Majordōmo - chinatown


#41

not suggesting don’t go out at all–just that we’re much more selective about which restaurants we go to (and this is not referring to local daily casual spots)


#42

I agree 190 for 3 beef ribs is pretty insane. David Chan must be hurting since he’s not making audi commercials anymore…


#43

Please replicate it and invite me over so I can have some.


#44

Funny thing is if you slice off all the meat into smaller pieces you’d pay just as much at Park’s for their kkotssal. Maybe more.


#45

Yeah for sure, which is why I will never pay $12 for an avocado toast (though, I certainly have in my lifetime)


#46

Also why I don’t order from those menu sections at Parks - that bill can get real crazy real fast.


#47

Yeah big fan of the tableside there. It’s fun and interactive but not like super bourgeois or anything


#48

point taken–don’t mean to judge the place based on a few photos of the food. but since it is from david chang, my expectations are probably higher than expected. I’m sure it’s great, but along w/ others on the board, I honestly wasn’t wowed by crispy pork belly w/bib lettuce and green papaya and chili sauce. loved to proven wrong tho.


#49

Man if you give Eater an exclusive look at your restaurant you don’t even have to hire a PR firm apparently…

I want to reserve any additional judgment until I either try the place or more photos come out (but again referencing my past forays to his NY restaurants, I am a bit skeptical). But in terms of comparing the ggotssal at Park’s vs the beef ribs at Majordomo, I think the quality at Park’s Waygu style beef has been established throughout the LA food eating community.

What type of beef grade/ sourcing are they using at Majordomo? Which ribs are they using?


#50

Haha nice little dig there. I’m giving you my personal feedback, so you can take it with a grain of salt that I’ve been there and chatted with Chang. However, I’ll honestly say I’ve been one of the biggest Momofuku skeptics out there and have had very mixed experiences in his NYC restaurants. I enjoyed Vegas enough too, but wasn’t blown away by it. It’s a fun restaurant that makes sense for Vegas, but this is different. As a Korean-American food fan and writer, I can appreciate the effort he’s taking to elevate the cuisine here, even if no one’s really been successful before. Of course, go try it and report back. From what Chang has told me, the beef quality is as good as you can get. He’s been telling me it has to be even more to be profitable.


#51

Sorry for the dig but it did seem like you were very disproportionally pro-Majordomo. Based on your rationale, I totally get it, it makes sense that as a Korean-American you want to see this type of cuisine elevated and respected.

But for me personally, 3 beef ribs (without knowing the quality of the beef) with some sides for 190 is just kind of ridiculous and a bit off-putting. But I guess I’ll have to go give it a try…


#52

On the menu, the beef ribs are mentioned as Smoked Bone-in style APL ribs (Adam Perry Lang) Here’s a picture from David Chang’s Instagram

I’m assuming this would be the size.


#53

Few examples where dining out QPR is superior to DIY.
$7 bowl of Pho (15hrs of to prepare consomme like stock, quantity of bones required… and the endless skimming)
Unagi from scratch (ever try butchering a live eel?)
Dialogue/Vespertine style food
High end Sushi - can’t source equiv quality raw materials, $1k+ knives
Bossam at Kobawoo
Deep fried food (too much cleanup and large quantities of used oil)
Dim sum
Super competitively priced cuisines i.e (Szechuan, Tacos, Korean)

I think it’s a tough proposition to introduce an ‘elevated’ Korean restaurant and charge $$$$ in LA when we have so many excellent and inexpensive choices; unless it blows it out of the park. When I think of ‘elevated’ Korean, places like Atoboy, Jungsik come to mind. If it’s just equal or marginally better accompanied by overpriced menus and hipster annoyances, not going to end well. It works in NYC because the quality of Asian food is generally quite awful located in divey/touristy joints and pandering to a less sophisticated palate (for Asian food). Just look at how Pot has fared… vs. Lukshon

My 2 cents


#54

I don’t know @matthewkang from Adam, but I do think he deserves a bit of credit for being willing to post and to respond to criticize on the Board. We’re not exactly the easiest crowd. :wink: (and, yes, I know you were apologizing)

I think part of it also depends on cultural experience. I’m pretty sure I could make boiled dumplings more easily than a similarly “simple” recipe from another culture simply b/c I saw it done so much growing up (and thus also don’t expect what I make to taste like what I eat at a restaurant).

But I never make dumplings b/c I never just want dumplings alone… :wink:


#55

15 FTC Posters That Are A Pain In My Ass, Winter 2018 edition.

We used to have dumpling making parties until we discovered you can buy 50 frozen ones from DSW for $12.

