It's official, it's all out war in NYC. The battle seems to be on to see who wins the title of 'The Best Korean Fried Chicken.' Over the past few years this has been simmering, from what I could tell, somewhat under the radar. But apparently it's more popular than ever. And everyone is boasting about having THE best fried chicken in town. Including, but not limited to: Momofuku, Bon Chon and a recent discovery: Mono + Mono. During my recent NY trip, my good friend Eric took me there to try it. It's more of a pub/eatery than a traditional restaurant. We were there on the early side – 7:30-8pm. The place didn't get busy until later.
The focal point of this beautiful deco/industrial space (aside from the chicken) and the reason for the name is – get this: the collection of 30,000 vinyl records (vintage soul and jazz). That's right. This amazing collection is displayed in a gigantic built-in wall shelf behind glass that starts at floor level and reaches up to what looks to be 16+ foot high ceilings. There are ever-present DJs that not only spin all these records, the covers of the ones playing on the turntables are displayed between plates of acrylic and attached to a conveyor belt that slowly circulate the perimeter of the space overhead. It's quite amazing.
Aside from this, the food was great. I loved the grilled edamame (presented in a boat made of grilled corn husk). I loved the (organic) chicken – it was very good. Though I must say I liked Bon Chon's just a little bit more. And nothing has yet to beat Max's chicken, in my humble opinion. My favourite of their tapas had to be the Foie Gras Meat Balls. They were spectacular. I find it difficult to describe them except they were, oddly, both sweet and savoury and nestled in clouds of fluffy mashed potatoes. I'm definitely coming back there next time I'm in the city.