Sunday, January 11, 2009

Momofuku Ko and the Elusive Green Checkmark

David and I have had several food revelations at David Chang's restaurants, including Ssam Bar and Noodle Bar. So when Ko opened up, we were pretty excited. Unfortunately, we weren't organized enough to visit before Frank Bruni's positive review.

So we joined the masses in trying to obtain one of the 12 spots available at Ko for dinner. The on-line reservation system opens everyday at 10 am, and green checkmarks denote spots free for the taking. I knew my computer wasn't fast enough, but I tried sporadically anyways in hopes that someone would sneeze during the crucial moments or hesitate the split second that I needed to nab one of the spots.

It was 10:15 am one day, and I already knew that all the dinner spots were gone. I checked anyway to kill time. Ko had begun to offer lunch spots a few months ago. I dispassionately checked those, as well. When I checked the second week, there was one lone friendly green checkmark glowing in the middle of the website. I could not believe my eyes. It was just me and that green checkmark - no one else in all of Manhattan knew about its existence, and I simply could not believe the sheer luck that allowed that to be.

So I grabbed the spot, gave them my credit card number, and agreed to pay a penalty of $300 if I didn't show up. I left the reservation website feeling like I had found Willie Wonka's Golden Ticket. Dave and I will let you know how the factory looks from the inside.

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