544 W. 27th St., 212-947-8000
With all due respect to Bungalow 8, where they’d rather be empty than admit anyone less than fabulous, there’s a new bully on the block. Unless you have one of Cain’s 300 Wonka-esque gold coins, a black AmEx, or a damn pretty face, getting past the velvet ropes at this South African game-lodge-themed club is a daunting feat. Still, the opulence justifies the hassle. Live drummers thump along with the rock, house, and funk spun from a D.J. booth carved out of a boulder, and Tuesdays have become the biggest celebrity night in town, when everyone from Mary-Kate Olsen to Boy George mingles with aspiring models and club-industry types. Older gentlemen dance with the flawless waitstaff hard enough to work up an appetite for a dodo egg—which you could probably get if you ask the right person.