Momofuku Ko

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East Village answer to Per Se. David Chang gets innovative, starting with super-democratic online reservation system. Win the refresh war at 10am, earn a seat at the wooden counter. Chang strong suits—pork fat (with English muffins), pork belly (in kimchee consommé), short ribs (deep fried)—recur on sublime tasting menu. Optional booze pairings show cheek, like Bud with soft-shell crabs. Minimalist room, chefs double as servers, but inspired fare worth every cent.