Last week two ladies whom we'll call the Ko Girls posted an ad on Craigslist calling for two gentlemen to join them at Momofuku Ko, where they'd secured the coveted and elusive four-top for an upcoming night (for this past Monday). Coupla cute girls, coupla cute boys, coupla orders of shaved foie gras, one Dave Chang—como se dice, magic!
Here now, straight from the Ko Girls, this is their story.
About Us: Linda (pictured right; 28, blond, attorney) and Rebecca (left; 32, brunette, attorney). We met in law school and share a predilection for all things fattening and delicious.
The Contestants: Within the first day or two we receive about a dozen applications, which is fewer than expected (the original Ko-thario allegedly received over a hundred), but nearly all are strong candidates. Over the course of the week, we meet four of them. These are our favorites:
Linda's first choice pair: Mr. A, a restaurant blogger and -- according to Linda -- a total hottie (Rebecca disagrees with this classification, though, finding Mr. A to be decidedly sub-hottie; mutual accusations of crack-smoking are hurled; ultimately, we agree to disagree), and Mr. B, a restaurant consultant who is Mr. A’s friend and seems to be an all-around likeable and good-looking guy.
Rebecca's first choice: Mr. C, a Wall Street guy. Rebecca is the only one of us who gets a chance to interview him. Her first impression is that he is cute and, more importantly, that he genuinely shares our enthusiasm for pork fat.
The Decision: Linda holds the golden ticket, so Linda gets to choose Mr. A and Mr. B. All is fair in love, war, and Ko reservations.
The Ko-risis: Several days after inviting Mr. A and Mr. B and about six hours before our reservation, we receive an email from Mr. A saying he has to cancel due to family obligations. Frantic emailing between Rebecca and Linda ensues. Mr. B says he still wants to go, so now we just need to find a fourth. Rebecca emails Mr. C to ask him to fill in, and -- apparently unhappy about being our backup plan -- he tells us his "pride says no, but [his] stomach says yes." Ultimately, he agrees to come with us. Crisis averted.
The Ko-risis, part deux: A few hours later -- that is, only three hours before the reservation -- Mr. B emails to tell us that, nah, he'd rather not go to Ko without Mr. A after all. More frantic emailing ensues. As it turns out, Mr. C wanted to bring a friend in the first place, so he is happy to bring along his friend Mr. D. Crisis averted. Again.
The Pre-Dinner: The four of us stop off for a quick drink before the reservation, at Terroir, to get to know each other a little better. Mr. C’s friend, Mr. D, turns out to be a tall attorney with a nice sense of humor. At this point, both Mr. C and Mr. D seem like adequate dining companions but nothing to write home about, which is a little disappointing considering the rigorous interview process. No doubt David Chang will soon fill the void in our hearts with fatty goodness.
The Dinner: The meal starts with a pork fat-soaked English muffin and a puffy pork rind. Our bouches are thoroughly amused. Surprisingly (to us, anyway), it is the foodgasm guru himself, David Chang, who prepares and serves our food to us. Having him explain the origins of the frozen foie gras dish feels a little like how I imagine a putting lesson from Tiger Woods would feel. Having him wipe up a bit of sauce from the side of our dish and say "sorry, I'm not much of a waiter" feels akin to Tiger Woods scrubbing our golf clubs and schlepping them around the course for us. It's an odd brew of awe and embarrassment that we experience, and we can’t help but break out in giggles whenever the Changster graciously answers one of our questions.
The rest of the dishes are beyond amazing, but we won't go into any more depth since a lot of bloggers and reviewers have already described them. Up until the last 20 minutes of the meal, we are both feeling like the whole project has been a resounding success. Alas, at that point in time, Mr. C abruptly makes a rather douchebaggy remark toward Rebecca, something to the effect of "Thanks for your number, but it's not you it's Ko." And -- come to think of it -- neither Mr. C nor Mr. D ever thanks us for inviting them. Okay, so these guys have now been downgraded from Adequate to Totally Lame, but we still enjoyed our dinner immensely. The bill is then split four ways, and our paths likewise split as soon as we leave the restaurant.
Overall: The experience was still a positive one. We enjoyed meeting all the applicants and have forgiven Mr. A and Mr. B for ditching us, and we generally had a fun time with the whole process. The objective was to mingle great food with great adventure, and we achieved that.