A tale of two ladies

Food & Drink - July 16th, 2004
tokyoweekender_2 ladies

by Kumiko Matsuda

The women: One is from the east coast, one is from the west. These two ladies seem to have a lot in common, but they are very much un-alike. And why have their two distinct time lines merged at this three-dimensional point? I guess it was simply a matter of fate.

Both are blond, pretty and quite charming, and both have an obvious artis­tic flair. But they are really quite different types of women.

Traci at the Pink Cow seems very socia­ble, very assured. From the moment we met and started talking, I could sense a warmth, a friendliness. She’s someone to whom a girl could definitely tell her troubles, and she would listen.

This is Traci’s second location for the Pink Cow, moving over from Harajuku last year.

Ronna at Cozmo’s Cafe & Bar seems like the new girl on the block, full of optimism and eager to become friends. Her place is new, and she hasn’t been in this business very long. But she has big dreams for her new place which she just opened in April.

Their bars: When you open the door to the Pink Cow, you are presented with an eccentric, psychedelic spectacle. Arty objects are stuck to the walls; the furniture is comfy cotton-covered. Anyway, I am sure it will catch you by surprise but, as you go deeper into the distant corners of the Pink Cow, you will find the coziness infectious.

There is a sofa space with funky tables, and way in the back a counter bar. For all its little nooks, the Pink Cow is quite a spacious place. In counterpoint to the angular floor layout are these huge, red puffy lips hanging from the ceiling, and on one counter sits a huge stuffed panther.

This is one of the most distinctive spaces in Tokyo, wacky and fun, and you’d almost imagine you have been invited into Traci’s living room. Walk around, and you will find each little nook puts you in a dif­ferent perspective.

Cozmo’s Cafe & Bar is entirely the essence of hip and, for some reason, it gives me a sort of 1960s feeling. While it does seem spacious, with its big windows and bold colors, it is smaller than the Pink Cow.

The large, square space is quite straight­forward, and I wondered if I am not the only person who is reminded of an art gallery. But not entirely, since it is broken up by the high bar in the back, and beyond and to the side of it, some low table seating. For some reason, the bar seating seemed particularly cozy to me, perhaps because of the stylish designer stools.

Then there is the art on the walls -Ronna’s paintings. What are they supposed to be? A curious assortment of spheres of various colors, various backgrounds, vari­ous mysteries. They all made me think of outer space – but, after all, this is her “Cozmos,” right?

Their menus: Both places can serve you almost any kind of cocktail you can imagine, not to mention beer and wine. The Pink Cow has the edge on small-producer U.S. wines and specialty beers, while Cozmo’s Cafe & Bar is now offering a delicious summer selec­tion of special martinis.

The Pink Cow’s chef, Andy, does a full menu of modern California-style food, while Ronna puts together some very interesting Thai-inspired curries at Cozmo’s. Be sure to try Ronna’s tart pineapple salsa and chips.

Both Cozmo’s and the Cow are great places where people from North America, in particular, can really feel at home. They are about two small blocks apart, so there is always the temptation to visit both in one evening. So different in some ways, yet much the same in others.

Cozmo’s Cafe & Bar
1-6-3 Shibuya
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel. 3407-5166
Open for lunch Monday to Friday from noon to 3 p.m. Open Monday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight. Open Fridays and Saturdays 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. Closed Sundays
www.cozmoscafe.com
The Pink Cow
Villa Moderna B1
1-3-18 Shibuya
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel. 3406-5597
Open from 5 p.m. to late. Closed Mondays
www.thepinkcow.com