small sponges, ramen, and burritos. oh my.

24Jan08

Sponges are smaller in New York City

Aaaand we’re back. Did you notice the long extended delay in post-age recently? Did you miss us? Did you find yourself reloading Tacouture every hour on the hour? New York apologizes.

Michelle and I were in New York this past MLK weekend doing what we do best-shopping and eating. While the freezing weather and subsequent layers of clothing made it nearly impossible to enjoy trying on clothes, it did allow us to enjoy some amazing hot ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar. One of the few restaurants that were on my New York To Do list, Momofuku (“lucky peach” in Japanese) is the restaurant of David Chang, 2007 winner of James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award, Food & Wine’s winner of 2006’s Best New Chef, and recent addition to the world of celebrity chefs. Momofuku is noted for its ability to bring sophistication to some of Asia’s simplest dishes, like ramen and pork buns. While you can argue it’s a Japanese noodle bar like any other, Chang argues that his food is unique and “New American cuisine,” saying he “has too much respect for culinary tradition to replicate it.” But when it comes down to the undiscerning patron, it’s simply a really good noodle bar.

Momofuku Ramen Bowl

He is also one of the many rising chefs that are giving local suppliers a chance to make a name for themselves. Perhaps why your ramen bowl will cost $15-20 or why the slices of pork belly will fall apart ever so deliciously in your mouth like slow cooked barbeque.

If you haven’t deciphered by now, Momofuku’s speciality is carbs and pork fat. It’s hardly a place to take your vegetarian/anorexic girlfriend. Although you may find an epicurean convert in your hands. I’d recommend it to any pork lovers out there. Chang loves his pork and makes sure you do as well. The ramen was some of the best I’ve had (except 2 AM Shin Ramen, that’s a different story) and the most satisfying part of a 25 degree temperature day.

Shiitaki Mushroom buns

Momofuku Noodle Bar

171 1st Avenue New York, NY 10003

No reservations

M-Sun 12-4 M-Sun 5-11:00 (F-Sat till 12)

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Momofuku Noodle Bar 2

Also, check out Momofuku Ssam Bar, Chang’s second “late night” restaurant if the idea of an Asian burrito interests you. I went here accidentally my last trip to New York and I have to say… as much as I love my Koreans, I’m going to give the burrito back to the Mexicans. The menu is much smaller, consisting of mainly rice bowls and ssam (meaning “wrap” in Korean). The “burritos” are filled with your choice of meat, sticky white rice, edamame, kimchi, assorted veggies, and hoisen sauce. It was an interesting take, but it’s going to take a lot more than national pride to get me away from my Tapatio sauce.

Momofuku Ssam Bar

207 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10003

M-Sunday 11-5, 5-2 AM

Hugs & tacos,

Foodyi

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