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Posts from the ‘walk on the wild side’ Category

brushtroke: A French Chef’s Ode to Japan

David Bouley, the local Tribeca personality and Michelin-starred chef most known for his flagship restaurant Bouley, has opened a Japanese kaiseki restaurant after ten years of preparation. Bouley, somewhat of a legend in New York dining and perhaps one of the most quintessentially New York of the city’s superstar chefs, is known for many things – including use of the sous vide bag in cooking, nouvelle cuisine, and, in a DeNiro-like way, boosting the Tribeca community. However, he is not known for Japanese cooking, which is perhaps why his newest venture brushstroke is something of a marvel and an oddity.

Situated in Tribeca, like all of his New York restaurants, in the space formally occupied by the unsuccessful brasserie Secession, brushstroke is mellow and refined. The angular space is divided into two sections: a main dining room/sushi bar and a bar. Both are of modern Japanese design – sparse decor, almost completely covered in blond wood, rice paper ‘curtains,’ a substantial sushi bar made of a wooden slab. The atmosphere is hushed, elegant and contemplative – diners sit quietly awaiting the wonders to come, speaking quietly over glasses of sake or perhaps just watching the masterful sashimi skills of the sushi chef behind the counter. Staff linger everywhere. Men holding plates stand behind diners as head waiters then place the dishes in front of guests, explaining what is involved in each offering; a ‘sommelier’ hovers, eager to explain the ‘notes’ of each wine and sake on the extensive menu; hosts and hostesses not only lead patrons to their seats, but also assist in serving; and, of course, Bouley himself, in a chef’s jacket, often wanders the dining room, speaking to regulars, watching over the ceremony.

The food at brushstroke is authentic Japanese, served kaiseki style in either 8 or 10 courses, arranged through 2 prix-fixe menus. There is little choice involved and after sorting out what rice dish you want, the waiters merely start bringing out, in rapid succession, course after course after course. The courses build on each other, starting with light and refreshing raw fish, culminating with a rich cod course followed by a beef course, and descending to the denouement of a surprisingly lovely Japanese dessert. The difference between the 8 and the 10 course menus, besides $50 in total price and 2 more courses, primarily involves higher quality ‘artisanal’ ingredients and the sense that the kitchen is just working harder on the 10 course.

The 10 course menu started with a few slices of hamachi, Japanese yellowtail, folded on top of each other, doused in an acidic tomato vinegar, and topped with sliced grape tomatoes and smoked seaweed. It was a light and refreshing, and the quality of the fish was truly remarkable. Next, the least likable course served that evening – a cool and unusual sweet potato potage with yam mousse and thick swatches of Santa Barbara uni. Each individual part seemed wonderful, yet when put together, the result was bitter, salty, and unsatisfying. Third was arguably one of the best courses offered, a cold smoked duck breast served top marinated Japanese eggplant with a tangy miso mustard dressing; it is a beautifully-executed dish with tender slightly-chewy duck and a sauce you just to lick off your plate. Fourth, three nuggets of seared toro with a chunky relish-like sweet/savory sauce – each nugget, cooked a pink medium-rare, melts in your mouth like only toro (the fattiest part of tuna belly) can, and the acidic flavorful sauce cuts the overwhelming richness of the toro perfectly.

Starting with the fifth dish, the meal moved into a heavier and more luxurious stage. Fifth was a steamed egg custard, served in the bottom of a cup and topped with a black truffle broth and bits of Dungeness crab. This dish tasted like money – rich, fragrant, textural, and truffles, lots of truffles. Seared unagi, or eel, followed. Billed as a truly traditional dish, the rich buttery slices of eel sat atop steamed okra and a mysterious yet addictive sauce – marvelously-prepared, there wasn’t an ounce of ‘too fishy’ in the unagi. Next, a dish beloved by Japanese restaurants all over New York, the seared miso-marinated black cod. Bouley’s rendition is topped with finely-chopped walnuts and surrounded by a deep orange pool of peach carrot melon puree, turning a Japanese fusion standard into something refreshing, luxurious, and unusual.

