An unassuming entrance to the Park South Hotel reveals GG Tokyo, a hidden jewel box-sized izakaya. Named after Tokyo’s famed Golden Gai district, known for its lively vibe and patronage of musicians, artists, writers, academics and celebrities, GG Tokyo seeks to emulate the exciting environment adding an elevated twist with an emphasis on refined cocktails.
The interior design sets the stage for an immersive dining experience featuring a collection of custom curated and commissioned art, including Sakeseas designed by Detroit-based neon artist Kate Hush depicting a colorful neon mermaid that has become the restaurant’s unofficial logo marking the lounge area. There is also a mural by Alabama-born Artist Daniel Dugan composed of a single endless brush stroke weaving along the wall running the length of the dining room. The space is dimly lit, featuring low top tables, a six-seat sushi counter and bar seating. Accentuated by a carefully curated playlist and occasional live DJ performances, GG Tokyo features a fun, high-energy atmosphere.
The beverage program was designed by Beverage Director Ivan Papic, who has worked with restaurateur Keith McNally at Pastis and Balthazar, Macao Trading Company, the sister bar to Employees Only, and venturing into nightlife with Paul Sevigny at Beatrice Inn, and opening Paul’s Casablanca, in collaboration with Head Bartender Sasa Radovanovic, formerly of Schilling NYC and Paul’s Casablanca. Their vision for the program was to recreate classic cocktails with a Japanese twist. Highlights feature The Kamikaze, sen-cha infused Haku vodka, shies citrus syrup, lemon, and seltzer; The Tomodachi, Casamigos, ume plum liqueur, agave, butterfly pea flower and furikake and The Mermaid, beet infused Ten to One rum, Laphroaig 10-year, sake and yuzu.
GG Tokyo’s menu was designed to feature innovative Japanese-inspired dishes conceptualized for sharing with a group of friends. It is ideal for cocktail hour, dinner, or late-night bites, beginning with a raw bar, featuring Kumamoto Oysters dressed with a cucumber mignonette; Uni and Wagyu Sashimi to allow diners to prime their palates for the meal ahead.
The Small Plates feature Tuna Tartare, a twist on the classic made with tuna in tonnato sauce with fried capers and garlic bread; Rice Cakes, crispy rice cakes in gochujang sauce served with caramelized onions and Kara-age; Japanese fried chicken served with katsuo tartar sauce.
Large Plates feature Okonomi-yaki, a Japanese pancake made with ramen noodles, topped with mayo, apples, and bonito—dried tuna that appears to move; Miso-maple Salmon, served with potato pancakes, lime yogurt, and ikura and Marinated Skirt Steak, with chorizo hash and a gochujang vinaigrette.
GG also offers sashimi, pressed sushi rolls and hand rolls, as well as a four-course tasting menu, available at the six-seat sushi counter at the end of the bar. Sashimi, pressed sushi and handrolls include Fluke Sashimi, fluke over pieces of daikon in herb tehina garnished with micro herbs; Crab over ume-furikake rice with shiso and Marinated Tuna Hand Roll with daikon radish and scallions.