The Momofuku series of restaurants need no introduction. They've been introduced, explained, and analyzed in every single media outlet. So, I didn't really have any plans on adding another review to the infinite pile of reviews. But this just really had to be said.
I realize that Momofuku is a fusion restaurant. I hate fusion food for a number of reasons, the first of which is due to the fact that fusion food tastes like a falsified, flavorless version of its original. I walked in with no expectations or any idea of the menu - an uncharacteristic behavior for me. I walked out feeling disappointed and robbed.
The space is definitely made for group parties. The tables seat groups of 4-6 very well with a few tables even accommodating larger parties. So, if you're a lonely table of two, like us, you are put at this counter communal table, snuggled between other strangers who are free to listen to your conversation. (Or vice versa.) The menu is catered to large groups, as well. If you're not a group of 4-6, then forget about ordering the ssam. Unless you're really hungry and ready to split a $150 or $200 minimum bill between the two of you.
Since we weren't ballers (or gluttons), Maria and I ordered the pork buns and a chicken entree. The pork buns were good, and I felt like they lived up to the hype. Then again, by the time we were seated, I was starving, so my opinion might have been a bit skewed.
The second dish we ordered was described as coming with rice. In my head, that usually means chicken on a bed of rice or rice on the side. No, this particular chicken had been rolled into an uncut sushi roll, and the rice was wrapped around it. Humorous, yes. Delicious, no.
In conclusion, I wouldn't recommend this restaurant to anyone. At this point, the place is running on its hype. If you really want to get ssam, haul your butt to Koreatown on 32nd to Kan Mi Ok, Keun Gip, or any of the other restaurants. You'll get your meat and lettuce wraps accompanied with endless side dishes all for less than what's being charged at Momofuku Ssam Bar.
Location: 207 2nd Ave., corner of 13th and 2nd Ave.
Momofuku Ssam Bar