One of the best dishes at David Chang’s new Midtown restaurant, Má Pêche, is a twist on a classic friseé au lardons salad.
In the French salad, bitter friseé — a kind of chicory — is combined with crisp batons of slab bacon, dressed in a simple, acidic vinaigrette, and crowned with a wobbly poached egg, the yolk of which enriches the whole delicious mess.
At Má Pêche, chef Tien Ho is pushing the boundaries of this standard, adding braised tripe to the bottom of the bowl, the squares of stomach lining stewed to tenderness and sponging up an intensely flavored smoky-tomatoey sauce. He also switches out the lardons for crunchy bits of guanciale. You’ll find it on the menu under “xa lach friseé” (all menu items are described in a combination of Vietnamese and French). “Xa lach” seems to mean beef salad in Vietnamese.
Break the egg yolk over the spiky greens and let it drip down into the tripe stew. Each bite yields a wonderful interplay of contrasting textures and flavors, and would make a tripe lover out of the pickiest eater.
15 West 56th Street