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Mar 5, 2012 11:05 AM

Angelenos coming to NYC in April and have one night to dine...

Hi everyone,

This is my frist CH post, but for background, my gf and I live in Los Angeles and we love good food. We love places like Mozza and Providence and had a great meal at Jose Andres' chef's tasting room (SAAM at the Bazaar). She has eaten at Alinea (her brother used to work there) and we are pretty much up for anything. We like to get a tasting menu

We are coming to NYC for a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and will have one night that we can go out to dinner. I have started researching a bunch of places but NYC is overwhelming in it's options. We originally thought WD-50 would be the choice, as I have wanted to dine there since first seeing WD on Top Chef years ago. I like molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine and he seemed to be one of the standard bearers of it. After doing some reading and also talking to her chef brother, it seems that may not be the choice.

As we live in LA, I'm not as into the formal dining scene because we don't really have one. I wouldnt be completely opposed to a place where I have to put on a jacket and shoes other than my chucks, but I am more comfortable in a more casual setting. Budget is a consideration, but we are considering places in the Per Se range because, well, we love fine dining

Here are my questions: Does EMP require a coat/dress shoes? Is it really that hard to get a reservation at momofuku ko? We are definitely hitting momofuku noodle bar for lunch, so should we try something outside of momo for our dinner? Is Per Se really the be all/end all and should we just go for it? Or is there an upstart such as Acme that we should try?

Sorry for the long post and many questions, but since we only have one night to dine, we want it to be awesome (and I know there are plenty of places that it would be). Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. What night of the week is this dinner? If it's a Sunday, your choices for fine dining are much more limited.

    EMP is "jacket preferred." You don't have to wear a jacket there but I'd dress up a little, personally. You might feel out of place at EMP if you wear Chuck Taylor sneakers though. :)

    I don't find it that hard to get a reservation at Momofuku Ko but if you're only in town for one night, you will probably want a back up, just in case.

    I would reconsider Momofuku Noodle Bar for lunch. Are you into ramen? Or just a David Chang restaurant in general? If you are looking to be impressed, not sure Noodle Bar is the best choice.

    It really depends what you're looking for in terms of menu breadth, atmosphere, price range, etc. I usually take my LA friends to Ssam Bar, for example.

    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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

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

    Momofuku Ko
    163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for your reply!

      Dinner will be a Tuesday night. We do actually like ramen quite a bit but yes, part of it is just going to a David Chang restaurant. So would Ssam Bar be a better option than Noodle Bar for lunch? I think right now I'm leaning toward doing Momofuku for lunch (either Ssam or Noodle Bar) and then hitting somewhere else for the dinner. This allows us to experience more than one chef's offerings.

      And fine, I won't wear my Chucks if we go to EMP! Don't want to feel out of place at all and I'll have a jacket for the premiere anyway.

      1. re: AntoineDoinel

        I find the ramen at Momofuku Noodle Bar to be good, but not amazingly great. I imagine you can probably find better ramen in or around LA.

        Momofuku Ssam Bar during the week has an "all duck" lunch. Check out the menu online:

        1. re: AntoineDoinel

          Definitely don't waste time on Momofuku Noodle Bar or any ramen places in general - you can get way better ramen in L.A. Ssam Bar is worth it if you wan to try a David Chang restaurant. I think their duck lunch is fantastic.

          And of course, you can't really go wrong with EMP for your one-night-only dinner choice - many 'hounds would agree.

      2. Since you will be at the Tribeca Film Festival, you might want to eat in Tribeca . Either at Corton or Jung Sik. If you wore a sport coat you can wear converse sneakers. Kathryn you amaze me sometimes . how many people actually know Chuck Taylor's

        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        Jung Sik
        2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodwhisperer

          thanks for the recs. I saw Corton on Adam Platt's 101 list. Is that a good reference for NYC restaurants? And I just realized I wrote my post saying chucks like everyone would know what that meant! oops.

          1. re: AntoineDoinel

            Adam Platt is usually half right. But Corton is good. As far as your Chucks go, Kathryn knew what you meant, and so did I. I would say, wear your chucks anywhere, they dress up nicely with a jacket.

        2. Just thought I would chime in here... I live in L.A. and my husband and I just visited N.Y. a few weeks ago.
          I would definitely chose Eleven Madison Park. There's really nothing in L.A. that's even close to it in terms of food or space. They do a lot of fun NY homages in the food (i.e. egg cream, cheesecake, black and white cookie) and you will be wowed.
          Although it's an elegant space, I think you can get away with chucks and a jacket. They really are so welcoming I don't think it's an issue. When we were there we saw a dreadlocked rocker with a jacket and sneakers so I think you're good.
          We have also been to WD-50 and it just didn't impress us that much. The food was very good but not great. I would definitely pick EMP over it.
          I also agree with everyone else, go to Momofuko Ssam. We went for lunch and it wasn't too long of a wait and everything was so good. Our waiter turned out to be from Huntington Beach. ;-)
          Have fun!

          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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

          1. Just want to point out in case you don't know that EMP takes reservations starting at 9:00 am 28 days before. Reservations in my experience are taken very quickly. So you need to be ready by the phone with the number programmed in and with opentable open at 5:59am LA time on that day ready to hit redial and refresh until you get through.

            By the way, just had dinner at EMP the other night and I will echo Pink_pugs' comments. Made my teenage son wear a jacket to dinner even though he could have gotten away without it. Made him look all grown up.