Tokya is located on 58th street (between Madison and Park)–an unlikely strip with vibrant nightlife nestled in Midtown. With the Four Seasons, Lavo and Tao all located on this street, don’t be surprised to find paparazzi staked out stalking glitterati and celebrities. So where does Tokya fit in? Well, I was rather curious myself. I was invited to a Superbowl party here so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to check out this Japanese-inspired nightclub. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a club to be honest, now that I’m in my thirties and married, let’s be real, why on earth would I need to pay for bottle service? But I digress, I figured why not take advantage of a fun night out on the town.
While I had read in the New York Times that the door wasn’t too difficult, I have to say that even with our names on the list we were scrutinized for more than a few seconds–and this was at 8pm. Once we were approved (phew, still got it), we entered this subterranean spot and were seated in one of the corner tables–great for people-watching. While celebs like Drake, Fabolous and Trey Songz have all hosted parties here, I’d say that on a typical night you can expect your typical finance crowd intent on wooing younger girls (read: paying for their bottle service). I also suspect some of the crowd might be spillover from Lavo and Tao. The spot itself is intimate but doesn’t get the party started until late in the evening or early in the morning. I loved the red lights and also the changing reel of videos projected on the walls. My particular favorite was when they had a cityscape of Tokyo. I need to get there one of these days.
Since I’m not the 20-something darling that I still think I am in my mind, we decided to order some dinner before boozing–since let’s be honest, no one wants to see me twerking late night on an empty stomach. Sushi is served by the chef Eiji Takase from 5 to 11 p.m. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food as well as its presentation. We started with the Miso-Glazed Black Cod, which was delicious. Then we sampled the Habanero Salmon, Yellowtail Jalapeño and Kanzan rolls. My husband couldn’t convince me to try the Hard 8, which is cilantro, shiso, jalapeno, salmon, melted mozzarella cheese, crispy onions, spicy mayo and sweet soy. While the cheese made it a bit of a hard sell for me, friends that we met later assured us that it was quite delicious. There’s always next time.
Salmon Habanero Roll
Hard 8 Sushi Roll
Bottle service requires a $1,500 minimum per table. Cocktails are available at the bar for $10 to $18 but prepare to brave the crowds, which can get pretty tight. There’s a small selection of bottled beers ($10) but my favorite beverage of the evening went to an IPA from Kura Brewery. It’s pretty pricey at $18 a pop but it was wonderfully different. Least favorite went to Bunny–a sparkling sake. It didn’t taste as badly as it smelled but I’d stick to the basics! Cocktails were pretty good as well.
If you’re in midtown and looking for a fun, clubby night out, check out Tokya,
40 East 58th Street. 212-308-6888.
Sunday to Thursday 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday to 4 a.m.
*Images: Credit Roy Rochlin & Lawrence Akiya