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Jul 17, 1999 07:00 AM

Looking for great Tapas!

  • m

I'm planning a birthday party for my friends. I figured
that an evening at a Tapas place would be the perfect
way to celebrate. Does anyone have any suggestions for
a place downtown? Zagats leads me towards Kana Tapas
Bar. Is that a good bet or not?

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  1. Xunta on 1st Ave & 10th St. is a good bet. I have not
    been there in quite awhile.

    Yesterday, I tried a new place called Sala (on Bowery
    & Great Jones, 979-6606). Loved the interior. They
    take reservations for larger parties only. The food's
    actually pretty good for a trendy place.
    Unfortunately, you can only order the pinchos if you
    are sitting at the bar. Still, you can share all the
    appetizers and a few main courses at the table. I had
    a very interesting paella made with noodles, not rice.

    1. Xunta has been REALLY inconsistent. They're also quite crowded, so unless you're planning the party for a weeknight at an "off" hour, it won't be logistically possible. El Cid is more consistent, less authentic, and equally crowded. You may want to try calling up and talking about the idea with owners...

      I have to admit, I've never heard of Kana Tapas. Anybody know it?

      Other than that, it's slim pickin's. Solera's not right for a party (not downtown, either), N [with tilde] is closed, I think, and wouldn't have been right, anyway.

      Spaniards doing tapas runs never stand still. If you want to have a real tapas experience (and your friends are intrepid enough to journey en masse), meet at Pommes Frites for fries, walk over to Moishe's for rugelach, then to the Punjabi place on 1st street (between First and A) for samosa chat, then walk up Avenue A and hit bars (time it so you're at happy hour, so there'll be free snacks). Wind up at DBA or maybe catch some music at Den of Thieves or one of the places on Ludlow Street. Frenetic but fun...and totally in the spirit of tapas (except for the fact that the first three places don't serve drinks)


      1. I can't recommend Xunta after my last trip there. The
        service was harried (2 musicians were playing but only
        one waitress was working-- questionable priorities if
        you ask me!) The tapas ranged from mediocre to downright
        awful. Unfortunately, good tapas in New York seem hard
        to come by. El Cid is one of the few reliable spots.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Michael

          "I can't recommend Xunta after my last trip there"

          Xunta must mean "The Agony and the Ecstacy" in
          Gallego...I've had impressively authentic tapas so good
          I felt like I was back in Spain. But I've also been
          afflicted with rubbery octopus, sprinkled with corn
          (!!) oil and other similarly inedible fare there. It's
          sooo unpredictable. It certainly won't make the cut
          when my book's updated.

          El Cid's fun, but stuff tastes more Lati