Please, David Chang, Not a Steakhouse


Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman has a wonderful, angsty, kind of insane interview with Momofuku's David Chang today. The chef seems unsure of exactly what he wants his new D.C. restaurant to be. He says he's mad the menu is a collection of his greatest hits. He insists he doesn't want to serve "fucking noodles." There's talk of pupusas. And salad bars. And buffets.

And then there's this:

Let’s talk about that for a second. You touched on it earlier, but I think a lot of people are going to hear that and think: What? You just opened a restaurant, and you don’t know what it’s going to be? How is that possible?

You know, like, we have a private dining room. And I was just thinking recently, you know, DC has a lot of steakhouses—what if we did a steakhouse?

Seriously? A steakhouse? No…

I mean, we don’t even know if we’re gonna do it, but that’s what I was just working on on the menu when you walked in. Who knows if we’re gonna do it.

You know what? I’m at a point in my life where I want to do all the things that no one thinks that we should do.

This, of course, may be a fleeting whim—one of many from Chang. Or maybe a joke? D.C. will undoubtedly embrace whatever he presents. Just look at the lines. But please, Mr. Chang, don't become another cliched, big-name chef who thinks D.C. wants or needs another steakhouse. We'd rather take the buffet.

Photo by Jessica Sidman