The wagyu beef course follows, a duo of cold and hot preparations: on the one side, sliced wagyu tataki in a light ponzu sauce, and on the other, sliced wagyu steak, prepared medium rare, with a zingy garlic and sansho pepper sauce. Though not the best wagyu dish ever put in front of me, it’s hard to deny the rich flavorful quality of the beef when prepared with such care. The last of the savory dishes, the rice dish, is the only course where diners have a choice. The options are assorted sashimi slices over rice, dungeness crab steamed with rice, a lobster sushi roll with soup, lobster steamed with rice, and rock shrimp and corn steamed with rice. Where the rock shrimp and corn option is too salty and oceanic for my taste, the dungeness crab is simple, filling, and stuffed with generous helpings of fresh crab meat. Whereas all previous courses were small ‘tastes,’ the rice dish was substantial, transferred from a big black pot into a small bowl three times over.

And with that, the savory course marathon came to a close. Lychee sorbet, presented atop a hardened raspberry puree, was a palate cleanser – cold, clean-tasting, bright citrus flavors that reset our taste buds for the sweet course to come. brushstroke’s final farewell was a two-part dessert, consisting of a soy panna cotta with matcha green tea sauce and a matcha green tea pastry along with a large bowl of matcha green tea and stuffed baked rice paper. The soy panna cotta was absolutely delightful, light and airy with a creamy subtle flavor; the traditional matcha green tea pastry, a gelatinous cube reminiscent of a gelee petit four, was not quite as successful, though rapidly adored by my dinner date; the stuffed and baked rice paper was a final palate cleanser, crispy and air-filled; and the matcha green tea, sipped slowly from a bowl as a classic Japanese digestif, was the cherry on top of a remarkable meal.

Dinner at Bouley’s brushstroke is a marathon. It takes awhile, close to or over two hours in most cases, and is a very formalized process. There are periods of waiting, almost too many staff members, and inexplicable moments when your food is standing behind you, in the hands of staff, yet not placed in front of you for your enjoyment. The experience is unusual in a dining scene where restaurants serve lavish meals quickly and a la carte. But, for those looking for a special experience, brushstroke is a wonderful and unique option in a city where so many ‘gourmet’ restaurants offer the same experience in the same sort of atmosphere over and over again.

Perfect For: justifiable splurging, serious people serious about food, sake aficionados, special occasions, decadent sushi dates, celebrity chef spotting

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Chef’s Table at Hecho en Dumbo: No Reinvention of the Wheel

Hecho en Dumbo, the former DUMBO-Brooklyn and now Bowery hipster Mexican hangout, has introduced a Chef’s Table. For a dark and ‘artfully grungy’ restaurant not necessarily known for its cooking, the introduction of a sleek Momofuku Ko-style table at the open kitchen is an interesting maneuver. And to mixed results, the Chef’s Table at Hecho en Dumbo doesn’t whack the concept out of the park, but it isn’t a failure either. The five course prix-fixe menu is $55, a wonderful value for the generally high-quality cuisine; however, the food wasn’t so good or so innovative that it reinvented the wheel and I left not entirely sure what the kitchen meant to showcase through the Chef’s Table set-up.

The Chef’s Table at Hecho en Dumbo is in the back of the restaurant, past the bar and the slightly grimy dining area. It’s a smooth pale wooden bar, overlooking the kitchen, with high-rise seats for eight. For bar seating, it’s surprisingly comfortable, and spacious enough so that you’re not knocking up against your neighbors. The only unfortunate element of the Chef’s Table design is that it’s meant to allow diners to watch the kitchen staff work, yet because of the bar’s height, all of the counter-top work and plating is hidden from sight. Only views of oven, the stovetop and the fryer are available – not exactly where all ‘the fun stuff’ happens! Despite being completely ignored by the kitchen staff for over 2 hours, the service was actually quite efficient and very friendly.

Of course, at a Chef’s Table, the emphasis on the food and not much else. The five-course meal at Hecho en Dumbo is elegant and tasty, though not mind-blowing. The progression was classic, starting with ceviche and ending with dessert. The official meal was preceded by an amuse bouche of a Wellfleet oyster on the half shell with an extremely spicy tomato soup ‘shot’ – the brine of the oyster, topped with a chunky salsa verde, and the sinus-clearing heat of the soup shot complemented each other beautifully and readied the taste buds for what was to come. The first course, a sea scallop ceviche perched atop a crispy tortilla with a generous swipe of creamy queso fresco and a thin slice of cucumber, was a study in textures. The crisp tortilla and crunch of cucumber contrasted with slippery ceviche was exciting; everything tasted so fresh and bright, it was a refreshing start to the meal. The second course was an interpretation of a classic octopus starter; the thick cuts of octopus were tossed with hearty florets of marinated caulflower in a generous drizzle of hot chorizo oil, which was so concentrated that it tasted exactly like bits of hearty chorizo; a Mexican surf n’ turf, this is a contender for favorite course of the night.

