as usual, my friends have tapped me to choose the restaurant for someone's birthday celebration. unfortunately, the guest of honor has made a request that's not really within my area of expertise, so i'm counting on my fellow Hounds to help protect my rep as the food expert of the group!
and i quote:
Me: "if you want me to choose the restaurant, i at least need to know what kind of food you want and which neighborhood you'd prefer."
Him: "nice but reasonable sushi or something Asian-fusion-y anywhere south of midtown."
forget the "reasonable" part for now, because he's not paying anyway ;)
of the group that's going (early- to mid-30's M&F, anywhere from 4-8 of us, head count hasn't been finalized), i'm honestly the only Chowhound. and Mr. Birthday is a bit of a partier, so a traditional sushi bar isn't going to work. he likes his cocktails, and will definitely prefer a hip, sceney vibe. Buddakan was my first instinct, but i sifted through a zillion past threads to get a sense of other options and there really doesn't seem to be a consensus on food, nor is there much feedback about the atmosphere at other places.
he just moved here from Southern California and has been to Mr Chow in LA several times, so that's out. i'd like to avoid Koi because i've been to the LA location numerous times, plus it's not "south of midtown" - nor is Asia de Cuba, which we've both also been to (and most of the food is pretty unremarkable). Tao isn't an option because the food sucks.
so at this point, i'm looking at Buddakan, Megu or Spice Market. maybe Sushi Samba, but i'm not a huge fan. my only other consideration was Chow Bar, but i haven't been there in about 10 years, and IIRC, it's small and not all that high-energy.
Edit: does anyone go to Bond St anymore? i haven't been there at years, and i wasn't bowled over by the food back then.
has anyone been to the newly-opened Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar)?
thoughts? i could really use some help on this one, and the clock is ticking because of course he left it for the last minute - it's next Friday, the 18th.