For some reason every time I go to David Chang’s Momofuku in the East Village I see some famous person or celebrity chef. Two weeks ago we saw Drew Nieporent. He said hello to my wife. ”Who is he?" she asked. I explained he was the owner of Montrachet and Nobu, among other restaurants in his Myriad group. "Why did he say hi?" my wife asked. "Maybe he likes you, or he is just being friendly?" I said, all the while considering asking him to do an interview. But I was already busy giving my business card to the manager to see if I could book David first.
The next sighting was Rick Bayless, on my most recent visit. I couldn’t resist walking over to say hello, since Rick was one of my first interviews on this old blog! Stupidly I went over to his table and said, "excuse me, are you Rick Bayless?" Duh, who hasn’t seen him on PBS a million times making his version of Mexican food? I even snapped a picture of him with my cell phone covertly from my table, feigning short sightedness while trying to get a profile shot.
Later at home I inadvertently erased the shot on my cell phone. Oh well. Rick was getting the treatment. I guess he couldn’t get a table at Momofuku Ko. That place just doesn’t stop getting press, I tried getting David Chang for an interview but he is not doing any right now. Should of gotten him when I first met him on the street and handed him my card. Back then, he was just getting started with his first Momofuku.
Back to the lunch at his restaurant. So as we started choosing dishes from the menu. The waitress gave us a list of 86’ed items: no Char, no sweetbreads, etc. Shit, I spied Rick’s table and they were getting the sweetbreads. Did Rick’s table get everything and we were just getting the scraps? We chuckled about it and then my friend told the waitress, "Maybe we should just get a corn dog at the street fair down the street, because I was really looking to try the sweet breads!" Regardless, we ordered. The food was good, though it was not as spot on as the last visit. Could it have been the focus on one chefs table and not another? We got a complimentary ice cream for the table, and, I have to say, the fish (fluke – yes, really) was totally delicious.
Of course fighting a head cold this week during a heat wave could also make my judgment less clear, but I still like David Chang’s food. Hell it’s a good place to try to hit up famous chefs for interviews instead of going through their assistants!