Raymond Sokolov targets Jose Andreas’s Minibar, in Washington, and David Chang’s Ko, in a Wall Street Journal story Saturday about chef’s counters. Sokolov, one of the elders of American food writing, takes the long view and is skeptical of both restaurants. Minibar gets the worst of it: “Mr. Andrés is a sincere evangelist for Spanish food…But his own experiments are thin in taste and strain for originality without often achieving it.” So what does Sokolov have to say about Ko?
“Even if you can’t stand the ascetic setup and speedy pacing of courses, you have to admit that this is a serious and often successful place…” But don’t go thinking that Sokolov buys into the hype: “So it does seem a shame that gastronomes who don’t click fast enough to get a reservation will never eat at Ko. Yet this isn’t a restaurant for people with long attention spans and a limited appetite for novelty — even when the individual ingredients are superb and superbly prepared. If you like small plates and odd ingredients, try walking in to your local dim sum palace. The seats have backs. There are tables and servers. And you don’t need adolescent reflexes with a mouse.” Ouch!
Tiny Spaces, Big Ideas [WSJ]
Related: Ringside Seats at the Chef’s Counter