Given enough time, energy, and beer, people will argue forever about what are and aren't authentic tapas. There are as many opinions on the matter

"/>

Best Tapas

Ocho

Given enough time, energy, and beer, people will argue forever about what are and aren't authentic tapas. There are as many opinions on the matter as there are people willing to argue about it, and not one of them will ever admit that anyone else knows what real tapas really are. Which is why, when Zach Harjo opened Ocho in Ballard, he gambled on notes of authenticity in an otherwise safety-netted environment. Its brick walls, dark wood, framed mirrors, and jewel-box size invoke visions of late-night carousing on Carrer Sant Domènec in Barcelona without all the pickpockets, tourists, and random outbursts of flamenco, while the menu only skirts the edges of serious Spanish bar snacks (no chopitos, no bacalao or cut bits of octopus gleaming with oil), arranging them beautifully on white plates and taking care to make each one seem a doll's version of an entire meal. But still, all arguments of tradition aside, what Harjo also managed was to put together the city's best tapas menu, authentic or not, which led to serving the city's best tapas menu to standing-room crowds almost every night of the week. Ocho is loud. Ocho is crowded. Ocho can be a difficult place to love. But once the first plates hit the table, suddenly all argument seems pointless and the wisest course seems to be just to shut up and enjoy. —Jason Sheehan 2325 N.W. Market St., 784-0699

 
comments powered by Disqus