A new circle of hell has been prepared, and Tao is its name. A bright red marquee blazes outside, and the interiorwhittled from a former movie theater, the Plazais attained through a pair of adamantine doors. Just inside the gates sits Cerberus in a very short skirt, checking reservations. Soon you will be sent with a vibrating beeper into the bar, where lost souls in leather pants sit chain-smoking in pools of harsh light. Through a stand of bamboo a giant Buddha rears up, his 16-foot stone eminence floating above a pool of water. Oddly, his left nipple is erect, as if someone had been twiddling it just prior to your arrival. Wall niches hold ancillary deities, and a stairway leads down to a men's room, where the chief attraction is communal urination onto a backlit sheet of green glass. Beware the inevitable splash. The massive main floor seats 200, and there are additional mezzanine tables. Highest of all, the old projection booth is set up for Lucifer's very special friends. Looking down at midnight one evening afforded a Brueghelian vision of hell: The large table in front of Buddha squirmed with inebriated louts shouting themselves red-faced over the throbbing bass of an... More >>>
By photo: Brian Finke
Buddha, Brueghel, Lucifer himself: All are on the menu at the stygian Tao.