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The Last Days of Saburi, David Chang on Food Cost, and More Intel

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Christopher Kostow is serving dishes at The Nomad Bar this week, plus more news and gossip from around New York City.

[Le Turtle on the Lower East Side]
Daniel Krieger

11-year-old Kips Bay Japanese restaurant Saburi is closing for good this week. The owners tell the Times that the decision to close up shop was based on rent issues and a desire to move back to Japan. Saburi is one of the only restaurants — if not the only restaurant — in New York that serves a type of Japanese-style Chinese food called wafu chuka. The dishes at Saburi use less spice and oil than you find at many Chinese establishments, and the menu items include ingredients that are common throughout Japanese cuisine. One longtime customer tells the Times: "Everyone is crazy for ramen now. And the wafu chuka style never quite took off that way. But is that a bad thing?" The restaurant's final service is Thursday.

The NYPD has released a photo of the suspect who is accused of raping a 25-year-old transgender woman in the bathroom of The Stonewall Inn on Saturday night. The police believe that the suspect, a man in his 30s with a goatee, frequently visits bars in the area on the weekends. Stonewall Inn's co-owner Stacy Lentz tells Gothamist: "That violence like this has allegedly happened even in a safe space like Stonewall Inn is upsetting and we are working closely with the police to investigate this alleged isolated incident at Stonewall, as we continue to work with the greater LGBTQ community to increase visibility, safety and acceptance for all transgender people and all members of our community."

Sauce co-owner Adam Elzer and his partner at nearby Edwin & Neal's, Shane Covey, are applying for a new liquor license at the five-year-old Rivington Street restaurant. It looks like they are taking over full operations of the restaurant, and opening chef/partner Frank Prisinzano is backing out. For this type of move, the SLA requires that the new operating team applies for a new license. Prisinzano owns and operates a number of popular restaurants in the neighborhood, including Supper and Lil' Frankies. Eater has reached out to the chef's team. Stay tuned for more details on the change-up as they become available.

— Mimi Sheraton is not a fan of kale Caesars:

— In his column for GQ, David Chang takes a look at some of the big problems in the restaurant industry right now, and possible solutions. Here's the chef's take on food cost:

Our bowl of Momofuku ramen should cost $28. That would cover the true cost of the "food" plus a reasonable (and not remotely greedy) margin. I put "food" in quotes because every tiny part of a restaurant is in the cost of that dish, from dripping faucets to broken plates. But you know what? I sell that ramen for $17, because if I charged $28, people would say it’s too expensive. It’s on us, as restaurateurs, to get better at running our businesses (and break fewer plates), but the bottom line is that food needs to get more expensive for you, too.

Chang also notes that right now "the only restaurants that make a lot of money are nightclubs."

For the next few weeks, Christopher Kostow of the three Michelin-star Northern California restaurant Meadwowood, is serving some dishes at The Nomad Bar that he's testing for a new Napa project called The Charter Oak. Dishes include tempura avocado, carrots with burnt cream, and chicken with rye pasta. The dishes are available a la carte in addition to the regular menu.

Danny Volk, a former EMM Group partner, is planning a new as-yet-unnamed Southern restaurant at 33 Greenwich Avenue in the West Village. This is the space that previously housed Irish pub Chapter One. Volk says that the the menu will include "flavors from places like Louisiana, Kentucky, anywhere in the South." Volk also operates The Upsider on 53rd Street. The new restaurant is slated to open this September.

Island Salad on 131st Street closed recently. The proprietors of the wine shop next door are planning a new bar called Pompette in the space.

— This weekend, Dominique Ansel Kitchen will serve a French dip sandwich that Ansel created with chef Deuki Hong.

— On April 19, Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman are going to host a dim sum dinner at their Noho restaurant Vic's with dishes from all of the executive chefs at their restaurants throughout the city. The food will be passed through the dining room on carts. Dinner is $68 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 212-253-5700.

— And finally, here's how to make wings in the style of Hometown Bar-B-Que: