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David Chang’s First LA Restaurant Opens Tonight

It’s not a Momofuku

David Chang
Photo: Toronto Star via Getty Images

David Chang’s newest restaurant makes its Los Angeles debut tonight. Majordomo marks the Momofuku chef’s first official project in the city, and it’s been a long time coming. Chang expanded the New York-based Momofuku empire to Sydney, Australia, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas before deciding to open in a warehouse in LA’s Chinatown.

When word of the project broke last year, it easily became one of the most eagerly awaited openings, landing on Eater’s list of fall 2017 anticipated openings, and then again on Eater LA’s most anticipated openings for 2018 when it was delayed past the initial 2017 projected opening date.

Initially, the project was called North Spring, and the big news was that it would be completely different from existing Momofuku restaurants. Most notably, Chang said it wouldn’t serve any of the Momofuku classics, like the iconic pork buns. “There is a reason we are not bringing any Momofuku there,” he told Eater. “We want to make something specific for Los Angeles.”

Chang has been living in LA to prepare for the opening, and on Instagram, he’s chronicled the city’s impressive Korean food scene. But contrary to early rumors, Korean food in the traditional sense won’t be on the Majordomo menu. “If anything, we want it to be boundary-less, in terms of culture,” he said to Eater. “We’re just trying to make straightforward food — and whether [diners] want to see the seams into some other culture, they’re welcome to do that. But we’re not trying to toe that narrative.”

Majordomo will, however, include Korean flavors with California influences, according to Eater LA. While there are no pork buns on the menu, there are some familiar Momofuku favorites, like a spicy take on the bo ssam large-format meal and a dish of “macaroni and chickpea,” reminiscent of the highly Instagrammable cacio e pepe from Chang’s Nishi. And there are rice cakes, of course, but this time they come with spinach and seaweed.

Meat features prominently, and much of the menu is designed for sharing, like a smoked whole beef short rib and crispy-skinned whole pork belly. Bings, the griddle-cooked Chinese bread, and noodles are also big parts of the menu, Eater LA reports. Large brown jars scattered throughout the space will eventually be used to preserve and ferment sauces, spreads, and pickles, or jangs.

Majordomo
Photo by Wonho Frank Lee / Eater LA

But, this being California, Chang will also take advantage of produce. The “Market” section of the menu includes butter lettuce, marinated mushrooms, and a vegetable “bounty bowl.” Chang also hopes to one day have a raw bar made up entirely of West Coast seafood, but due to supply interruptions because of recent storms, he’ll have to start with some East Coast product in the mix.

Last night, Chang served friends and family, including comedians Nick Kroll and Eric Wareheim and Hollywood tycoon Brian Grazer, all of whom gave Majordomo stellar early reviews on social media. Wareheim posted on Instagram, “Los Angeles and Chinatown has officially changed for the better tonight. Imagine all the momofukus combined and refined. Incorporating everything that is beautiful from Los Angeles.”

Majordomo [Official]
David Chang’s Majordomo Opens Tonight: Here’s What to Expect [ELA]
First Look at David Chang’s LA Restaurant Majordomo [ELA]
Everything to Know About David Chang’s Upcoming LA Restaurant [ELA]
The 16 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of Fall 2017 [E]
David Chang’s Momofuku Empire Will Open a Los Angeles Restaurant in Late 2017 [ELA]

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