Also, tabouli. You guys ever make that stuff at home? I will gladly pay someone else to chop all that damn parsley.


#56

$7 bowl of Pho (15hrs of to prepare consomme like stock, quantity of bones required… and the endless skimming)
Unagi from scratch (ever try butchering a live eel?)
Dialogue/Vespertine style food
High end Sushi - can’t source equiv quality raw materials, $1k+ knives
Bossam at Kobawoo
Deep fried food (too much cleanup and large quantities of used oil)
Dim sum
Super competitively priced cuisines i.e (Szechuan, Tacos, Korean)

would agree with almost everything you listed, especially high end sushi, dialogue/providence style food… which is why when we go out, it’s mainly to these type of establishments you listed.

however as @paranoidgarliclover mentioned, depends on perspective. we make pho all the time and make about 15 qt worth with about 20 lbs of bones/meat. the skimming should be minimal if you parboil the bones and we do leave it overnight minimum of 10hrs with about 1 hrs worth of active cooking time. Leaves us w/ pho for days but with few guests and neighbors we’re lucky to stash some of the freezer for a rainy day. for anyone else though, you’re right :grinning: just wish the quality of pho in LA is better


#57

I get a blister on my finger about 50% of the time I make tabouli. I’m sure that says something about my chef knife kung fu.
I also prefer my own tabouli over 90% of the stuff out there. I’m sure that also says something about me.


#58

I’d love to hear what everyone who’s actually tried the place had to think about it… For reference, I’ve been to Momofuku Vegas. It was pretty good, not great, and the bossam probably wasn’t worth $135 for a party of three, but I could see it being worth it for a party of 4 (seriously at double the size at $270, 6-8 people are going to be eating nothing but bossam) and the black truffle ramen ab-so-f—ing-lutely is not worth $50, but I’ll do a couple of the buns for $7 a pop and some noodles and veg, leave more than happy for less than $50 — while staying in the Cosmopolitan, no less, where chicken wings at Blue Ribbon cost $30.

My .02: As a Korean-American, Majordomo is a very important place to me. The discussion devolving into dishes that can be made at home at a fraction of the suggested price, or the sticker shock over some beef ribs or a bossam that’s literally going to feed way more people than any plate of bossam in the city (trust me, I tried damn near all of them) misses the point of the restaurant and is, quite frankly, reductionist to a fault. Here’s more of an extensive rundown of recommended dishes.

Bing: The bread’s got a nice, stretchy pull and wonderfully charred outside, reminiscent of a nice, dense tandoori naan (those of you who’ve had the pleasure, think of the tandoori naan at Bhanu’s grocery in Rosemead). I tried the chickpea and uni, it was nice (and lots of uni, actually) but not altogether necessary. You’ll definitely be getting more of a kick out of the Bing than the toppings, since bread that good goes with basically anything.

Broken Soft Tofu with apple, honey: A perfect first course if you’re anticipating something heavy later on. The apples and just a very gentle note of honey bring out the fresh soybean notes of the soondubu and it’s a refreshing way to start a meal. It’s playful, refined and altogether just a smart dish.

Fried butterball potatoes: I kept biting into these little morsels of potato and thinking to myself, “where does the potato keep going?” If you’re a fan of those crunchy french fries that don’t seem to have anything in the middle (sorry, it’s a very specific phenomenon), welcome to your nirvana. Tossed in seeds, peanuts-in-the-shell, and Sichuan pepper (“Chongqing-style”), this is more of a heavy starter if you’re anticipating a lighter dish.

Stuffed peppers: Korean kids will know this dish as one of two _gochujeon_s. This gochujeon is the deep-fried stuffed pepper version (the other one is more like a pancake), except the pepper is stuffed with spiced Benton’s sausage and it’s actually the perfect complement to this dish, which is a staple of Korean parties I went to growing up. I wanted to slap all my _sukmo_s for not thinking of this. It’s served with a buttermilk-ranch-like sauce that doesn’t add too much to the dish, but does cool everything down just a tad. My biggest gripe with this dish is that those inside juices from the sausage will pour out into the exterior and make things a little soggy if the dish sits too long. Michelin-starred tempura skills, these are not. Delicious, it is.

Raw sugar snaps with horseradish, radish, shallot: Someone above said “wasabi peas,” and that hit it on the head. Exchange the mealy texture of chewed wasabi peas with the crisp, refreshing crunch of sugar snap peas. My complaint here was that it was a tad salty initially, but I didn’t really care-- at a point the salt backtracks to accentuate the grassiness of the snap peas before the horseradish tickle hits. It’s crave-worthy.

