In 2004, Momofuku Noodle Bar opened in a tiny, stark space in Manhattan's East Village. Its young chef-owner, David Chang, worked the line, serving ramen and pork buns to a mix of fellow restaurant cooks and confused diners whose idea of ramen was instant noodles in Styrofoam cups. It would have been impossible to know it at the time--and certainly Chang would have bet against himself--but he, who had failed at almost every endeavor in his life, was about to become one of the most influential chefs of his generation, driven by the question, "What if the underground could become the mainstream?"
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