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163 First Ave., nr. E. 10th St. (East Village)
New York, NY
(1) 212-475-7899 | www.momofuku.com/ko
HOURSMon.-Thurs.: 7:00pm-10:00pm; Fri.-Sun.: 12:00pm-1:00pm, 7:00pm-10:00pm
BEST FORLunch; dinner
RESERVATIONSEssential and extremely difficult to obtain; can only book online; only available seven days prior to seating for dinner and fourteen days prior to seating for lunch
PRICE (FRI.-SUN. LUNCH; DAILY DINNER)USD 175; USD 125
FAMOUS PLATESShaved foie gras; kimchee puree; uni panna cotta
DRINKS AND WINEWine; beer; sake
# OF SEATS12
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?No
SUBWAY1st Ave. (L); Astor Pl. (6); 8th St.-NYU (N, R)
David Chang tries his hand at haute cuisine with this daring and exclusive 12-seat East Village spot. Securing a reservation here is nigh impossible (see Good to Know below for more details), but the wait (be it weeks, months, or even years of failed attempts) is well worth it. To balance out the thoughtful and creative cuisine, Chang keeps the restaurant’s décor to a minimum, evoking a Zen-like ambiance with the simple blond wood furnishings. But back to the food: there are no menus, but rather a set up similar to sushi chefs’ omakase menus–basically, Ko's chefs deliver the courses of their own choosing based off that day’s market finds. All guests are treated to the “meal of the day” (usual a fusion of Asian and American flavors characterized by Chang’s meat-centric leanings), but it’s never boring–constant surprises earn devoted foodies’ undying devotion.
Chang groupies, foodies, restaurant critics–basically, anyone tenacious enough to keep trying to secure a reservation.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Despite the exclusivity, the dress code is über casual (the food is the main focus here). Throw on a fitted shirt, cute skirt, fun heels or flats, and you’re good to go.
GO HERE WITH
A friend; significant other; a date; yourself
WHY WE LIKE IT
The food is really worth it. If you like eating as much as we do, you can’t miss trying this mind-blowing meal.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The maddening process of securing a reservation.
GOOD TO KNOW
Ok, the reservations: you can only reserve by accessing their website and submitting a request at exactly 10:00am (EST) six days prior to the day you wish to dine. The 12 slots usually go within seconds of release, but cancellations can occur throughout the day–stay on the computer and you could get lucky. Keep in mind that on a daily basis, thousands of people compete for one of the 12 available seats. Dinners run roughly two hours and lunches three, as dictated by the pacing of the courses (10 in all for dinner, 16 for lunch). Also keep in mind that there is no menu, no accommodation for parties over four people, no photography allowed, and no vegetarian menu offered.
Masa (New York)
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