Karaoke and Asian Cuisine at The MIX

It’s been a long and lonely winter, leaving the vitamin D-deprived, stir-crazy zombie staff here at The Advocate no other choice but to step away from the keyboard and sing our blues away. True to our calling, we did this as part work function, part local restaurant and entertainment review.

When I first arrived at MIX Asian Bistro in downtown Corvallis, I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place. We had reserved a private karaoke room the previous week – a killer deal at $28 per hour – but the dining room was silent. Well, not completely silent; it did have a healthy supply of patrons digging into amply stuffed, delectable-looking fare with chopsticks and forks clicking and clanking.

Owner Yi Zhao later explained that the rooms were acoustically engineered during construction. Using layer upon layer of different noise-dampening materials, all the moshing, ballad belting, and lyrical bombardments are kept out of earshot of those with a more relaxed evening in mind.

Eventually, I found my way to Room 207 where the homies were well into “All That She Wants” by Ace of Bass. Black leather couches wrapped around the back wall with a couple stools and a short table in the center. The walls were modernly decorated with wavy patterns that became somewhat trippy once the laser light machine got fired up.

A huge TV played videos – there were naked babies when I entered, but later that night it showed The Beatles, Kid Rock, Eminem, and some really weird, possibly fan fiction videos.

Each room has a computer in the corner allowing partiers to build a playlist of awesomeness, terribleness, or some combination of the two. Searching for songs is a breeze and there are even separate tabs for English and non-English music.

How much music do they have, exactly? “We have like 30 terabytes of songs, so it might be a lot,” exclaimed Yi.

Service is another strong suite at The MIX. Our order – tofu with ground pork, chicken lo mein, steak and onions, and an armful of ales – was delivered right to the room. I couldn’t believe it: they came in, deposited our fine Asian cuisine, and got back out before I could belt, “Achy Breaky Heart.”

Though my meal was the bee’s knees, apparently I could have done better. “Kung po chicken is the best, that’s my favorite actually,” said Yi. Well, now I know.

After singing to our heart’s content for over two hours, we packed it up and headed out. On the way home I thought to myself, why is singing questionable songs in a little room with a bunch of sweaty Advocate staff so much fun? Of course hanging with your pals is a good time, but the whole activity is just very cathartic – and that is why it is so important for Corvallis.

“This is a college town, so people need to relax after a long week,” explained Yi. “So it’s dedicated for college students [because] you know we have pretty stressful jobs during the day and we are looking for some self-expression after a heavy schedule day.”

Thanks to the soundproof rooms, nobody else has to hear your self-expression either. So if you just killed your exams, got killed by your exams, or just want a night on the town with the peeps, drop by The MIX. Good food, good music (if you choose it), good times – thanks MIX, you’re the bomb.

Open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., The MIX, 106 NW 2nd St, offers an $8.95 lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., delivers to the Corvallis area, and can be messaged directly on Facebook.

By Anthony Vitale

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