NYC's Best New Pizza, and an LA Noodle-Bar Scoop
Things always get a little crazy when Sang Yoon comes to town. The chef-owner of Los Angeles’s Father’s Office makes some of the very best burgers in the country but when he’s in New York City, he’s not always checking out the competition (although he has eaten his way through the city's notable burgers – no comment on which is his favorite). Indeed, after hanging out eating crisp French fries with spicy cod roe mayo at the adorable new tapas spot Txikito, he and his posse (which included Top Chef goddess Gail Simmons), moved on down the block to the just-opened Co. The crowd at the crazy packed pizza place ranged from Frankies Spuntino’s two Franks, (whose upcoming Prime Meats is consecrated in this week’s New York magazine) who were there with Stumptown coffee hero Duane Sorenson, to Jean-Georges, who actually moved seats to accommodate Yoon’s party. The highlight pizza, by all accounts, was the Market Pie, which was covered with sliced truffles (market price is an accurate way to describe it—last week it was $22; last night the same pie was $40). After a frantic text correspondence with Tom Colicchio, Yoon moved to Craft Steak where the party was Ken Friedman (Spotted Pig), David Chang (Momofuku – look for his new hair style) and Joe Bastianich (Babbo, etc). At last sighting, he was moving over to Friedman’s awesome new John Dory where the crowd at the bar included Page Six gossip girl Paula Froelich.
But that wasn’t the big news for the night. The big news would be Yoon’s upcoming Asian noodle bar that he’ll open in late summer in Culver City, down the block from the second Father’s Office. “It’s NOT an Asian gastropub,” says Yoon. While noodles and rice dishes will be the menu’s cornerstone, he’ll also feature ambitious traditional dishes like chile crab (made with Dungeness crabs, of course) as well as wonderfully creative dishes like hot-and-sour sweetbreads and B-rings (Asian long beans tied in a circle, covered in tempura batter and fried). “I get to use all the tools in the tool box that I’ve collected,” says South Korean-born Yoon, who’ll travel to Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong this spring. “And I’ve already planned the wine and beer situation,” he adds. The whites-only list will feature specially-made-for-Sang wines on tap, just as Father’s Office does, but the focus will be on Asian-food-friendly varietals like Viognier and Grenache Blanc, as well as bottles from Europe. And since this is Sang Yoon—who puts FO’s bartenders through Sang’s beer school (they have to make a batch before they get the job) and has 30-plus brews on state-of-the-art tap—there will be beer, too.