Image Courtesy of Momofuku Kāwi

Resy’s Five Things to Watch in 2020

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Wherein we settle into our table and check out what’s on the menu for the restaurant industry in the new year.

So what are we looking forward to?

Right this way.

Korean cuisine in America will continue to evolve.

Recent years have brought a new wave of forward-thinking Korean destinations: Majordōmo and Haewah Dal in Los Angeles. Anju and Chiko in DC. Um.ma, Daeho, and Ssal in San Francisco. New York alone has seen the likes of Momofuku Kāwi, Atoboy, Haenyeo, Her Name is Han, Nowon, and Soogil, among others. 

More is on the way. In San Francisco, Benu’s Corey Lee is opening a Korean barbecue restaurant named San Ho Won. Cote is branching out to Miami. Jungsik vet Hoyoung Kim is opening Jua, a tasting menu spot in New York’s Flatiron District, and of course, there’s K-Food Gallery, the massive Korean food hall in New York that will house not one, not two, but 16 restaurants.

Image Courtesy of abcV by Jean-Georges

Vegetables will keep gravitating to the center of the dining experience. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we’re just at the beginning of the vegetable revolution — the tip of the cauliflower, if you will. Whether on the fast casual level (Superiority Burger, Tokyo) or in the fine dining realm (Curtis Duffy’s Ever in Chicago), and whether fully vegan (Wildseed, San Francisco) or not (abcV by Jean-Georges and 232 Bleecker, New York), expect plants to keep inching out meat on menus.

And so will nostalgia. 

Old is new again. That means reimagining childhood Chinese American classics (Mamahuhu in San Francisco; Silver Apricot in New York) or putting a fresh twist on the red sauce joint (Don Angie, New York) or reviving old school French charm (Bishop, Memphis; Le Crocodile and Le Veau d’Or, New York). Oh, and don’t forget the reinvented diner, either. Heard of a little place called Golden Diner?

Image Courtesy of Bishop

Big names will make big moves…

Toss out a city’s most celebrated chef, and odds are that she or he is opening a new restaurant. Chicago: Stephanie Izard. San Francisco: Dominique Crenn. Philadelphia: Michael Solomonov. Portland: Joshua McFadden. Los Angeles: Caroline Styne and Suzanne Goin. Boston: Tim and Nancy Cushman. In the Bay Area, the State Bird folks are opening not one, but two, new restaurants. And then there’s the ever-expanding empires: Momofuku, Major Food Group, Union Square Hospitality.  Even Wolfgang Puck is opening a new spot. It’s the year of the sequels. 

…But really, everyone’s just going to LA.

Enrique Olvera and Daniela Soto-Innes, Fergus Henderson, Gabriela Camara, Melissa Perello, Chris Bianco, Stephanie Izard, Matt Abergel and Lindsay Jang. The list of chefs opening new projects in Los Angeles goes on, and expect more heavyweights to be added in the coming weeks and months. The culinary migration to Southern California is real. 

Paolo Lucchesi is Resy’s editorial director. Email: paolo@resy.com

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