As someone not necessarily in love with fish, the third course, a grilled Spanish mackerel, was not my favorite. However, my friend Diana, a fish fan, argued that the preparation was just lovely – light, flaky, and moist – and that the accompaniments, including a silky celery root puree, balanced out the fishiness of the mackerel. In between the third and fourth courses, the kitchen offered a palate cleanser that almost stole the show from the prior three offerings. A lime and mezcal sorbet, this cleanser erased all the brine of seafood and tasted like a kicked-up frozen margherita; more please! With the fourth course, the meal took a turn for the richer, much to my delight. The kitchen delivered squab bathed in a bright orange pumpkin seed mole with a cactus souffle; the bird, while slightly difficult to eat elegantly, was perfectly cooked with a deep pink center and golden crispy exterior; the mole, a most unusual shade of orange, was complex and flavorful, with a hint of warm spice and some lingering heat. While the cactus souffle had very little flavor of its own, the lovely pale green hue looked lovely on the plate and the fluffy texture contrasted well with the meatiness of the squab. All in all, the fourth course was one of the most successful, striking a nice balance between familiar elements (bird, sauce, souffle) and surprising flavors.

The last course was absolutely the highlight of the night. A panna cotta made from Mexican chocolate and vanilla atop a hazelnut crisp and in a pool of house-made caramel and hibiscus creme anglaise, the dish was both beautiful and absurdly delicious. The panna cotta itself was just the right texture, firm and gelatinous, and the caramel was the type of stuff you would just want a bowl of to snack on. The swirl of pastel pink cream through the pool of caramel was stunning (and tasted great also). This dish was just about everything you could want out of a dessert course – bravo!

The Chef’s Table at Hecho en Dumbo is a little of a strange experience. On the one hand, the food is mostly very good. It isn’t excellent and it’s not the most innovative ‘show your stuff’ Chef’s Table out there, but its generally delicious. On the other hand, I could not stop asking myself: “why is this a Chef’s Table?” I couldn’t grasp the point behind it. The chefs weren’t animated; there were no cooking pyrotechnics; the food wasn’t blow-your-mind innovative. That being said, if you’re a fan of modern Mexican food and you’ve got an appetite, it’s hard to say no to a $55 five-course fine dining prix-fixe!

Perfect For: people who love to cook, foodie couples, a great prix-fixe value, adventurous eaters

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What Happens When: A Culinary Chameleon with Thrilling Bursts of Inspiration

Chances are, by the time you read this review and decide to try What Happens When, the menu will have radically changed or, even more drastically, the restaurant will have disappeared. No, I’m not just being wildly pessimistic about the state of restaurant ownership in New York; I’m just underlining the simultaneously frustrating and thrilling nature of ephemeral ‘pop-up’ restaurants, one of which is Nolita’s wildly popular What Happens When.

