Editor's note: Each week on SE:NY, we'll be talking to notable and interesting serious eaters as part of our Meet & Eat series. Today's subject needs little introduction, but we're going to give one anyway. You may know David Chang from such hits as Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and the 3-star-anointed Momofuku Ko. Here, he namechecks his favorite go-to spots and some undiscovered gems and addresses the rumor that Ko will open for lunch.
Name: Dave Chang
Location: East Village
Occupation: Overrated pseudo chef
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Wylie Dufresne.
And what's the best recommendation he's ever given you? L'Astrance, in Paris.
What's your favorite meal of the day and your go-to spot for it? On my day off, either stay-at-home delivery from Grand Sichuan (dan dan noodles, ma po tofu, braised chili beef). If I do go out, it's Oriental Garden and whatever Uncle Choi recommends.
What do you wish you could cook better? Everything. I wish I were a better butcher.
Favorite comfort food? Fried chicken.
Guilty pleasures? Popeyes fried chicken.
Favorite burger? In 'n' Out—the secret Ozone Park branch.
Describe your perfect meal. Good company, delicious food, drunk—bread and butter.
Food you won't eat? Salmon, whale, and Rocky Mountain oysters.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? Soft-shell lobster and Eduardo Sousa–raised foie gras—it's supposedly as rare as a unicorn.
Most memorable New York City meal? Gramercy Tavern, 1998; 71 Clinton Fresh Food, 1999 (now closed); Craft, 2001; Cafe Boulud, 2003; Jean Georges, 2004 and 2008; Spotted Pig, 2006; Gilt, 2005 and 2008; Per Se, 2004 and 2008; Spicy & Tasty, 2007; Le Bernadin, 2007; the Blue Hill dinners I've had during the Mike Anthony and Juan Cuevas years.
Favorite bagel? H & H.
Best late-night eats? New York Noodle Town.
What is New York missing, foodwise? Great ethnic food like Los Angeles has, although Queens rocks! And farm-to-table establishments on the more affordable side—no more "haute barnyard," how about "budget barnyard"?
By the way, that rumor that Ko will be adding lunch hours? Care to comment? It's happening—just not anytime soon.
Oh, and about that secret Ozone Park In 'n' Out—you're kidding, right? Yeah. But it would be awesome.