Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi by Ryan Born/ Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi by Ryan Born/

Stepping in to the TV Guide Sexiest Stars Party at Katsuya Thursday night, the place was packed as throngs of people swished through the crowded front room and snaked around past the sushi bar, the photo booth and into the back room, S Bar. Servers moved through the crowd with trays of tall, exotic cocktails, and the bar was lined with glossy guests in hip threads.

Weaving through the scene were recognizable celebs squeezing by. Suddenly, there was E! host Michael Yo high-fiving a TV Guide pal (his rumored new main squeeze, Karina Smirnoff, was not in tow). Next, there Kenneth the Page - aka Jack McBrayer - who seemed just as earnest in real-life as he does in his 30 Rock garb. Upon some intros, he shook hands, and said, "Thanks for having me!" It was tempting to inquire about his video costar, Mariah Carey, and her new husband, but there was sushi waiting (priorities, priorities).

Stepping in to the dining area with a pomegranate Mojito in hand, the central sushi-making area was enclosed by long bars filled with platters and platters of fresh rolls - it was tough to know where to begin. The first challenge, though, was opening the chopsticks - the trick to which an observant server discreetly explained, minimizing the risk of an uncouth chopstick-waving scene.

With food and a second cocktail taken care of (this time a crushed watermelon number, complete with a watermelon-cucumber garnish stacked atop it), it was on to find the fabled DJ, Samantha Ronson, and her bumpin' beats. Pressing through the crush of people toward the back room, Bill Maher appeared, casually chatting with a TV Guide correspondent over a drink and joking about causing a ruckus at the party. Ruckuses, on TV and off, seem to be his specialty. But there still were beats to be found.

It was in the plush, high-ceilinged S Bar that the festivities were going on in full effect. The room pulsed with activity, as groups of people created their own mini-dance floors, scattered throughout. Of course, dancing gets a little intimidating when half the room was filled with Dancing with the Stars pros and celebs. Kristi Yamaguchi - decked out in a sexy, sequined white dress with a deep neckline - came by, followed by her Dancing partner Mark Ballas. As he slid by, he gave a little arm squeeze and greeting, a gesture that seemed fitting for the warmth of the evening. Refreshingly, he traded his spandexy TV costumes for a textured, white shirt for the occasion, which allowed for a whole new perspective on this season's likely pro winner.

A nice space opened up at the bar, courtesy Kym Johnson and her other Dancing compadres. There's nothing like a backless dress to open up space at a bar! While hanging out and getting advice on where to get dance lessons in L.A., drinks arrived, there was a cheers, and the night settled in properly: Sipping on cocktails, with some definitively sexy stars. - Anna Dimond

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