The brainchild of Dovetail chef John Fraser, a photographer, a composer, and two designers, What Happens When rides the currently red-hot trend of creative and funky pop-up restaurants in Manhattan. It is temporary, occupying the former Le Jardin space on Cleveland Place, and unique from other eateries of its kind in that every 30 days during its 9-month tenure, it completely reinvents itself. Each month, the menu changes; the decor changes; the inspiration changes.
The first ‘movement’ at What Happens When was a modern Scandinavian winter-scape with potato skins on the menu and a chilly black & white decor. Movement #2 was a riff on the magical world of Where The Wild Things Are and the wonders of an enchanted forest, with an earthy menu following suit. Just today, What Happens When metamorphosed into Movement #3, a lush new incarnation inspired by French impressionism, Paris in the 1880s and the quaint charm of a Renoir-esque garden party. Regardless though of how the look of the space changes, unfortunately nothing can hide the uncomfortably cramped nature of the dining room; low ceilings and too many tables in too little space can make claustrophobic folk turn green, and those who like to eat with their elbows are out of luck.
It’s safe to say that the food at What Happens When demonstrates Chef Fraser’s unrestrained joy and boundless inspiration in the kitchen. Though there a few execution foibles here and here, the new American fare is thrilling, inventive, and bold. The menu is a 3-course prix-fixe, and the delicious nuggets I ate are already ‘out of fashion.’ And so, I won’t wax poetic about what you absolutely have to order. However, you should know that the smoked hen egg tastes golden, with marigold-colored yolk dripping over rich smears of chicken liver on crusty toast; the braised short rib entree with cheddar cheese polenta is a case study on how to pack some of the boldest and brashest flavors into one dish while still exhibiting deftness and delicacy; the ‘pig’ entree, simply stated and lushly presented, thoughtfully wastes not with a big bowl of cooked pig parts; and the crispy chocolate dessert cake, a girl scout’s thin mint cookie punched up a few hundred notches, woos and seduces with more game than the most charming guy you’ve ever met.
What Happens When is fun. It’s something different from the typical New York eating-out grind. Not everything is perfect, but that’s OK because What Happens When isn’t looking for that 4-star review or a never-ending stream of regulars to keep it afloat for years to come. Instead, because of its ephemeral nature, What Happens When and its ambitious owners just ‘have fun with it.’ They offer the type of relentlessly creative product that is probably just too risky for more established restaurants. This is too bad – What Happens When is invigorating; I wish there were more restaurants like it; and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Oh, and we saw Natalie Portman. A very pregnant Natalie Portman. That was cool.
Perfect For: trendsetters, adventurous eaters, impressing a first date, people-watching

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David Burke Kitchen: Every Neighborhood Could Use a Little Burke-ian Whimsy

I haven’t been to a David Burke restaurant in a long time, and before last year, he seemed to have fallen off the ‘famous chef’ radar. Yet, with an appearance on Top Chef All-Stars recently and the opening of his new restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, it appears as though Burke has decided to re-enter the spotlight. And what a delight this is, for Burke’s whimsical and passionate approach to food, regardless of how successful his creations are, is truly a thrill for diners.

David Burke Kitchen is in the basement of the new James Hotel on Grand Street in Soho. Yes, it’s in the basement, of a hotel. To many, this would be a recipe for disaster. Hotel restaurants get a bad rep for uninspired cuisine and cookie-cutter atmospheres, yet David Burke is joining the ranks of famous chefs looking to change this image by opening their new culinary hotspots in hotels all over Manhattan (others: Michael White’s Ai Fiori in The Setai Fifth Avenue, Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lambs Club in The Chatwal, Sam Talbot’s Imperial No. 9 in the Mondrian Soho, and April Bloomfield’s The Breslin in The Ace Hotel, and so forth). David Burke Kitchen is, well, nice. It’s certainly got a fabricated feel, with modern wooden furniture and a funky undulating wooden ceiling, all tried to be made up as ‘rustic’ with blue-and-white checkered napkins. Yet, all the same, despite a certain “been there, done that” decor, David Burke Kitchen is warm and welcoming, friendly to all, and, most importantly, comfortable.

David Burke’s quirky and whimsical interpretations of traditional American dishes are the real reason to visit David Burke Kitchen. And, in general, the kitchen executes Burke’s visions very well. A pork chop entree is hefty, enough to feed two, yet wonderfully complicated with a large bone-in chop cooked to the perfect temperature and marinated in something wasabi-like, tasty nuggets of tender braised cheek, and an addictive salty-sweet marmalade made from bacon and apple. It is completely in-your-face flavor. The appetizers are a treasure trove of inventive bites: ‘ants on a log’ are reinterpreted from a popular childhood snack to include sophisticated bits of bone marrow and snails soaked in garlic, crab cakes bound with pretzel and filled with green peppercorns and white beer, a succulent duo of juicy seared scallops perched on a tangled mess of ultra rich braised oxtail, all topped with a dainty quail’s egg. The menu virtually overflows with Burke’s imagination – nothing is left alone. Fries are not just fries, they’re ‘fancy fries’ cooked in smoked beef fat and topped with sliced jalapeno; a baked potato comes topped with classic English rarebit; jars of chicken liver with prunes and pistachios are offered for adventurous eaters as a tempting (and heart attack-inducing) bar snack. The options are endless and diverse, often thrilling, and always complicated.
For some, David Burke’s ebullient enthusiasm may be overwhelming or, even worse, tiresome. However, if you’re prepared for the sometimes unusual outpouring of creative flavor combinations, your meal at David Burke Kitchen can be exciting and adventurous, a break from ‘the norm.’ Burke sets customers at ease with a refreshingly friendly and competent staff; our waiter was exuberant and respectful, informative and clearly inspired by David Burke. All in all, though not perfect and with a few kitchen kinks to work out, David Burke Kitchen is a fun new addition to an otherwise barren corner in Soho.
Perfect For: fashionable foodies, first dates, adventurous eaters, non-hipster carnivores, giving visitors a thoroughly ‘New York’ dining experience, drinks and dessert

