The owners of Bottino, an Italian hangout for the Chelsea gallery crowd, turned east last spring when they opened Chop Shop, a pan-Asian restaurant and bar just up the block. Gallerista small h, underfed and thoroughly decontextualized after a day of art, wandered in and was glad she did.
A special of seafood tom yum—pleasingly sour and loaded with shrimp, mussels, mushrooms, onion, and grape tomatoes—hit the spot, she writes on Chowhound. So did salt-and-pepper shrimp with chiles (pictured), as well as a spicy slaw of napa cabbage with Asian pear, celery root, and garlic-chile mayo, toothsome if a tad too mayonnaise-y. The rest of the menu, which she characterizes as "Thai-ish," ranges over China and Southeast Asia—shrimp pad thai; Taiwanese-style pork buns with ground peanut, Penang curry, seared beef short rib with Chinese broccoli, zha jiang mian (wheat noodles in pork sauce with brown beans), and the like.
The décor is minimalist white, the vibe low-key and inviting, and as summer approaches, the tree-shaded back garden beckons. "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)," small h writes. "What a serendipitous find!"
Chop Shop [Chelsea]
254 10th Avenue (between W. 24th and 25th streets), Manhattan
Photo by Chop Shop / Facebook