar. Always so fun!
Always a good time...
Roshmond P. Mar 29, 2013
Let it be known that this place has one of the best house cover bands I've ever seen. I'm convinced they can cover anything, and the frontman is a true badass. This is one of my neighborhood bars. I go here when I'm ready for a lively crowd, warm atmosphere and the smell of heavy food in the air while I catch the game. Also, you get the unique vibe of laid back locals mixing with industry folks unwinding for the night, being that it's right behind the Sony lot. The happy hour is solid, easy on the wallet and usually pretty tame. It's on karaoke nights, where it can get a little hairy and the service might get dodgy, but you know what you're getting into. At it's best, Backstage is a Culver City mainstay with great local flavor. I perfect spot for impromptu celebrations.
Scream and Shout, and Let it all out!
Tira W. Mar 14, 2013
Karaoke, good food, many locals and always a good vibe! This is not “that place” where people go to show off their vocal chops and end up dominating every other song. It is a neighborhood hang out, where everyone is laidback and enjoying their time. Some nights they bring in cover bands singing classics. The venue can get stuffy, crammed, and pretty loud, but what do you expect…it’s a karaoke bar. They offer really good happy hour specials, even though their regular menu prices are reasonable. If you want a place to let loose and distress, this is it! You won’t be disappointed.
Unpretentious neighborhood bar - great for groups and the karaoke-inclined
Michael G. Feb 15, 2013
Backstage Bar and Grill (or simply "Backstage" for us Culver City locals) is a little removed from the downtown Culver City scene - and rightly so. The atmosphere here is a little dingy, a little funky...but the regulars wouldn't have it any other way. Famous for its weekend karaoke and cheap happy hour prices, Backstage is an ideal choice for groups - just make sure to arrive early enough to snag a table or you'll be forced to battle for standing room with the rest of the patrons (which sometimes can be fun, admittedly). Parking can also be somewhat of a chore if you're unwilling to walk the mile or so from the downtown CC parking lots. Overall, if you're looking to release your inner pop star via karaoke or simply want a cheap drink and a place to watch the Lakers game, Backstage is a great choice.
Great laid back atmosphere, wallet-friendly happy hour and karaoke!
Rachael J. Jan 8, 2013
If you're looking for a great place to just hang out with your friends, have a few drinks and share a tasty appetizer or two, Backstage is THE place. The atmosphere is laid back with an awesome mix of music, not to mention the prices are super cheap even after happy hour. I love that no matter what you're in the mood for, you can have an awesome time and just unwind. Play a game of pool, cuddle up by the fire pit, or belt out your favorite tunes with the crowd on karaoke night, there's something for everyone. I highly recommend Backstage as it's become my go-to for a fun night out!
Singing Time!
caroline h. Nov 30, 2012
This place is such a great place to bring your friends and family to. I had such a great time because we all danced while we were eating. The music is great and the people are great. The food is amazing too because they serve large portions and you can take the rest home to go! The drinks are fabulous! They have those exotic drinks but they also have such great beers from the draft. The drinks and food make this place the amazing place it is. It is not even that expensive either. Great prices and a great time!
Great bar for a fun night!
Golda C. Nov 29, 2012
I've been here for trivia on Sunday nights. The trivia questions can be quite challenging. The food is also really good, I particularly enjoyed the mac and cheese. Nice dive bar that's not too busy on Sunday nights. Check it out!
fun karaoke bar
Niki C. Nov 28, 2012
I've only ever been here once but this place is a local favorite with good prices on food and drinks and live entertainment on karaoke nights. If you love to sing karaoke, you may want to get there early because if you show up after 10pm, good luck even singing once. I didn't get to sing my one song until closing, and I was the last person to sing. The crowd here is super chill, so if you choose your song wisely you can really get the entire crowd going. I know I did, and it was the perfect way to end the evening. The people here were super friendly too. My friend and I ended up sharing a table with another couple of girls who we made friends with and hung out with that night. I would definitely come here again. Great vibe, great prices, great entertainment. What more do you really need?
cheap drinks, good music
Daniel H. Nov 7, 2012
Culver's made quite the resurgence in its nightlife as of late, but when it comes to putting a smile on your wallet, there's no where in the area that compares to Backstage Bar and Grill. I came here a few weeks ago with a big group of friends to watch a buddy's band play up on stage, and I couldn't believe I could get two well drinks for less than ten bucks. The vibe here is pretty laid back, there's people of all ages drinking through the fairly large space, or biting into some of the delicious food in the corner booths. You're sure to find all different levels of drunk, but by the end of the night your sure to see a rowdier crowd take over. If you are showing up on a night where there is music, leave your ideas on Plato's Republic at home - the music gets too loud for any real conversation. If you're looking for a mellow night out on a budget, I definitely recommend this place.
Cheap thrills
Elyssa D. Oct 24, 2012
Backstage Bar and Grill seems to be where all good (or bad) nights in Culver City end. $3 PBR's and jam-packed karaoke nights bring in all types, so expect a rowdy, unpretentious crowd. Whether you're here to watch the game or throw back cheap cocktails while listening to off-key rock ballads, Backstage has got you covered. But make no mistake - people don’t come here for high class ambiance or handpicked liquors. It’s the welcoming atmosphere and cheap drinks that keep Backstage packed most nights of the week. Show up early on karaoke nights (Thursday-Friday) to secure a spot on the sign-up sheet and keep an eye out for the occasional celeb drop-in from Sony studios across the street!
