The Eats: Tokyo Record Bar offers NYC a unique dining experience
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in New York City, look no further than Tokyo Record Bar. This unassuming restaurant tucked away below ground in Greenwich Village, is the perfect destination for foodies and music aficionado alike.
Tokyo Record Bar is an Izakaya style meal. For those that don’t know what that means (I only learned recently), they’re the Tapas of Asian cuisine. You get several small plates throughout the meal and typically, at least in New York, the menu changes daily, so you never get the same experience.
However, TRB does something a little different. Along with their ever-changing menu of fresh fish and exotic seafood-based dishes (one of ours was something akin to a lobster roll but fried and absolutely to die for), you get to help a live DJ curate the playlist for the night.
The small, 18-seater restaurant does two to three dining times a night, depending on the day of the week. It’s not easy to get reservations, but if you do, you’re in for a real experience.
Upon arrival, you enter through the upstairs champagne bar, and when your dining time begins, they take you downstairs for the main event. From there, you’re handed both a drink menu and music playlist. The playlist includes all of the records they have and the tracks that are available to play that night. You write your preferred song down and give it to an ACTUAL LIVE DJ. None of this digital madness done on a mac laptop, this (in our case) BADASS CHICK, custom curates the playlists to go with the dishes throughout the night.
The food is fantastic. Fresh and delicious. However, it’s really the atmosphere that makes Tokyo Record Bar. It’s clear that the staff love each other and what they do. They’re knowledgeable about the food and the sake menu, they dance with each other throughout the night, and they make you want to be part of their cool in-crowd. But like, the cool music/foodie in-crowd that’s not at all pretentious or off-putting.
I had the absolute best time and have made it a mission to bring out-of-towners here in the future. So, if you’re looking for a dining experience that gives you a little something extra, give Tokyo Record Bar a try.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find a reservation for the night you want it, sign up for the wait-list and make sure you’re the first to click the link when you see a reservation has opened up. I stalked the wait-list for a solid week and managed to get a reservation.
Check out some photos from our experience below. Including a cute chick of the Birthday girl, my BFF, Miss Maju.