I had avoided Tia Pol for ages because I feared it was the type of place that would make me unhappy. You know, tiny, cramped, jostling, long waits. All of that was true, but it didn't bother me. Maybe it was the drinks I'd downed prior to dinner.
One of the main reasons I'd never been to Tia Pol is that it's just not on my way to anything. I finally found an opportunity when I decided to see Architecture of Density, a series of photographs by Michael Wolf at Hasted Hunt Gallery down the street. I never go see art, but I really love these images of Hong Kong and got an invite from the photographer after writing online about how I was just going to blow up color photocopies of images from the book since I couldn't afford the $8,000 (or so) price tags. I always forget that people actually read what I write occasionally, and it's probably not wise to talk about things like flagrantly violating copyright (or tax laws).
So, there's nothing like little bites after viewing large scale photography. There was about a thirty minute wait, and the bar area is narrow, but like I said, it wasn't unbearable. We eventually got a nice two-seater in the back away from the fray.
With tapas I'm never sure if I'm under or over ordering. Our strategy here was to order a decent number of the small sized servings (most items come in two sizes) and opt for more if necessary (I've never actually done this when using this plan of attack, for fear of seeming too gluttonous). A glass of Txakoli made a nice accompaniment.
Chorizo, chocolate and little chile strands. Yes, the combination is peculiar, though not untasty. I think it's just regular chocolate, possibly milk chocolate. I can see it working better with a darker more bitter permutation.
Tia Pol * 205 Tenth Ave., New York, NY