Sing Along Bar
Charlie V. Oct 5, 2012
Backstage is a fun place to come to if you want to drink and watch people make asses out of themselves. We came here for a friends birthday and I have to say I had fun! A word to those coming here: if you want to go on stage and sing your little heart out, do put yourself on the list early!by the time we got our names on the list, it was too late. So many people were going before us that we never got a chance to go up. The atmosphere is chill here. The thing that makes this place is the karaoke. People will sing along and have fun with the karaoke. If you are looking to dance, go somewhere else. Sure, people were dancing, but that is not what this place is about. Bring your friends, cut loose and sing aloud to your favorite song. That's what the people are here for. Good times and having fun. It's a good place to come to after. Long day and wanting to wind down and just have a great night.
Awesome!
Vivian N. Oct 5, 2012
I have a love hate relationship with this place, I sometimes can't decide between this and Brass Monkey. They are alike but the Karoake here is mindblowing! The best part of Backstage is, you never know when a celeb shall pop in. Last time I went there, it was Adam Levine from Maroon 5 and he gave a nice Karoake session before heading out with his drop dead gorgeous model girlfriend!!! Drinks are average price, dress code is laid back although the ladies love to step it up a bit (moi included). Best night seems to be thursday and fridays, in my opinion.
Awesomely laid back
Jessica G. Oct 5, 2012
The Backstage is a place I go when I want to kickback and just have a drink, or two, or three, or maybe 6, who's really counting...not me haha Every time I go I have a great time, it's not a place you go to dance, you go to have some drinks with friends, maybe have some food or join in on the karaoke. I don't remember what night is karaoke night but it was pretty fun. Aside from karaoke night, it's a chill stop. They play all sorts of music. I'm not from Culver City but apparently it seems like that's were a lot of the locals go to hang out with old high school friends. That's always nice to see. Everyone there is friendly, the bartenders are great, one of them even joined in on karaoke night. I'm always up for The Backstage when I don't feel like dressing up and dancing.
unexpectedly amazing quesadilla
Sarah S. Oct 4, 2012
It took me a long time to make it to Backstage Bar because of how many people have complained about this place: too many Sony people, too much industry talk, too many people hogging the karaoke mic. I must have gone on just the right night because there was space around the fire pit, space in the karaoke lineup, and a really really great, diverse group of people sharing the space with me. Their bar food is also delicious. I loved their chicken quesadilla so much i made it the subject of this review. Arriving early on weeknights are a way to avoid the aspects that garner Backstage Bar negative reviews.
A cheap alternative to downtown Culver
Kate C. Aug 14, 2012
A quick walk from Sony Studios, Backstage offers West-siders a place to relax, drink a cheap beer, and live out karaoke dreams. The vibe at Backstage is very relaxed. Go dressed up in your hottest outfit, or go in wearing a t-shirt and jeans....Either way, the lighting is so dim that no one notices. The crowd consists of mainly 20-30 year olds, but don't be surprised to find a few older regulars. The food at Backstage matches its decor, greasy, cheap, and lackluster (in flavor). Offering standard bar food (nachos, quesadillas, and fries), Backstage offers a cheap alternative to food in Downtown Culver. When you go to Backstage, most likely it is someone's birthday. Don't be surprised to find a bunch of young 20-somethings tearing up the dance floor and demonstrating their vocal abilities. With large TV's lining the wall, onlookers can sing alone, mostly hoping out to drown out the off-key renditions of patrons. As you sit there insulting the talents of drunken patrons, you secretly hope that someone dares you to sing. Unfortunately, you won't be able to live out your dream. The sign-up list is full by 9, and your fate for the night is sealed. Still, your relatively low-priced beer ($6-8) may help ease the pain inflicted upon your ears. The waitresses and bartenders at backstage are slow. Be prepared to flag down the staff to get service. If you sit at a table, be prepared to start a tab at the bar to keep your drink flow going while the waitress wanders aimlessly amongst a crowd of drunkards. Regardless of the negative aspects of this bar, it truly is non-pretentious atmosphere for those who are looking to avoid the wannabe restaurants and bars in downtown Culver. Overall, you'll most likely have a decent time (if you drink enough).
Welcoming karaoke, but show up early
Chris M. Aug 13, 2012
Backstage is right across the street from Sony Studios in Culver City which means it is a little separated from the rest of the downtown area, but it is not lacking in patrons because of this. If you don't want to wait in line show up before about 9:30 on weekends. They do accept table reservations so call ahead if you have a group. The vibe at Backstage is very laid-back and welcoming, the DJ and the crowd is happy to see anyone get up there and belt one out from any genre. The general crowd tends to be 20 and 30 somethings, but I have seen karaoke done by folks well into their 60s. The song catalog is massive but karaoke standards are still the most commonly heard. Groups of frat boy types will sometimes bring a group of 6 up to massacre a song, sometimes a pair of girls will go up each hoping the other will pick up the bulk of the singing, a few awkward older guys will try to sing a pop song they don't really know, and then there are some really good singers of all ages and types. The bartenders and servers will sing a few songs throughout the night and those girls can sing. Last time I went, TK and Brittania (sp?) both showed up most of the patrons showing off their pipes. Drinks and food are reasonably priced. The drink menu is exactly the same as Mom's Bar in West LA so I am guessing they must share ownership. The beer selection is not my favorite, but that's not why you come. Also don't come if you want to talk as they turn up the speakers pretty loud. The fire pit area is kind of cool for a group, though the view is a little obstructed to the stage. All in all a good karaoke time.
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