Why Momofuku Dropped Off Our 100 Very Best Restaurants List

And other surprising additions and subtractions.

Photograph by Scott Suchman

Back when David Chang opened Momofuku CCDC, the City Center location of his ground-breaking New York noodle house, we had high hopes that the menu wouldn’t always read like the roster of greatest hits it largely was in the beginning. Don’t get us wrong—we love us some brisket buns and ginger-scallion noodles. But over a year later, we’re still waiting for some of the quirkier dishes you won’t find on his menus around the country. That’s just one of the reasons Momofuku CCDC didn’t make the cut this year. The others had to do with quality-control. Chilled spicy noodles, which the server touted as “the hottest thing on the menu,” barely boasted any fire—or depth of flavor at all. Crispy beef and an bowl of beef noodle soup were disappointingly bland. And while we appreciated the local-flavor effort that went into a bowl of chilled ramen with crab, the delicate broth was doused with way too much Old Bay. We’re looking forward to checking out the place in the coming months—and hopefully finding more reasons to visit beyond those gingery noodles and rightfully famous buns.

Newcomers to This Year’s List

Afghan Bistro

All-Purpose Pizzeria

Anxo Cidery & Pintxos Bar

Baan Thai

Bantam King




Field & Main

Hank’s Pasta Bar


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Pineapple and Pearls

Rappahannock Oyster Bar

RPM Italian

Sally’s Middle Name


Sushi Ogawa

Sushi Taro

Tail Up Goat

Timber Pizza Co.



Restaurants No Longer On the List

Baby Wale

Brasserie Beck

Chez Billy*

Crane & Turtle*

Doi Moi


Et Voila!

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Lupo Verde

Lyon Hall

Momofuku CCDC



Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Peter Chang

Petit Louis Bistro

Ray’s the Steaks

Rice Paper


Ruan Thai

Rus Uz

Smokehouse Live

Sushi Capitol

Taqueria el Mexicano

Toki Underground


Urban Butcher

Wildwood Kitchen

Woodberry Kitchen


Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.