Domo a Robata

Nara (1617 Main, 816-221-6272), Kansas City’s latest downtown hot spot, just made an otherwise sleepy weeknight a whole lot cooler. The posh Japanese bar and restaurant hosts Taiko Tuesday, an evening of mad-cheap sake, martinis and DJ Steve Thorell’s tasty jams. Thorell usually instigates wild dance parties at Blonde (Wednesdays), the Grand Emporium (“Essential Saturdays”) and Karma (Fridays). But at Nara, he brings the mood down low. “The music is more on a sexy lounge tip,” Thorell says. The event just took off a few weeks ago, but he has big plans. “I’m going to get some live percussion in the mix and hopefully some guest DJs,” he says. Taiko is Japanese for drum, and Thorell’s blend of lounge, Latin and house is a fitting backbeat to Nara’s already sensual ambience. Thorell works the wax from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and there’s no cover.

Tuesdays, 2007