Buddha Bar

If attaining Nirvana, kneeling before a giant Buddha, savoring braised short ribs or sipping a mango infused cocktail is on your list of things to do, you might do well to visit the Buddha Bar. This restaurant-cum-temple in the Meat Packing district blends the eclectic styles of Europe and Asia to create a culturally-hip venue for the famous and non-famous alike to retreat to when seeking enlightenment served up with a twist. The main dining room is bright and presided over by a 17-foot smiling Buddha, and the lounge area is filled with cushy couches and silky opium den-like enclaves complete with red-glass chandeliers. There's even a glass-encased area in the middle which acts as a primo smoking lounge for those who need a mid-ascension nicotine break.