Black cod in paper: Think of a spicy eundaegu jorim, except the cod is cooked perfectly and portioned for 1.5. The way the cod flakes is absolutely marvelous; you haven’t had it prepared this well in Koreatown, because the standard recipe calls for it to be vaporized. Here it’s cooked to a wonderful texture and reasonably priced, to boot. Also, those noodles (I think they’re kuzu or sweet potato starch) were pretty darn spicy. Also, the noodles I had were pretty long — it would benefit from a cutting.

Spicy bossam: I actually prefer this to the more famous bossam! The spicy, slightly sweet gochujang-based glaze mingled with that pork flavor reminds me of the pork ribs our family friend used to make for us at her house. It’s definitely a Korean-American thing more than a strict Korean food thing per se — we grew up eating barbecue ribs at our Western friends’ houses and our parents took those ingredients and put a proper Korean spin on it with some gochujang. My mom would call this type of spicy, pork-centric cooking “Korean soul food,” (you can find it at places like Ham Ji Park) and, well, no dissing Korean momma’s. I think the condiments are pretty much the same as the original bossam.

Whole plate short rib: Smoked bone-in APL style. I know this is a tough sell. You should still probably try it. It practically stinks of wood and has the most perfect pink little smoke ring you’ve ever seen. Eating it bossam style is a dream come true for a Korean fatass like me. Also, it’s going to feed six people pretty comfortably all things considered. Say what you want about David Chang, he knows how to mete out portions for hungry people.

I guess a pretty deep wish of mine is that Korean-inspired food would eventually reach a perception of quality Stateside where our best chef could do up 3 bones worth of some of the best smoked beef rib you’ll ever have, and charge what Chi Spacca charges for a 42 oz. Bistecca Fiorentina and people wouldn’t bat a lash,
or shit on it calling it mediocre fusion food,
or compare a whole Boston butt bossam to a $35 plate of Kobawoo bossam made from slices of a damned $5 pork belly,
or pigeonhole our cuisine into a traditionalized form of expression that’s frankly more an exotification by presumably well-meaning foreign influences than an actual representation of the spirit of Korean cuisine, which is always evolving,
that people would be open-minded enough to experience Korean-American excellence in all different forms, all the way down to the damned David Choe murals on the wall and feel like it’s worthy of paying a premium comparable to eating at a French, Japanese or Italian restaurant.

Just my .02.


#59

The perspective of QPR/“value for money” when dining out is an extremely important consideration for many on the board. To imply any counter argument as being ‘reductionist’ is equally reductionist and ignorant. Not everyone on the board is a baller or has the means to spend $50-100/person on a regular basis. Shit, in my younger days $50 meals were a splurge. Unfortunately with my limited means, I am reduced to budgeting $X each month to spend on food. That budget just got schwacked this year by a 50% increase in my ACA premium and I’m not a beneficiary of the tax cut bonuses or raises being doled out :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

As a decent home cook, preparation of dishes at places like Ssam bar, X small plates joint are relatively easy for me to recreate especially with easy access to mail order or farmers market for great ingredients these days (X designer pork, X days dry aged prime, grass fed beef, A5 wagyu, uni, caviar, truffles, tweezer baby vegs etc). I’ve seen who & how food is prepared at some open kitchens and have often cringed at the sloppy prep work behind those stoves.

When I choose to dine out, the choice of restaurants essentially boil down to one or more of these considerations:

  1. Is it really cheap?
  2. Good QPR?
  3. Can’t easily prepare at home or unfamiliar with cuisine
  4. New and exciting cuisine or restaurant
  5. Convenience
  6. Special occasion

This is just my personal perspective and I’m sure everyone has their own personal checklist. I have not dined at Majordomo and was reading the various post to determine if it checked any boxes. However, I have dined at Ssam & Noodle bar. The former was disappointing @ $170 dinner for two with one non-alcoholic cocktail dining at the bar counter. The Momofuku ramen was suprisingly good but marred by pork that was too heavily smoked and overwhelmed everything else. I would return to the Noodle bar but unlikely to Ssam. Madjordomo seems to lean more towards Ssam so it won’t make my list of near term places to visit.

Happy for you it fills gaps in your dining goals!


#60

the han is strong in this one.

FWIW, someone who complains about the price of $180 short ribs is also going to complain about a $240 porterhouse or w/e.

Also FWIW, I’m trying to get a party of 6 together to buy that $180 short rib bossam. Majordomo only books 30 days out.