Beware, this is not your usual restaurant. On their website, they do not even describe themselves as a restaurant but as “an underground listening room”. The key word at Tokyo Record Bar is music. Before you can even glance at the drink menu, you will be asked to choose a song you want to listen to during your dinner. Their selection is quite eclectic: anything from Stevie Wonder to AC/DC, Beyoncé or David Bowie. The DJ will quickly grab your pick to compile the playlist of the evening. A 100% tailor-made soundtrack that becomes a reflection of the crowd that night. And all on vinyl, please!
This original playlist is paired with a seven-course Izakaya menu. But don’t be fooled by the tasting menu, an Izakaya is a type of informal Japanese pub, a laid-back spot for after-work drinking and small bites among friends or colleagues. The affordable pre fixe menu (at $50 per person) has spicy nori chips, caviar sushi, beef nagamaki, hiramasa sashimi or even yuzu ice pops. The biggest surprise comes at the end of the meal when the chef offers you a slice of pizza. Because there’s nothing worse than finishing a tasting menu and still feeling hungry, he casually explains. Additional proof that this place is anything but pretentious.
Hidden in the basement of Air’s champagne bar on Macdougal street, Tokyo Record Bar is a well-kept secret. A vintage playlist customized in real time by guests. An intimate space with no more than 16 music-lovers. A funky decor with a faded foxes-in-kimonos mural and paper cherry blossoms cascading from the ceiling. A pumped up team that keeps the show going all night long, all night strong. Dinner at Tokyo Record Bar truly is an “experience”!
Tokyo Record Bar
127 Macdougal Street, entrance through Air’s Champagne Parlor