Cafe Asia, the latest restaurant to open in the Power Plant Live! complex, is now also a nightclub. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays around 10:30 p.m. the dinner lights go down, the laser lights come on and the tables are pushed back to make room for dancing.
(Don't worry; if your table is on the dance floor and you're still chowing down on pad thai at 10:30, you won't be tipped out of your chair.)
Perched high above the smooth wooden dance floor is a pagoda-style booth where local DJs spin progressive, house and Latin beats. The music and mood are fairly mellow at first, but the tempo and general vibe start to pick up around 11:30, as more people finish dinner and start grooving on the dance floor.
Cafe Asia's most impressive feature is its sound system, designed with 24 strategically placed speakers to bring high-quality, seamless sound to every spot in the building - from the dance floor and the lounge to the sushi bar and the restrooms. The result is a crisp, clear sound that is loud but not so loud that you have to shout to talk to the person standing next to you at the bar.
If dancing is not your thing, you can just sit back and enjoy the music in Cafe Asia's slick-looking lounge, which features plush, high-backed booth seating and a plasma screen TV.
There's no cover charge at Cafe Asia, but that may change this fall when the club expands. Plans are under way to turn the building's unused third floor into another dance floor and bar area.
Cafe Asia is at 614 Water St. Call 410-528-1926.