Two of the country’s most buzzed-about counters are coming together for an epic collaboration on the outskirts of New York’s Chinatown.
Mark your calendars: Konbi is coming to New York. On February 24 and 25, Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery, the chefs behind Bon Appétit’s #1 Best New Restaurant of 2019 will pop up at Samuel Yoo’s acclaimed Golden Diner. (Make a Resy now.)
The three chefs are longtime friends and Momofuku alums, with Akuto helping Yoo get his first New York kitchen trails nearly a decade ago. The Konbi pair left their posts at Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ssäm Bar just as Yoo began at Momofuku Ko, but the trio remained close over the years, with Akuto and Montgomery visiting Golden Diner in all of its developmental stages.
“We were there when Sam had just gotten gas, and it finally looked like a fun place to work,” says Akuto.
Fast-forward to 2020, and you’ll find the three chefs at the helm of two acclaimed restaurants.
At a 10-seat counter in Echo Park, Konbi slings LA’s most Instagrammable sandos, a delightful take on Japan’s convenience store sandwiches, along with some of the city’s best French pastries (the flaky chocolate croissants have something of a cult following).
Back on the East Coast, Golden Diner has been hailed as a greasy spoon revival. A stool at the seven-seat counter shows Yoo reimagining New York’s diner classics through an Asian lens, whipping up Thai Cobb salad and chicken katsu club sandwiches.
Both restaurants are small havens of delicious simplicity, where unpretentious food is executed with a fine dining chef’s razor-sharp eye. And their upcoming collaboration is one for the books.
Konbi will be bringing the best of LA’s farmers’ markets for the pop-up, and on the morning of Feb. 24, Akuto and Montgomery will be baking their hits at Golden Diner.
“We’re super excited for that, because making croissants in a different place is always a challenge,” says Akuto.
The pastry pop-up is available only to American Express Card Members, who will be able to purchase one pastry box ($18) on the Resy app, with pick-up slots every 15 minutes on the morning of Feb. 24. Each box will contain that signature chocolate croissant, along with a red walnut tart and a pound cake with a citrus glaze.
On the nights of Feb. 24 and 25, the chefs will do dinner, collaborating on a five-course tasting menu ($95); see below for more details on how to grab a Resy.
Diners can expect a buttery cacio e pepe using the chewy Korean sujebi noodles, a classic porchetta with Asian-style rice and beans, a Konbi twist on a Golden Diner staple (the wontonini en brodo), and a crème caramel using Okinawan brown sugar.
“It just sounded like a really cool way to get some friends here together,” says Yoo, “to do something special, and get some really thoughtful, tasty food out.”
Noëmie Carrant is a Resy staff writer.
The pastry pop-up will run on February 24, with pick-up slots every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. This is available exclusively to American Express Card Members. Card Members can purchase one box ($18/box) each. No substitutions for the pastry box. Tickets are available via Resy.
The five-course dinner will run February 24 and 25, with two seatings each night at 6 and 8:30 p.m. American Express Early Access* begins February 5 at 10 a.m. ET via Resy. Public reservation slots begin February 7 at 10 a.m. ET via Resy. Diners can purchase up to 4 tickets ($95/person) each. Vegetarians will be accommodated if confirmed in advance of the event. Other dietary restrictions/aversions will be difficult to accommodate.
American Express® Card Members get exclusive access to early booking 48 hours before anyone else. To make a reservation, just add your eligible American Express Card to your Resy account. Reservations are first-come, first-served. Terms apply.
*During the specified sales period, tickets are available exclusively to all American Express Card Members. Tickets must be purchased with an American Express Card. Standard service charges apply. Offer is subject to availability. Not all seats are available and blackout dates apply. All sales final. No refunds. No exchanges. Offer may be changed or revoked at any time at the sole discretion of American Express. Some events may not be accessible to Card Members with disabilities.