Tomorrow, after reviewing four big time mainstream corporate-feeling expansions and relocations in a row, Sam the Man Sifton goes back on the more obscure restaurant beat, filing on West 35th St.'s Korean barbecue spot Madangsui.
PLAYBOOK: Sifton seems to enjoy himself the most, and pens the best reviews, when writing about a place of his own choosing. Meaning, he'd prefer to make a star out of a worthy unknown—or a Koreatown favorite— than assess whether or not some hyped up big name restaurant deserves two stars or three. Chances are this will be like his Imperial Palace review, a glowing, fun one star.
SIFT HAPPENS: That said, this is a fairly well known spot among Korean barbecue aficionados, boasting a whopping 86 reviews on the old Yelp. Maybe Madangsui is as good as the internet hordes suggest. Or perhaps Sifty wants to drive the point home that we are under the rule of a different critic now, that reviews of more obscure restaurants won't be relegated to the Under or the Briefs. Should that be the case, expect the deuce.
THE LINE: Zero Stars: 100 - 1; One star: 2-1; Sift Happens: 5 - 1; Three Stars: 1,500 - 1. [Madangsui reviewed, NYT; ~ after 8 PM]