At the young age of 38, David Chang is easily one of the most influential chefs in the world. His meteoric rise is unheard of, opening over 13 powerhouse restaurants, in 5 major cities, in under 12 years. His concepts run the gamut from uber exclusive 15 seat Momofuku Ko, to Fuku fried chicken sandwiches, and the famed Milk Bar bakery. His newest venture Momofuku Nishi has all of the David Chang magic I have come to expect. Along with the long lines.Don't be an idiot like me and expect to just walk in, or you'll wait 2 hours for a table.
The decor in the space is exceptionally minimal. Once inside you'll be seated at either long wooden communal tables or high tops. The space is sparsely decorated and mostly coated in blond wood & white paint. The food here is Asian & Italian fusion. The menu is reasonably priced (by only NY standards) and they have adopted the new trend of no tipping. The staff is well trained and incredibly knowledgeable. It did not feel like a disorganized brand new restaurant to me whatsoever.
We started with fluke crudo swimming in a perfectly acidic radioactive-colored green broth. We followed that with imaginative and gorgeously presented thick-cut beef crudo topped with watermelon radish & dashi ponzu. My favorite bites were the pastas. I'm not sure what ceci e pepe has to do with Asian food but it was a great version with thick chewy noodles. The chitarra pasta with squid and spicy xo sauce is decadent and the noodles are nicely firm. Chang has been beaten up for this restaurant by both Eater and NY Mag recently, but I think this is a solid dining option and I trust it will only improve. Here’s what we had:
Black Bass Crudo - tiger's milk and shio kombu
Beef Crudo – watermelon radish, dashi ponzu
Clams Grand Lisboa – chow mein, oregano, cabbage
Chitarra – squid, xo, fresh & fermented chili
Ceci e Pepe – chickpea hozon, black pepper