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Momofuku Ko

Let's name some things $858.57 can buy you.

A flight to Barcelona. Many hundred lottery tickets. A pair of shoes you absolutely don't need. Two nights at an expensive bed and breakfast and/or an overpriced Miami hotel. One month's worth of rent in a far inferior city. A 3D printer that can print another 3D printer (unconfirmed). Myspace.

You get the point. $858.57 can buy you a lot of things. It can also buy you dinner for two with the beverage pairing at Momofuku Ko.

If you pay any attention to the restaurant scene in New York, none of this should come as breaking news. Dinner at Momofuku Ko has been an expensive proposition ever since David Chang opened the original on 1st Avenue back in 2009. The experience costs bit more these days in the new Extra Place location - but probably just to keep up with inflation.

At this point you are either thinking a) "you people are crazy," or b) "hell yes, I want in on this." Rarely do people fall in the middle when this kind of cash is at stake. You are also likely thinking, "I'll just go to Ko and skip the beverage pairing and save about $350." Yes, you could do that. But you shouldn't. We can honestly say that the wine and beer and even cocktails that come with the tasting menu at Ko elevate the experience considerably. Our confit sunchoke benefitted greatly from the glass of weird raspberry Belgian ale that came along with it, and the same can be said for the bay scallop with pineapple dashi broth and the accompanying riesling from 1991. I guess what I'm saying if you're going to go big, you might as well go BIG. Save the $60 bottle of Pinot Noir for another meal.

As for the meal itself, the price of admission gets you 17 courses, each delivered over the new and improved Ko kitchen counter to your seat from one of the chefs who just finished preparing it. As you might expect, the food is almost entirely influenced by Asian flavors - except for the times when it's not, like the piece of duck we had that was said to be at least partially inspired by buffalo chicken wings. The menu changes almost entirely every single day, dictated by whatever is going on in the Walter White-style food lab on the other side of the glass cooler. Each plate is incredibly interesting if not incredibly delicious. At the very least, everything you eat will make you think "what the f*ck" in one way or another, and even in the times that sentiment is rooted more in confusion than pleasure, it's still exciting.

So then the question really comes down to this: What will you enjoy more? A once in a lifetime meal that involves some chickpea miso that the chef invented last Tuesday, or that weekend by the pool at The Delano? Only you can decide. And if you want to go halfsies on Myspace, we're in. That's just good business.

Food Rundown

A sampling of our meal at Ko, though yours will probably be entirely different.

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