212 Lafayette St., at Kenmare St.; 212-925-9322
As with La Esquina’s downstairs lounge, you get to Café Select’s boiler room sneakily: by traversing the kitchen, or by descending into the sidewalk doors leading to a utility tunnel. But unlike its sister restaurant, Café Select doesn’t abide any doorman rigmarole. At any given time, the tiny room is jam-packed with friends of owners Oliver Stumm and Domie Clausen (D.J.’s who’ve remixed songs for the likes of the Gossip and Le Tigre). The treehouselike loft always feels like it’s in danger of collapsing onto the precious few tables below, and (despite a disco ball and dance music) you have to fight for booty-shaking space. Which makes Select feel kind of like the best apartment party you’ve ever been to.