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Chop Suey

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Critics Like Chop Suey Despite Themselves; One Star for Ilili

Frank Bruni awards one star to Ilili, establishing the restaurant’s critical reception as generally admiring but far from ardent. Bruni uses it as an occasion to discourse on the current trend of highlighting previously low-rent genres, but he seems to have liked all the food and not found the prices or noise too distracting. [NYT] Steve Cuozzo wanted to hate Chop Suey, he really did. The name was dumb, and he was skeptical of consulting chef Zak Pelaccio, whose “résumé of short-lived eatery associations … is as long as his list of bona fide accomplishments is short.” But he loved the food and its “bold, explosive” flavors. [NYP] Ryan Sutton also plays the “better than it has any right to be” card with Chop Suey, declaring the place as “jolting, gorgeous, frightening” and reluctantly praising its Korean-themed food. [Bloomberg]

Bar Boulud's Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey's Dining Room Both Half-Full

Spot Check
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.

Is Chop Suey the Worst Name Ever for a Korean Restaurant?

Zak Pelaccio has been getting an earful from some Asian-Americans over Chop Suey, the name of his latest project as Consulting Chef of the Future. At least among the ones who commented on Grub Street, the prevailing feeling seemed to be that, political aspects aside, the name was just dumb: “Chop Suey is such a HORRIBLE NAME! Not only is it NOT Korean generally, the name “chop suey” or ‘za sui,’ when used in Chinese, has the meaning of cooked animal offal or entrails.” “Zak needs help picking names of his restaurants … Chicken Bone? FATTY Crab, Chop Suey?” “My GOD. chop suey is the stupidest name for any kind of restaurant Pelaccio has come up with to date.”

Zak Pelaccio’s Chop Suey to Open Next Month

Zak Pelaccio has somehow found time to plan a new restaurant, in between taking over Borough Food and Drink from Jeffrey Chodorow, opening a new Fatty Crab uptown, and perfecting a haute Malaysian restaurant in London. Look for a big new Korean-themed restaurant in the Renaissance called Chop Suey to open (says Pelaccio with optimism) in late January. Last summer, the bearded wonder took a trip to Korea, where he fell in love with the marinated beef belly and other meaty delights he plans to implement in his new menu as consulting chef. At this pace, we predict Ditmas Park and Inwood will be only Pelaccio-free neighborhoods in New York. But if they're lucky, they'll get restaurants too. Related: Zak Pelaccio Taking Over Borough Food and Drink From Jeffrey Chodorow