The Lobby, the new lounge bar in the refurbished
Claska Hotel that's been generating a ton of buzz,
seemed like the perfect spot to swoop into on one of our Tokyo
sojourns. And from the moment we entered the Meguro drinking
den, we were treated to a festival of senses. The floor looked
pristine enough for break-dancing, and the 20-foot ceilings
proved that, in a place like Tokyo, size does matter. The
surrounding sounds of Portishead helped set just the right
tone for the night. As for the local eye candy: two beauties
du jour were off to our left, a group of film producers inking
the next Cannes Film Festival entry to the right, and, of
course, the requisite incredibly shrinking model straight
Fortunately for us, after our long and cold
journey, the maitre d' instinctively warmed us up with
a round of smooth, aged sake (¥900). In addition to the
various nihonshu, we tried some selections from The Lobby's
impressive shochu menu. We particularly enjoyed Utagaki (¥800),
whose mellowness we deemed perfect for beginners, while the
more mature Kishokura (¥800) would please the experienced
drinker. Not to be outdone by the locals, foreign selections
like Old Monk Indian rum (¥1,000) got our heads bobbing
to Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life," and the
Italian Luce Grappa (¥1,200) provided just the right finish.
The beer selection was limited to Asian brands (all ¥900),
which were solid accompaniments to The Lobby's creative
food items like tuna and green papaya salad with a sweet chili
papaya dressing (¥1,000) and a wonderful grilled duck
and Asian fruits salad with curry sauce (¥1,500).
As we began to make our exit, we realized that before us stood
the four terrestrial worlds of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars,
whose sculptural forms merged into a single ceiling light.
It was a fitting end to an out-of-this world evening-and
a fitting beginning for our next celestial journey.
1-3-18 Chuo-cho, Meguro-ku. Tel:
03-5773-8620. Open 10am-4am daily. Nearest stn: Gakugei Daigaku or Meguro.
Photos by Martin Hladik
bars with METROPOLIS readers at