Chop Shop in Chelsea - Very Nice Neighborhood Spot
We took advantage of the lovely spring weather to visit some galleries (and if you haven't seen http://www.gladstonegallery.com/balka.asp, you should). Emerging from Aperture starving to death, we stumbled upon Chop Shop, a small Thai-ish place on 10th run by the folks behind Bottino. What a serendipitous find! I had a very decent bowl of Tom Yum soup, a special, quite sour and filled with mushrooms, shrimp, red onion, grape tomatoes and mussels. Also a side of their spicy Asian slaw, which was a tad mayonnaise-y for my taste, but otherwise fine. My companion had the salt & pepper shrimp, which he said were plenty good, if not quite as good as the version he had at XO Kitchen (his gold standard). I got to eat the tails, and they were terrific. Overall, prices are gentle, portions are generous, and the atmosphere is convivial (which is fortunate, 'cause the tables are practically on top of one another).
I was recovering from the extreme sticker shock brought on by perusing the menu at Son Cubano - $7 for a bowl of rice! - so Chop Shop was especially welcome. Then I ruined my cheerful mood by going over to Chelsea Market to see the newly re-opened Lobster Place, because I figured everyone would be enjoying the High Line and it wouldn't be crowded. Hah. So, so wrong, I was.