My friend wants to celebrate her birthday in New York, and has apparently deemed me the sounding board to all her suggestions. She is essentially looking for a place with an aura like Buddha Bar in Paris, or Man Ray (where she went for her bday last year). I already nixed Tao, she brought up Mr. Chow which I steered her away from as well.. and all of my other suggestions she seems to just blink at. I've mentioned Lupa, Suba, 66, Le Souk.. nothing seems to click. She is a gigantic fan of Balthazar, if that helps, but decided not to make reservations there because she couldn't get one early enough. She also liked Mercer Kitchen, where we went a couple of months back for another birtI'm not really sure where to go with this, so any suggestions would be helpful. (She also liked Mercer Kitchen, where we went a couple of months back for another birthday, if that gives more direction.) Something in the price range of the above restaurants, good scene, preferably in an area where there are trendy bars nearby. Location doesn't really matter, although she'd like to stay away from SoHo if possible. I'm at my wit's end, help!