This afternoon, we were joined for a lunch for 10 at Momofuku Ssam Bar. It wasn't anyone's birthday or any celebratory occasion. Rather, we were all there for the bo ssam: a dish on the menu that includes a dozen raw oysters, kimchi and a whole pig butt. (By the way: this isn't the rear of pig but here).
Momofuku requests that you order this meal in advance and for parties of 8 or more. So we met with lovely Bobby and his wife Bipasha and various other journos. One was finishing up his book on Prohibition and its accompaniment, a new Ken Burns documentary; a second was here from D.C. visiting the home office (and left early to take a plane home); another was discussing his column from today, Madoff and President Carter's 1979 infamous "malaise" speech that, in fact, never included the word malaise. The point is, none of us write about food for a living which made the meal so fun and the conversations so interesting and thoughtful. You can actually enjoy the dishes without the pressure of keeping up with the critique of the expert in the room.
It was truly decadent to eat that kind of meal midday. Add to that, the fact that we're eating out again tonight. Top it with the one no-show who didn't make it to the table? Joe's girlfriend came late because she had opted for running around the Park. Priceless.