Small Kitchen, Big Taste
By Jonathan Hirsch
We have only the fondest memories of dining at Mr. Pollo. There are perhaps dozens of reasons why this restaurant should be one of your favorite spots in the city, but on the top of that list for us are two very important factors: First, the ever-changing menu is consistently surprising and never disappointing. Second, we keep coming back, and each time, we’re left with a certain indefinable sense of satiety that transcends the meal itself.
The comfort and fulfillment experienced at this restaurant has a lot to do with the physical place. Mr. Pollo as a space possesses that magical center point between engendering an intimate and homey dining experience and oozing the electricity and dynamism of a restaurant where the ideas are as fresh as the menu. You wouldn’t know it from the front entrance: Dark curtains cover the windows and entryway below a crackling neon sign right in the guts of Mission Street. Inside is a warm, music-filled closet with room enough to seat only 12 people. The fact that Mr. Pollo in its current form cannot possibly grow is its greatest charm. If your expectation of a restaurant is fine dining in a charismatic chef’s home kitchen, then you will be supremely satisfied here. Manny Torres Gimenez, the chef and proprietor of Mr. Pollo, took over the space from what was once a Columbian fast-food restaurant specializing in arepas and fried chicken, hence the