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Majordomo, Los Angeles
Wonho Frank Lee

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First Look at David Chang’s LA Restaurant Majordomo

The Momofuku chef arrives in Los Angeles after years of rumors and anticipation

Majordomo is finally ready to open in Los Angeles. David Chang, founder of Momofuku and one of the world’s most notable food personalities, will make this his first West Coast restaurant. If all goes well, Majordomo will be ready to open some time in the very near future — possibly in the next few weeks or even sooner.

Located in an industrial area a stone’s throw from the LA State Historic Park and north of Chinatown, the spacious buildout evokes an industrial look with warm walnut tables, countertops, and seating laid out across a long dining room and cordoned off outdoor patio. The frosted glass coming off the angled corrugated steel ceiling hides much of its former home as an industrial space, and the semi-open kitchen yields much in the way of sights, smells, and sounds.

What’s on the menu: bing, noodles, meats, and desserts

David Chang put tremendous thought into the construction, presentation, and content of the menu, and in his mind, it ultimately reflects a truly unique approach to California and Los Angeles cuisine. Market ingredients, never-before-seen meat preparations, and immigrant flavors imbue many of the dishes here. For a seasoned Angeleno diner, many of the tastes will seem outright familiar, though in a totally unexpected form factor.

Consider the bing — plush but flattened Chinese bread griddled and served alongside shareable spreads and dips. Chang’s particularly fond of the eggs with trout roe and onion soubise as a bing companion. Noodles are a big part of the menu too, with a tapioca lo mien covered generously with pork fat, and laced with slivers of broccoli and Korean fermented krill (saewoojut) for a dish that builds with each bite.

Beyond those starters, there’s a lightly grilled Holstein beef slices served with a side of rice, soft-boiled egg, and housemade rye soy sauce. There’s an interactivity for many of the courses here, which are meant for sharing, but also perfectly suited to eating solo at the bar. Break the egg, dribble in some faint yellow rye soy sauce, and dip in the hefty beef pieces. Think of it as deconstructed gyudon.

Chang has plenty of other surprises in the meat department, with a smoked whole beef short rib and crispy-skinned whole pork belly served a la Korean samyupssal. There’s even a tempura-fried whole chili pepper stuffed with Benton’s sausage and served with a tangy buttermilk sauce.

There are Korean jangs spread across the room and outside on the patio, and eventually they’ll use them to preserve and ferment sauces, spreads, and pickles. Whether it’s a dongchimi (a light Korean pickle with its broth) or doenjang (fermented soybean paste), the massive brown jars aren’t just for show.

The menu sports even more, from a raw bar with mostly West Coast seafood (the goal is to go all West Coast but the recent storms and mudslides in Santa Barbara have interrupted some supplies) to desserts like a subtle housemade sweetened rice wine or coffee-horchata shaved ice.

Jude Parra-Sickels, who helped opened Momofuku Ssam Bar and worked with Roy Choi at POT, will be the executive chef while Christine Larroucau runs the front of house as the general manager. When it opens, Majordomo will serve dinner, with lunch service slated for the future.

Majordomo. 1725 Naud Street, Los Angeles, CA

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