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Super-sized, so room aplenty for diversity of crowd and sound. Populist music program includes dance, hip hop, pop, and rock DJs. Big-budget sound and light, although décor is by-the-numbers: slick red circling banquettes, backlit stairs, upper balcony reserved for VIPs. Bottle service available for those still not put off by such practices.


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With Tonic gone and the Knitting Factory banished to Brooklyn, subterranean joint helps fill the holes in the downtown music scene. World music is the focus, crowd shifts from night to night with the regions. Low bottleneck entry opens up into unexpectedly big room, with tables facing the stage and a long bar. Tapas menu looks to Turkey and Spain, picks up a little Indian along the way. Name comes from a Romany journey, come join your fellow cultural gypsies.

Above Allen

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Thompson LES’ party den. Stephen Sprouse prints harken to downtown ghosts, while shmancy $15 cocktails shout out to hood’s posher present. If you have the card, you’ll skip the line and head right up to the top of the LES; otherwise, dress to kill. Hotel guests get the preferential, natch.


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Young Hollywood still flocks to Richie Akiva’s wood-paneled homage to deforestation. Hallway tube leads to soaring main dining space, which resembles the inside of a just-popped roll of Pillsbury dough. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli serves up surprisingly hearty grub, with heavy meats and greenmarket veggies. Downstairs Birch Room lounge carries on tree theme. Models, promoters, and assorted trustafarians strike up desultory conversations about themselves.


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Airbrushed bikini babe artwork. Pool room in back, stage down under, balcony for swinging, and plenty of elbow room all around. So spacious we sometimes get lost walking to the bathroom. Dyke-O-Rama Saturdays, be scared and titillated at the same time. Esoteric beer list served up by friendly staff. Live bands from friendly indie to skull crushing noise.

Home Sweet Home

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Chandeliers mark stairs leading to Twin Peaks vibed drinking hole. Basement decked with more chandeliers, long bar notched with dioramas. Taxidermy and fleabag couches. Grungy in a good way, though crowd is too young to yet be creased by care and disappointment. Low on pretense, stellar DJs, goths, punks, weirdness.