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Prune: Sweet and Unusual

Prune is an unusual sort of place – as charming and comfortably aged as any Village restaurant yet with a completely unique and ambitious menu. To be honest, Prune will present a conundrum for many diners – chef Gabrielle Hamilton certainly delivers beautifully crafted quirky cuisine in a warm thoroughly unpretentious environment; yet, the food can hardly be described as accessible with offal comprising almost half the offerings. In order to fully enjoy Prune, you need to either a) truly appreciate the bizarre and unexpected or b) know beforehand what you’re getting yourself into.

Discreetly situated on the cusp of the East Village and the Lower East Side, Prune’s look is simple and unadorned, a look that belies the complicated cuisine. The vibe is slightly cutesy with a side of hipster attitude. Servers wear pink yet have a kindly sense of humor about it, and the music yoyos between Top 40 hits and underground beats. Just one room, the space is cramped with tables squished in small spaces and a ‘bar’ with no discernable seats (or real standing room, for that matter). Simple faded white walls, tables with paper as tablecloths, floor to ceiling windows opening to the quiet E.1st Street block, and small rustic knick knacks make Prune more homey and comfortable than the gourmet playground of Chef Hamilton.

The food is most simply described as seasonal American yet this by no means fully encompasses what Chef Hamilton has proposed to offer diners. The short menu is divided between bar snacks and full-service dinner and, between the two parts, has just 20 items total (including sides/vegetables). The ‘bar snacks’ portion offers perhaps more enticing options than the regular menu, including the famous radishes with sweet butter, grilled handmade lamb sausage, and Spanish goat cheese on buttered brown bread with salted red onion. The radishes were in fact very refreshing, uncooked and served plain with a bowl of sea salt and a sizeable dollop of sweet butter – a satisfying snack for radish lovers and those willing to experiment alike. The handmade lamb sausage was a savory salty snack with heft infrequently found on Prune’s menu. Served with fresh ground mustard and bread, the lumpy fatty sausages are sure to please.

The regular menu is eclectic, featuring funky starters like grilled and marinated veal heart with mint-yogurt dressing, fried sweetbreads with bacon and capers, a parmesan omelette, roasted marrow bones with sea salt, and marinted white anchovies. The five listed entrees include beef pot au feu, farmhouse chicken in vinegar sauce, seared duck breast in dandelion greens and raisin-caper dressing, steamed mussels in lobster broth, and, lastly, a whole grilled fish. Unable to stomach marrow bones and marinated veal heart, I went for the seared duck breast which was cooked perfectly through yet was just too big (this must have been a very large duck) and too sweet for my tastes.

If you’re looking for creamy soups, tartares, steak, potatoes, and marinated shrimp, you’ve come to the wrong place. At Prune, you certainly won’t find the typical ‘seasonal American’ menu featured at Hundred Acres, Commerce, Wall & Water or Dovetail. Chef Hamilton very clearly throws typical to the wind in order to not only set her restaurant apart from the pack but also to serve the food she wants to cook.

Perfect For: taking a walk on the offal side, an early in the game date with an adventurous eater, snacks and drinks under $15, mingling with East Village hipsters over quirky food, celebrity chef sightings

Prune on Urbanspoon

Momofuku Ko: Congratulations, I’m Speechless

Momofuku Ko is potentially one of the most hyped restaurants in Manhattan. It is talked about and whispered about; it is revered by foodies and heralded by critics; it holds a niche in the haute dining community that very few other restaurants occupy; it eschews trends and yet defines them; it has an obsessive and obsessed over celebrity chef. Ko by no means skids under the radar, and it almost certainly carries expectations suited to its fame.

