The economics of why Noma is closing

Here is the take of yours truly:

    Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and a devoted restaurant-goer, says that people are misinterpreting Redzepi’s intentions with the closure. Cowen doesn’t think the chef is arguing that he can’t make money with Noma and its grand artistic ambitions. It’s just that he can make more money doing other, perhaps less stressful, things.

    “He’s so well-known now, he can just do private events, cook for billionaires, special weddings and work two months a year or whatever and make more than he’s making in the restaurant,” Cowen says. “He’s the one who’s going to earn from here on out. Why slave every night till like 2 a.m. in a restaurant when you can set your own schedule and price discriminate, charging the super wealthy?”

Here is the longer WaPo article by Emily Heil and Tim Carman, presenting other views as well.

The economics of why Noma is closingOriginally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

See alsoCelebrity chef David Chang blasts Costco’s ‘disgusting’ rotisserie chicken

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Malaysian Kopitiam

Malaysian Kopitiam, web site, 5085 Westfields Blvd, Centreville, VA, 571-376-5693  (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | TripAdvisor | Zabihah | NoVA Mag]

Everything here is pretty good, maybe nothing is great? It is best to go with a group and get the main Malay dishes. If you had to just get one solo, maybe the Nasi Lemak would be your pick? Make sure you mix it together properly. I like their lamb curry and beef rendang, but standing solo they do not quite a meal make. If I lived nearby I would go often, as it stands I will visit periodically. Atmosphere is very mom and pop. 

From the same folks who brought us the place now closed in DC.

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Los Angeles dining

Northern Thai Food Club, 5301 Sunset Blvd. Kao Soi, melon salad, and don’t forget the sour bamboo shoots. The place has only a few tables.

Old Sasoon Bakery, Pasadena, 1132 North Allen Avenue, mostly Armenian and some Georgian dishes, won’t work on a no-carb diet.

For food, LA is still the best in this country.

Los Angeles dining

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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Le Wei Peter Zhang

Le Wei Peter Zhang, web site, 10728 Fairfax Blvd Fairfax, VA 22030
(Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google]

If you want to open a new Peter Chang restaurant in Fairfax, but not quite tell people it is Peter Chang…call it Peter Zhang! (Isn’t that a bit like hiding the kid from Anakin Skywalker and calling him Luke Skywalker?)

This is the most casual outpost in the Chang empire, by far. You order from a screen and there are only a few tables. Many of the dishes are marinated meats from central China, with some hot pot, noodles, and semi-Sichuan options. It is the “most Chinese” of the current Chang portfolio. Here is some basic information. I’ve only been once, and haven’t yet figured out the best dishes, but of course you should all know about this right away. It is near the intersection of Rt.50 and 123, centrally located for Fairfax.

Self-recommending.

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One reason why the Seoul dining scene still has so many nooks and crannies

There are so many places with dishes you’ve never tried before. And they are deep into alleyways, or on the second or third floors of retail establishments. In these places I never see people take out their cameras and photograph the food. The establishments are not “very on-line,” as they say.

More likely than not, a large troupe(s) of middle-aged and older men suddenly come out of nowhere, and descend upon these eateries for dining and intense bouts of conversation. The men don’t seem to want too many other people to know about their special hangouts. English-language menus are hard to come by, so use the outdoor food photographs if you can, or otherwise just point. “I would like your specialty,” translated into Korean on the iPad, works too.

Korea is an especially sexually segregated society, all the more relative to its high per capita income. And so these restaurants are boys’ clubs of a sort, as much private as public. Might that be one reason why the small restaurant food scene here has stayed so undercover?

How much is it the presence of women that drives the “Instagram this” trend in dining?

One reason why the Seoul dining scene still has so many nooks and crannies

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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Destino

Destino, web site, 1280 4th St. NE, Washington, DC (Union Market) (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | Washingtonian | Zagat]

Overall a good restaurant, with nice outdoor seating, but it is the two blue corn dishes that really make it. The huitlacoche quesadillas and the blue corn tamales are A+. Go for those, and for the Oaxacan chocolate sorbet at dessert. The rest is good enough, the beets would be another dish you could try. And note my two top picks are nominally vegetarian, though I cannot promise that animal products never appear in the dish.

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Medellin bleg

What to do and where to eat — your suggestions are most welcome!

Medellin bleg

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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Taqueria Cancun

Taqueria Cancun, web site, 7810-G Lee Highway, Rt. 29, Falls Church, VA 703-415-6582 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Reddit | Restaurant Guru | Arlington Mag]

A+ for authenticity, and excellent food too. The signature dish are the goat tacos, which I love. Make sure to use lots of lime and dipping sauce. The tortas look good, but I can’t bring myself to pass up the tacos. DC in the last few years has snagged some quite good Mexican places, but this is the suburbs catching up. Not a super-broad menu, but they do things right. Recommended.

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Desi Breakfast Club

Desi Breakfast Club, web site, Mclearn Square 3065 Centerville Rd, Suite G, Herndon, VA, 571-752-6612, opens at 8 a.m.! (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | zabihah | TripAdvisor | NoVA Mag]

Pakistani food remains on the rise in Virginia. This place has excellent Haleem and chicken biryani, and quite good everything else. A wonderful place to go with a group. And in the area’s top five for people-watching. Most notable is that it opens for breakfast, and I have heard it is packed at that time. Recommended, a fun and festival atmosphere, and you know that means good food, too.

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Bangladesh YouTube food facts of the day

    The channel behind this operation is called AroundMeBD, and its success has created a whole new economy in Shimulia, which has since been dubbed the YouTube village of Bangladesh.

    The YouTube village is a prominent example of a niche but is also part of a growing online trend across South Asia: As the internet reaches villages, rural societies are finding ways to showcase and monetize their unique food cultures to audiences across the world, using platforms like YouTube and Facebook. In India, Village Cooking Channel, which posts videos of large-scale traditional cooking, has over 15 million subscribers. In Pakistan, Village Food Secrets has 3.5 million subscribers. Villagers who previously had little presence in media are now using these platforms to take ownership of the way their culture is portrayed — and building businesses that support dozens, and occasionally hundreds, of individuals.

Here is the full story, via Zach Valenta. The article is interesting throughout, and yes YouTube remains underrated.

Bangladesh YouTube food facts of the day

Originally posted on Marginal Revolution – click to see comments and suggestions.

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