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Momofuku Noodle Bar or Ssam?

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I'll be in NYC Thursday-Sunday, and I want to try getting into one of these places. Can anyone tell me which I should go for? In terms of taste, price, waiting time, etc.?

I'm also unsure if it's better to go for lunch or dinner. And favorite items would be useful too!!

THANKS

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Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

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  1. What kind of food do you want? What's your budget?

    For ramen go to Ippudo instead. Weekday lunch, to avoid the lines.

    Noodle Bar has as shorter menu than Ssam Bar and it's mostly seasonal small plates + ramen. Noodle Bar has nearly the same menu for lunch as it does for dinner. They do have a 3 course lunch prix fixe (no choices). The dinner menu is bigger only by a few items. Noodle Bar doesn't have as much variety on the menu as Ssam Bar. It's usually more popular than Ssam Bar because it is slightly cheaper. Small dishes are $8-15, large dishes $11-22, and the 3-course lunch prix fixe is $20. You can get in and out of Noodle Bar for about $20 if you just get ramen and buns (but the ramen isn't that great). They don't have composed desserts, only soft serve. The wait for a solo diner shouldn't be a problem. It is much brighter and louder than Ssam Bar and also smaller.

    Ssam Bar is the more ambitious of the two in terms of menu length. The Ssam Bar lunch menu is much shorter than their dinner menu but there is a 3 course prix fixe lunch with 2 choices for each course. They serve composed desserts unlike Noodle Bar. Given that you'll need 2-3 few small plates to fill up, you'll spend more at Ssam Bar than at Noodle Bar. Maybe $40-50. Small dishes are $8-18 (and these vary a lot in size especially if it's something from the raw bar) whereas large dishes are $12-32. The lunch prix fixe is $25. The wait for a solo diner shouldn't be a problem. It's darker and sleeker than Noodle Bar. Momofuku Milk Bar is also across the street if you want pie, cookies, soft serve, or a milkshake.

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    Momofuku Ssam Bar
    207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Momofuku Milk Bar
    251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

    7 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you!! I'm not so keen on desserts so that isn't a huge issue. I suppose what I'm mainly interested in is something representative of what David Chang's food is all about - although I can't afford Ko. I guess I want to know which is best for sharing a few things between a couple friends and getting a taste.

      1. re: kellyhay

        How many people will you be? If you're two, they may seat you facing each other across a counter. If more than two, you might have to share a table with another party. This is likely at both restaurants.

        1. re: kathryn

          We're three. Don't mind sitting with other people. Thanks for the tips!

      2. re: kathryn

        Isn't Milk Bar more around the corner than across the street from Ssam?

        Also, if you eat judiciously at Ssam you can get out spending less. Their crumbled spicy sausage and rice cakes, for example (one of their tastiest dishes), is under $20, and is quite substantial. But you'll have to hunt through the menu for such bargains.

        1. re: FoodDabbler

          >Isn't Milk Bar more around the corner than across the street from Ssam?

          As of last week, across the street ... http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/04/...

          The old Milk Bar space will be a bar and duck roastery ... http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/04...

          1. re: squid kun

            Didn't know that. Was last there just 13 days ago. Don't know if there were signs up, but missed them if there were Thanks.

            1. re: squid kun

              Cannot wait for the new duck place. The description sounds fantastic.

              As for the OP, I would say Ssam.