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Seven Things David Chang Thinks About Normcore Dining in Vegas

The chef behind Momofuku in New York City thinks your best dining bet in Las Vegas is normcore dining.

David Chang expounds on the virtues of normcore dining in Las Vegas.
David Chang expounds on the virtues of normcore dining in Las Vegas.
John Sciulli/Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like an outsider coming in to Las Vegas to tell you where to eat, and this time, it’s chef David Chang, the Korean-American chef out of New York City who’s probably best known for his restaurant Momofuku. He calls Las Vegas the "holy mecca" of normcore dining in an article he penned for GQ. "Normcore" refers to "finding liberation in being nothing special."

Here, where Chang suggests to dine in Las Vegas to avoid "the low-end buffet or the ridiculous Michelin robo-restaurant. Both are rookie mistakes." How Lotus of Siam could be considered normcore is beyond comprehension.

1. On Noodles at the Bellagio and Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace: "No one who's Asian thinks any of them are awesome, but they serve their purpose."

2. On Mr. Lucky’s at the Hard Rock Hotel: "Best chicken fingers anywhere: deep-fried normcore barbecue heroin."

3. On Bund Shanghai: "If you tell a local you're going to dinner here, he will think you're fucking insane." He recommends the sheng jian bao dumplings.

4. On Chang's Hong Kong: "The service is remarkably unfriendly, fast, and discourteous." He recommends barbecued-pork pies, salted-shrimp fried rice and congee.

5. On Lotus of Siam: "Order the food ‘Thai spicy’ and watch them laugh at you as you cry into your very delicious dinner."

6. On The Oyster Bar at Palace Station: "This looks ordinary. It tastes ordinary, too, but it's somehow the best ordinary you've ever had."

7. On the difference between normcore restaurants and expensive restaurants: "But then you'll look around and realize you're responding to more than just the food. Everybody's laughing—the guests, the fantastically entertaining staff, the cooks in the open kitchen. People, you notice, are fucking happy...so happy that you wonder why you don't see that expression more often in those expensive, exclusive restaurants you frequent. You know, the ones that are supposed to be so much better than normal."

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