The New Momofuku Noodle Bar Injects Mischief and Delight Into Mall Dining
Chang, who rose to celebrity status as an expletive-spewing chef bent on dressing down fine dining and subverting culinary traditions, is not an empire builder in the typical sense. He doesn’t Xerox fine dining temples like the late Joel Robuchon or overpriced steakhouses a la Wolfgang Puck. Almost all of his sit-down concepts are genuinely unique, from Seiobo, a Caribbean-Australian tasting counter in Sydney, to Nishi, an Asian-Italian pasta place in New York, to Majordomo, an haute-rustic hotspot in Los Angeles.
But Noodle Bar — along with his Fuku fast-food outlets — appears slated for interplanetary replication. Chang runs three of them, in the East Village, Time Warner, and Toronto, or arguably four, as the Las Vegas Momofuku borrows heavily from the chain’s repertoire of ramen, pork buns, and fried chicken.