This post originally appeared in EIC Amanda Kludt’s “From the Editor” newsletter, a weekly recap of the most important intel in food and dining each week. Subscribe to Eater’s newsletter for more.
Many readers come to Eater to escape the world of politics, not to get our take on the political environment through the lens of food. I want to and will respect that...maybe another day. Today I will just very briefly omg oh so quickly use this space to highlight a wonderful heartfelt essay by Allison Robicelli, a Baltimore baker by way of Brooklyn who believes both she and her husband might not be alive today were it not for the Affordable Care Act. She argues that Obamacare is (was?) a lifeline for vulnerable communities in the restaurant industry. Also see: this Twitter thread by Pete Wells.
Now on to Vegas!
Opening of the Week: Momofuku Las Vegas
Who’s behind this thing? Food world supernova David Chang.
What is it? A $7 million casino restaurant. Somewhat like his DC venture, this Momo serves a “greatest hits” of Chang dishes, including Noodle Bar’s pork buns, Fuku’s chicken sandwiches, Ssam Bar’s rotisserie duck, and desserts from neighboring Milk Bar.
Where is it? The second floor of the Cosmopolitan, the casino for the hipper Vegas set, known for restaurants like Beauty & Essex, China Poblano, and Eggslut.
When did it open? Tuesday night.
Why did Chang expand to Vegas? After all these years of failed deals and fervid rumors, Chang finally submitted to the siren song of those Vegas dollars. It seems like the right moment for Chang, as he recently took on serious investment and is looking to massively grow his delivery-only restaurant start-up Ando. It’s his third real restaurant opening (I’m not counting the Fukus) in two years. Here’s all the necessary Eater Vegas coverage.
Must Reads on Eater
- Restaurant intel: Mario Batali’s La Sirena is making some major changes; a former Saison chef opened a cute roadside stand called Dad’s Luncheonette; new Spanish restaurant Pamplona debuted in DC; Amanda Cohen launched a vegetarian restaurant in Newark Airport; Shake Shack is coming to Denver; Anita Lo will close Annisa in May; chef Dan Barber’s food waste pop-up is expanding to London; Portland’s beloved chef Johanna Ware, whose Smallwares closed last year, is opening a teeny tiny new restaurant called Wares; and TV chef Cat Cora is planning a comeback on 14th Street in New York.
- Check out this beautiful new coffee shop in an old LA train depot.
- Bow down before the beauty that is #saltbae.
- In order to appeal to millennial diners, North Carolina-based chain Bojangles revamped to offer free wi-fi and a “biscuit theater.”
- A gun-themed restaurant with a virtual shooting lounge is coming to Dallas.
- Oh hey, I’m speaking at a food conference in Charleston in June focused on helping female food industry entrepreneurs. It should be fuuuuun.
What to Read Off Eater
- The family behind Jackson Family Wines (think the Kendall-Jackson chard you see in the supermarket) are employing both high-tech (drones!) and old-school (falcons!) techniques to adapt to hotter, drier conditions in California. [NYT]
- Guess what? Most of the “ethnic” recipes on the NYT Cooking site are written by white people. [Intersectional Analyst]
- I’m an out-of-the-closet Stephen Starr fangirl, so I love any story about how he’s evolved as a restaurateur along with the marketplace (and how he even got here in the first place). [Philly.com, Vanity Fair]
- Here’s René Redzepi on the future of fine dining. [Lucky Peach]
- Kate Krader explains why Filipino food is the “next big thing.” [Bloomberg]
- JJ Goode, Melissa Clark, and others on what it’s like to be a cookbook ghostwriter. [Bon Appetit]
- Danny Meyer calls tipping “one of the biggest hoaxes ever pulled on an entire culture.” It was born out of slavery and created a long-lasting false economy (not to mention reinforced sexism and racism) in this country. [The Sporkful]
- The history of LA’s Philippe’s and the invention of the French dip, a happy mistake of a sandwich. [KCET]