Well, I’m hear to tell you, to hell with expectations; this place is so good no wonder they don’t give a damn about what people think. Momofuku Ko offered to me the most singularly rewarding, inventive, and surprising meal of my young life thus far. The food is challenging and modern, incorporating a myriad of traditional and unique techniques, global flavors, and a whole lotta spunk. There were so many finely layered flavors that I am surely going to have difficulty iterating them all here.

The restaurant itself is tiny, about 12 seats in total, and sparse. Diners sit at a ‘chef’s table’ or bar, overlooking the open kitchen. The focus is only on the preparation of and eating of food. The rest of the restaurant is decorated with…plywood. There is no scene, mood-setting decor, or chic ambience to speak of. Yet, all of this is compensated for by the kickass music (jazz, blues, old school rap, rock n’ roll) and absolutely out of this world cuisine.

There is no menu. Your dining experience is completely at the mercy of the chefs and sous-chefs behind the counter. Thus, if you’re picky, this is not the place for you. However, if you’re adventurous and keep an open mind, you will experience something worth remembering. The dinner consists of around 10 courses (it’s easy to lose track…), all relatively small, all seasonal, and all encompassing of flavors and textures.

Our dinner started with a trio: seared diver scallop in uni sauce, a black pepper and mirin biscuit with homemade pork rind, and a bit of poached lobster tail with black garlic sauce. Two things came out of this starter: 1) I officially adore everything uni, and 2) homemade pork rinds should become a household staple immediately. Bueno! The following two fish courses exemplified perfectly the diversity and range of fish preparations. First, the mellow fluke sashimi in buttermilk and poppy seeds melted like creamy ice cream in your mouth – satisfying and delicate. Second, the thumb-sized slices of spanish mackeral with rice cakes popped with wasabi-like vigor in your mouth, offering a constrasting experience to the previous silky fluke dish.

Following was a much-praised dish of smoked soft-boiled egg with caramelized onions, deep-fried potato strings, and Hackelback caviar. This is not a dish for the faint-hearted – dripping in salt and fat, it defined ‘rich’ and ‘decadent’ proudly. The next two courses were musings on ‘pasta’ – first, an ‘Asian’ pasta of homemade daichon tortellinis stuffed with oxtail and caramelized onion in an oxtail consomme; second, hand-torn pasta with cubes of chicken and snail sausage, crispy chicken skin, and black truffle shavings. Similarly to the fish course, one dish was mellow, the other bold. The daichon tortellinis were delicate and refreshing with a consomme worthy of lapping up after. The hand-torn pasta was fit for a king and yes, again, decadent.

Another fish dish came next, a skate filet crusted with almonds in an almond foam – classic, this decidedly un-fishy filet married crunchy and smooth textures together and tasted so rich that you could pretend the skate was some sort of game meat. Next up was the most unusual and experimental dish of the evening, showcasing a shredded torchon of foie gras over gelatin and peanut brittle. While not something I would order off a menu (if you ever found it on one…), this funky blend of salty, sweet, earthy, and fatty flavors kept you guessing straight through the last bite. The last savory dish of the evening was the honey-glazed duck breast (with skin on) that would make meat-lover flip over the moon. The thick half-breast of tender pink meat was sweet and savory, crispy, just gamey enough, juicy, and just totally perfect.

Lastly, dessert, of which we got to enjoy two courses. First, a spiced white wine sorbet with asian pear offered a refreshing (if not a bit boozy) palate cleanser. Second, the salty sweet send-off of pretzel pannacotta convinced me that not only do I officially worship any sort of salted sweet treat but I also love rootbeer ice cream.

The entire meal represented an arc of playful and well-planned thinking about food – David Chang and his army of absurdly cool and collected chefs covered huge swathes of ground with flavors, textures, colors, and aromas. With the focus on the food and watching interactively the preparation by chefs and sous-chefs, the plywood doesn’t matter nor do the backless stools and bare-bones set-up. Momofuku Ko pioneers ‘food-centric’ dining, throwing ‘atmosphere’ and ‘vibe’ to hell. And honestly, when the food’s that good, who cares?

Note: nabbing a reservation borders on ludicrous with a first-come first-serve online reservation system certainly intended to madden users. The site opens at 10am – start refreshing then and you may have a miniscule chance of getting a seating time! Just be persistent – eventually, you’ll pull through.

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