Reader: Momofuku doesn't seem to mind getting ripped off...I will try Uncle guilt-free!

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Uncle, chef/owner Tommy Lee's Asian-inspired restaurant in LoHi, hasn't even opened yet -- although it will sometime this week -- and already people are quibbling about how close it is to Bones, which itself was considered a copy of Momofuku when Frank Bonanno opened that restaurant almost four years ago.

But don't cry uncle!

Says thegreatmeathook:

As a fan of this type of food, I am looking forward to giving Uncle a try. I love Momofuku and my curiosity is piqued knowing I might be able to get similar food without having to travel to NYC. As far as it being a rip off of Momofuku; in the Spring 2012 issue of Lucky Peach, in the fantastic Chef Rant section, Chang doesn't seem to mind getting ripped off as long as credit is given where credit is due. Tommy Lee has made no bones (pardon the pun) about where his inspiration has come from for Uncle. I think Chang would probably approve. Chang also gives vast credit to the rip-offs he's had to make over his career in the Momofuku cookbook. I am looking forward to trying Uncle guilt-free, and I wish them luck.

Is it a crime to take a cue from a successful concept? Will you be visiting Uncle? Post your thoughts below.

Location Info


2215 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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I will definitely check out Uncle.  Next hopefully someone in Denver will attempt to mimic Momofuku Milk Bar, that place is unbelievably good...especially the candy bar pie and compost cookies!


As Pablo Picasso allegedly said and Steve Jobs shamelessly repeated: Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal. Kudos both to Frank Bonanno and Tommy Lee for taking a great idea and making it their own all while helping to feed us starving Coloradoans. I wish more people would steal from David Chang in my neighborhood.


At least Lee acknowledges the source of his inspiration.  Bones is a far more shameless ripoff.  Who would have ever thought of serving pork buns and soft serve ice cream in the same restaurant?


Well said.  As a fellow Momofuku fan and Lucky Peach subscriber, this echoes my thoughts exactly. I am very excited to try Tommy Lee's (!) homage to those steamed buns.

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