A Shot in the Dark: Tig’s Asian Flush and Tapas Bar

We’re all busted.

We're greeted with hushed stares when we walk into Tig Asian Tapas Bar. There are more F.O.B. (fresh off the boat) Korean immigrants here than in all the Aurora Avenue salons combined. My Jewish companion sticks out immediately in this crowd. But as soon as we sit down, an eager bartender with a heavy accent serves us complimentary rice cakes and offers to make us a pitcher of yogurt-flavored soju, a popular South Korean alcoholic beverage. For $8 we get eight shots blended in a sweet, milky residue. I start to feel the effects less than a quarter of the way through the pitcher. Behind the bar a melodramatic film is playing on the TV screen, and we're informed it's actually a music video. At 20 minutes plus, it clocks in as the longest fucking music video I've seen, with the exception of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet." Aside from its elaborate video selection, Tig operates on the modest end of the scale. Tiny wooden tables and chairs fill the area between the kitchen and bar. Rope lights are strung across every imaginable surface. The only thing in the room glowing brighter is the guy with severe Asian flush who approaches and asks if we'd like to join him for a round of shots. He also asks me if I'm Korean. I inform him I'm half Japanese, and he looks slightly disappointed. "I'll still buy you a shot," he offers graciously. I decline because I, like every other Asian in the bar, have transformed into a red-faced drunk. The only person who looks somewhat composed is my Jewish friend, whose skin refuses to betray that she, too, is feeling that damn soju. 

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