Let us start by stipulating that we love both Momofuku and Ssam Bar, David Chang's East Village restaurants. Let us also mention that we've enjoyed his occasional posts on the Eater blog thus far. And let us further add that we rather liked today's, which instructs on the concept of soign , the V.I.P. treatment chefs accord reviewers or other special patrons. Especially because now he's making soign into a random lottery.
Soign "usually entails reserving the choicest foods; a center cut Cote de Boeuf, the fattest diver scallops, the best of the best of whatever's on the menu... Anything short of culinary perfection means certain death for a cook," particularly if it's a food critic, we assume.
Chang also tells of "the money piece," a sort of happy accident where soign is mysteriously performed for folks who have no clout or importance to speak of. (There are a few stipulations: after 9:30, not for people who make special requests, not for assholes, and only for parties of two.)
Chang ends the post by noting that he's bringing "the money piece" to his two establishments. That's right, if you and a friend show up at one of David's restaurants at ten and don't act like a beast, you may very well have the chance of being treated to, you know, a really well-prepared meal. As a marketing strategy its almost genius in its counter-intuitive appeal: It's like the lottery, except the prize is something you should be getting in the first place! On the other hand, if you show up at Ssam and your burrito is no better than average? Well, they all probably think you're an asshole.