N, R, W at 23rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
For those who remember the eighties, Sapa bears a striking resemblance to Café Seiyoken, one of the grand cafés that first goosed the nocturnal food frenzy in that decade. But do you get what you pay for? The room is loud and cold, and the broken sight lines, and a lack of teamwork, frequently send the entire staff off in the same direction—away from you. It’s all fixable. So is the confusing menu. This is Brian Matzkow’s first restaurant, and he naturally aims to please as many potential patrons as possible. Better Matzkow should trust in a menu edited to highlight stronger dishes like the wonderful soups. The green-papaya-and-hanger-steak salad, plus mussels and clams in a Thai green curry that tempers the soft scent of coconut milk with alternating blasts of cool kaffir lime and hot chili, are all potential signature dishes. So why bother with the same beet-and-goat-cheese salad, cheese fritters, or terrines you can get anywhere in the meatpacking district? Why not dump them and direct diners toward spare ribs more tantalizingly sour than sweet thanks to a smart dash of cocoa?Happy Hour
Daily, 5:30 p.m.—7:30 p.m.; $1 oysters; $5 martinis, beers and wines, and $3 steak sandwiches