Reader: Uncle is plagiarism at its finest!

Categories: Cafe Society

tommy lee at uncle.jpg
Mark Manger
Chef/ownerTommy Lee at Uncle.
"I'm a cook, not a chef, and I really have absolutely no idea what I'm doing," Tommy Lee tells Lori Midson in this week's Chef and Tell interview. But he does it well enough that Uncle, his noodle bar in LoHi, just won our Best New Restaurant award in the Best of Denver 2013.

But does he owe that award to another restaurant?

See also:
- Chef and Tell with Tommy Lee
- Review: Tommy Lee's Highland noodle shop will bowl you over
- Best New Restaurant 2013: Uncle

Says MomoDenver:

"I spent some time in New York and went to Momofuku three times in five days, and it was the best example I'd seen of modernizing the kind of food I grew up with, and I felt like something like that could work in Denver," so I bought David's cookbook and followed the recipes exactly, found the same napkin/chopstick holders, similar decor and called it Momo I mean Uncle.

Plagiarism at its finest!!!

Have you eaten at Uncle? Is it a Denver original, or a Colorado copycat of Momofuku? And if the food is great, does it matter? Post your thoughts below -- and watch for the second installment of Tommy Lee's Chef and Tell interview later this morning.

Location Info


2215 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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I've been to Momofuku and Uncle several times.  Uncle is better in every aspect.  Congrats Tommy and keep up the good work


I wish somebody would plagiarize Momofuku Milk Bar next...


Who gives a fuck?  Momofuku isn't convenient; Uncle and Bones are.  I go to a restaurant because the food is good, not because it's "original."


Someone's just jealous that they didn't think of bringing the concept here first. I'll agree that it's maybe more than 'inspired' by momofuku (even down to the walls), however Tommy has been rotating his menu since he opened (every week there's something new on it, I believe), hired a superbly skilled head chef with hands on southeast-Asian experience, and is obviously filling a need, given UNCLE's success. Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

I think Frank Bonanno can rightly claim the prize to being the original Momofuku "plagiarist" in Denver with Bones.  Tommy Lee arrived much later to the fancy noodle party.


Bone's is Bonanno's take on Momofuku (with the exception of his pork buns), different menu, different decor his own signature dishes. Lobster Ramen and Pork Udon come to mind. No one accuse Mr.. Bonanno of using Mr.. Changs cookbook!!!

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