To-Go TakesNew York

For Golden Diner’s Sam Yoo, Chinatown Is Where It’s At


To-Go Takes is Resy’s regular feature wherein we quiz the folks behind some of our favorite restaurants about all things related to takeout. 

In this edition, we speak to Sam Yoo, the chef and owner behind Two Bridges’ riveting Golden Diner, currently open for outdoor dining, pickup, and delivery. Below, he shares some of his favorite takeout tips, tricks, cocktails, and regular stops.  


Restaurant: Golden Diner
Name + Title: Sam Yoo, Chef & Owner

Resy: What’s your absolute favorite dish from Golden Diner’s takeout menu?

Yoo: The sullungtang risotto and Jamaican beef ddukbokki specials, which we recently opened up for takeout and delivery. Theyre really near and dear to me because we get to showcase more Asian-forward cuisine. We started with all specials to be dine-in only because thats really the best way to experience them, but these have been requested for takeout so much, we figured: Why not feed as many people as we can?

The restaurant’s based in Two Bridges, right by Chinatown. Where are you getting takeout from and what are you ordering in the area?

King Dumplings: My go-to for a carton of dumplings.
Yi Ji Shi Mo: For the freshest and most elegant rice rolls.
Super Taste: For hand-pulled noodles in soup and their Mr. and Mrs. Smith beef tendon dish.
El Gallo Taqueria: For solid Mexican food, especially their tamales.

Some of your favorite comfort foods to fight snow blizzards and temperature drops?

All the hot noodles and soups. Anything that will stick to your guts or make you sweat from spice or heat. Recently had the most delicious takeout meal from Thai Diner that hit all those boxes and it was nothing short of magic.

A favorite of Yoo’s on the menu is the sullungtang risotto, in which short grain sushi rice simmering in beef bones broth is topped with braised oxtail. Photo courtesy of Golden Diner
Best tip, trick, or condiment to amp up your takeout?

Do yourself a favor and heat the crispy things in the pan or pop it in the toaster oven. Especially true if you get instructions from the restaurant, make sure to follow them. If you cant be bothered to oil a pan, you only have yourself to blame for limp spring rolls! And please understand delivery will always be subpar compared to eating at the place. There are too many things out of our control. Were all doing the best we can carrying on through a pandemic and financial hardships, the last thing we need right now is to read complaints on the internet about food that was mis-microwaved by people who cant cook.

Re: condiments, always have at least two kinds of Tabasco on hand.

Where are you getting cocktails to go?

Honestly, I havent been drinking out since I rarely get out anywhere near the 10 p.m. cutoff time. The hard stop that early is tough on restaurants, I can only imagine how much its hurting bars. If I could, Id like to go to Mothers Ruin and unwind with a negroni.

What single restaurant dish would you walk miles for?

Im really spoiled for options living in Chinatown. Theres so much quality food here. I really dont have to leave a half mile radius for all the food I could ever want, but if I had to walk miles for the banh mi (#1 of course) from Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli on Broome, no doubt I would.

The other takeout special that shouldn’t be missed is the Jamaican beef ddukbokki, a nostalgic ode to beef patty school lunches remixed with Korean rice cakes. Photo courtesy of Golden Diner

What was your first meal back once restaurants were able to reopen?

Ive been regularly ordering takeout and delivery since the first lockdown, since its the only means of survival for a lot of these spots — and because I hate eating my own food. My first outdoor dining experience was probably at Saigon Social, which felt like sitting in the streets of a hybrid New York-Vietnam. Sitting on the red stool seats in the boisterous intersection of the Lower East Side was why I reached out to Helen Nguyen [Saigon Social’s chef and owner] to collaborate on our Asian Street Food series. When indoor dining is reinstated, one of the first meals Ill have is Dim Sum Go Go, one of my long-time regular go-to spots.

What do you miss the most about restaurants?

Everything I love about restaurants is still there. Theres been so much innovation, collaboration, and amazing initiatives going above and beyond — meeting hardship head-on, literally nourishing communities — it makes me proud of my industry and peers. What I cant wait for, is to see what other creative out-of-the-box endeavors people come up with. That and government aid specifically for the hospitality industry, which we still direly need to survive as a diverse landscape. What would all the food bloggers and Yelp Elites do if there are only Burger Kings and Taco Bells left at the end of this?

Golden Diner is open for outdoor dining Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, brunch, and dinner. Order Golden Diner takeout and delivery here.