The In-box

Gael Greene’s Ko Conspirator Goes on the Defensive

By now you might be almost as sick of hearing about Gael Greene’s and Tom Dobrowski’s Ko reservation debacle as you are of, say, trying to get a reservation at the place (thanks to the guy who e-mailed us today offering us his time slot, but we’ll pass) — but we thought we’d post Dobrowski’s latest e-mail to us by way of a coda. Let the record show that one of his co-workers may have canceled his reservation after he forwarded it around, and an IT guy at Momofuku may have leaked the log of his reservation activity to Eater despite assurances that he wouldn’t.

Dear Grub Street,
I thought about dropping this, but then came up with a great tag line to my below response which is in the title of this email [KO Gets K.O.’d]. I am hoping this sets things straight for once and for all.


To say I am amazed as to how media outlets assume I was being deceptive, and am trying to look “victimized”, is an understatement. The purpose of my post on Friday was to present the facts as I knew them to be. Subsequently, I have been contacted by the “IT guru” from Momofuku and he was able to provide me with some empirical evidence that a reservation was in fact cancelled through the same IP address as it was made. Well, well, well … ring the bell s…. sound the alarm … extra extra … “Ko-Boom” … great investigative reporting has led to a breakthrough, the case has been cracked!!! Hmmmmm … not so fast … I was surprised to hear this and for a second thought I was losing my mind. Fortunately technology makes it easy to track every moment of existence one has on their computer. I immediately summoned my technology director and inquired about conducting a forensic look-back on my computer to that fateful day, the 24th of April. As it turns out it was quite easy. Within minutes he was able to pull my entire history of internet clicks, visits, downloads, images, posts, logins, emails, et al, et al, even clicks that verify, cancel, confirm just about anything, including reservations. You name it and the history was there. It was easy to pull up the login for Momofuku Ko on my computer, it was also easy to pull up the specific page showing I was awarded a reservation. As we scroll minute after minute we eventually pass the said time (10:34 as per so called “guru”) when my reservation was so cancelled. There was no record of an outgoing cancellation click, at least not on my PC. Also, there was no record of me logging in again to try to regain my “cancelled” reservation. In fact there was no internet activity at all; I was not even at my computer. One can presuppose as he/she so desires. Fortunately the computer does not lie and like I said all along, neither am I.

There is no doubt still a mystery to be solved, as numerous posts and comments indicate I had forwarded my reservation confirmation to some colleagues in my office, which I am validating. And yes, if I did cancel the reservation, why would I post the Craigslist ad three days later; that makes no sense.

I am working on solving the mystery, but at the end of the day if a friend of mine accidentally cancelled the reservation, so be it, mistakes occur and I am not looking to pin the blame on an erroneous act. The experience that was created and the friendship made outweigh any and all this speculation.

- tom

p.s. - To the “IT guru” at Momofuku. Thank you for providing my so-called login history to I thought we came to an understanding over the phone.

p.s.s. - One more thing, the IP address that so implicates me, well, that theory is bunk, every computer in my entire firm uses the same IP address, so “his” IP address is actually the “entire firm’s” IP address.

p.s.s.s .- And to chef Chang, thank you for the free meal.

We’re not saying Chang or his cooks did anything to the free meal, but for the record, Mr. Dobrowski, the nesting period for hepatitis A is about two weeks. E-mail us again then to let us know you’re okay?

Earlier: Gael Greene Takes David Chang to School

Gael Greene’s Ko Conspirator Goes on the Defensive