Majordomo

As you approach Majordomo, David Chang’s first restaurant in LA, you wonder if you have come to the right place.  The streets are dark and vacant and certainly wandering around late at night might not be such a good idea.  Then you see the peach logo from afar down an alley and all of a sudden the light pours out through the big glass windows and you realize you have found an oasis.

Chang is on top of his game here.  He got married, took charge of his company and brought in some senior seasoned players and most importantly brought in smart capital.   Majordomo is what he wanted to build if you could build anything and in this neighborhood, you can do it.  The kitchen is a dream come true.

The menu has some Chang hits such as the Bo Ssam spiced up and he has rethought his epic pork bun with something called Bing.  I’d recommend bringing a big group so you can try a lot.  Ok, let’s get into it.  We started with Bing.  Bing is a bunch of small plates served alongside a pancake that is almost similar to the bun part of a pork bun but crisper with a soft interior.  They are so good you can eat it plain.  The name Bing has to do with the concept where you just keep bringing out the plates and popping the food into the pancake and eating it.  Bing, bing, bing, bing.  We had soft-boiled eggs with smoked roe served in a light broth.  Insanely delicious and certainly you aren’t finding this on anyone else’s menu.

We also had the chickpeas and uni.  Strange combo but damn does it work.  I might have to beg David for the chickpea recipe.  There is heat, spices that I have never tasted in that dish and it serves as a great base for the uni, or just by itself.  We licked the bowl clean.

We attempted to go light and also order things that you rarely see so next out was broken soft tofu with honey and apple.  Smooth and sweet yet the apple gives it a shot of tartness.   We missed ordering the stuffed peppers on this part of the menu but gives us a reason to return.

Bounty Bowl is fresh vegetables and lettuces served with a green goddess dip and domojang which is a spicy chili sauce.  Nice to order for the table.

Rice cakes with spinach and seaweed.  The rice cakes have this strange chewy texture almost like an overdone pasta.  The recommended dish on this part of the menu is the chow mein…obviously next time.

Crispy pork belly is one of the dishes I am still dreaming out.  The meat is almost falling apart with crispy skin on top.  Served with large pieces of lettuce to make a sandwich of pork, rice, sprouts and chili sauce.  It is just perfect.

There are 3 items for a table of 2-4, 4-6.  We went with the Boneless Short Ribs.  They roll out the short ribs on a cart, and quite frankly I love the theatrics.  Then someone carves the meat for you table side.

Served along is shiso and condiments.  There is a lot of meat here and taking it home for the next day is honestly an added bonus.  If I wasn’t so full, I would have gnawed on the bones right there.

They take the additional meat from the bones back in the kitchen before returning the ribs and make individual beef rice bowls for everyone at the table.  We were so full that dessert was not in the cards although the shaved ice is supposedly quite good.  I will hold out for next time.

What he has done here has become hard to do in NYC unless you did this in BedSty 10 years ago.  There is an opportunity to create a brand new development here with Majordomo being the anchor tenant around a new paradigm of community around food.  Chang changed the way food is thought about when he opened up Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004.  Experience is valuable and my guess is what he has learned in the past 15 years is about to be put to use.  I am looking forward to watching.