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Week in Reviews: Momofuku Ko Gets the Tres

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Kalina, 3/3/08

BrunDog finally got to eat at Momofuku Ko (by making "Ko-dependent arrangements") enough times to drop his long awaited review in today's paper. He gives it a big ol' three, and it sounds like it missed the four mark because of decor, comfort, a lack of extras like hard liquor and tea, and most of all, inconsistency:

"You don’t get start-to-finish enchantment, but that’s not a function of insufficient coddling. It’s a function of where you set the bar for a restaurant that must master only a cluster of dishes on a given night...

...there’s a promise of unwavering transcendence, and Ko in its early months serves a few dishes that merely intrigue along with others that utterly enrapture. It also falls prey to some inconsistency...

Deification may have come prematurely to Mr. Chang. But a low-key coronation makes sense."

And of course Franktastic leaves room for the resy system. He devotes the first few grafs and this beauty of a closer to it: "...the 10 a.m. reservations lottery favors people under 40, who are perhaps wiser in the ways of technology and more zealous and dexterous in their clicking. That’s probably as it should be: Ko looks to the future, ignoring the old rules and beckoning epicures open to new ones." [NYT]

Alan Richman takes David Chang for a meal at ramen palace Ippudo. He spends most of the word count talking about Chang but saves some for the ramen: "The noodles are house-made and excellent. They come to the counter al dente, and somehow avoid turning soggy...The rest of the ramen soup-package isn’t special." [GQ]

Randall Lane files a two-fer this week, awarding three of six to Madaleine Mae and two of six to Chop Suey. He uses the review to take a dig at some big name consultants: "Aside from backup NFL quarterback and vice president of the United States, the world’s cushiest job must be 'consulting chef.' If the restaurant succeeds, take a bow; if it fails, not your fault!" [TONY]

Paul Adams checks out small West Village spot I Sodi, and he is not a fast fan: "The menu changes weekly, but within a frustratingly limited range. On one visit, a third of the dozen menu items involved artichokes...the ones I tried were woody-tasting and not particularly well showcased." [NYS]

The RG hits up Eleven Madison Park this week and likes it so much that she gives it a rare award of five stars: "New Yorkers should be pitching tents outside Eleven Madison Park for executive chef Daniel Humm's cooking...the chef's tasting menu is a decadent splurge that's worth every penny. It's a thrilling procession of 11 courses, one more successful than the next." [NYDN]

THE ELSEWHERE: Ryan Sutton is another fan of Momofuku Ko, Moira Hodgson has a mixed review for Elettaria, Tables for Two files on Flushing's Spicy & Tasty, Kim Severson and Oliver Schwaner-Albright file dining briefs on Turqua Grill and the JakeWalk, Sietsema has some Nigerian food in East New York at Festac Grill, and Gael Greene finds a number of misfires at Benoit.

THE BLOGS: Ed Levine hits up Terroir, true to form Andrea Strong loves Bar Q, NY Journal tries it out too, NYC Food Guy checks out Midtown's Volstead, Cleaned My Plate is at Bar Blanc, Writing with my Mouth Full at Wildwood, and NYCNosh checks in on Park Slope's Al Di La.

Ippudo

1403 2nd Street, , CA 90401 (310) 893-0577 Visit Website

Momofuku Ko

8 Extra Place, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 203-8095 Visit Website

Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10010 (212) 889-0905 Visit Website

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