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for a Vegetarian - Momofuku Ssam or Noodle?

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ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 08:08 AM

if i'm going to dinner with a vegetarian, which one should we go to (i've heard that one doesn't have anything for vegetarians but can't remember which)?
Thanks!

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    sam1 RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 08:21 AM

    ssam is very anti vege friendly.

    noodle bar has buns stuffed with shitake mushrooms if i remember...i took my ex, a pesce vege here and she barely could eat anything.

    theyre both bad places for veges.

    1. jakew8 RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 08:30 AM

      Agree with sam1: go somewhere else (anywhere else) with your veg friend.

      1. Miss Needle RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 08:36 AM

        Noodle also offers ginger and scallion noodles that's veg. And just wanted to mention that the buns have dairy in case your friend is vegan. But I agree with the others -- go someplace else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Needle
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          kathryn RE: Miss Needle Jun 4, 2008 01:02 PM

          Ditto - and for items that APPEAR vegetarian/vegan, they may contain:

          dashi (in the mushroom salad)
          fish sauce (the deep fried vegetable dishes have it)
          secret butter / milk (pork bun wrappers)
          pork fat (vegetables may have been cooked in pork fat)

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          ESNY RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 09:04 AM

          Unless your vegetarian friend likes pork or likes to watch you eat, I'd suggest you avoid either place. There wouldn't be enough on the menu to get through an entire meal.

          1. JungMann RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 09:45 AM

            Very few options for vegetarians at either. At Ssam, my friend was pretty much limited to the bread and butter, although they do have a japchae and bibimbap now, neither of which are anything special. Noodle Bar has one vegetarian option, but what's the point in going to a ramen bar for a bowl of dry noodles!

            1. scarlet starlet RE: ElenaRS Jun 4, 2008 10:48 AM

              Hm, my original reply disappeared...

              Noodle has one veggie dish (ginger noodles), and Ssam has a few vegetable side dishes that really do not constitute a proper dinner.

              If you like this person you're going to dinner with, go somewhere else. I know that I (a vegetarian) would be really annoyed to have to eat at either of these places.

              4 Replies
              1. re: scarlet starlet
                rose water RE: scarlet starlet Jun 5, 2008 06:24 AM

                If you don't want to stick to bread and butter, and a plate of pickles, I'd avoid. The menu explicitly states that they don't serve vegetarian friendly food, and that they don't make substitutions. At Ssam, most of the veg-appearing dishes have a meaty undercurrent. The mushroom salad, for example, is among the porkiest tasting things around.

                1. re: rose water
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                  kathryn RE: rose water Jun 5, 2008 07:30 AM

                  I asked and the secret savory-ness comes from the use of dashi.

                  1. re: kathryn
                    rose water RE: kathryn Jun 5, 2008 08:01 AM

                    Really? That's so interesting. So is that mushroom salad really vegetarian? It's so very bacon-y.

                    1. re: rose water
                      Miss Needle RE: rose water Jun 5, 2008 08:09 AM

                      Dashi has bonito in it -- it lends a smoky taste to things. So that's probably the bacony flavor you're tasting.

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                abr269 RE: ElenaRS Jun 5, 2008 02:17 PM

                both menus actually caution that there are only 1 or 2 options for vegetarians, but they are well noted.

                its definitely not a place known for its 'vegetarian' or 'non pork items' or friendliness generally.

                david chang is the king of pork fat.

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                  shivohum RE: ElenaRS Jun 5, 2008 04:55 PM

                  I would emphatically not go here with a vegetarian. The chef, David Chang, is actually philosophically against serving vegetarians (as being too much work).

                  The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/

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                    Nightfly RE: ElenaRS Jun 5, 2008 07:05 PM

                    I will echo what everyone else has said: Don't go to either. Both Momofukus are openly hostile to vegetarians. Why would your friend want to patronize such a restaurant? Almost all top restaurants in NY are veg friendly, so don't waste your time and money going to someplace that isn't.

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