An Inside Look at the Opening of COQODAQ


Welcome to NYLON’s Party Report Card, where we give you the Who, What, Where, Why, and When on this week’s hottest parties — plus all the gossip you missed. It’s the inside scoop you need to feel like you were on the invite list. Sorry in advance for the FOMO.

WHAT: The opening party for COQODAQ, presented by Resy and Amex

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 11

WHO: Simon Kim, Busta Rhymes, Mayor Eric Adams, Reilly Opelka, Evan Mock, Philip Lim, Kim Shui, and more

WHERE: COQODAQ, 12 E. 22nd St., New York, New York

WHY: To celebrate the opening of COQODAQ, the newest restaurant from Gracious Hospitality Management’s Founder and CEO Simon Kim


Within two minutes of waiting in line for COQODAQ’s opening party, I was handed a shot of roasted chicken consommé with Korean red ginseng to sip on. “‘Now this is hospitality,’” I thought. On my way out the door an hour and a half later, I was offered tuna tartare on a crisp cracker. In between was everything a restaurant opening should be.

Ornate, generous, and brief, the COQODAQ party had an 8-foot Veuve Clicquot tower, bumps of Petrossian caviar being doled out from a rocket-ship ice sculpture with abandon, and no less than 6,000 pieces of fried chicken that circulated the cathedral-like room to the music of ABBA and Taylor Swift. The party swelled early: Coat check was at capacity by 8 p.m. and people were making their way to the exit by 9:15 p.m. But that’s because in only a couple short hours, COQODAQ provided.

“Let’s say it everyone,” Simon Kim yelled in a toast. “CO-CO-DAQ,” to which hundreds of people chanted the onomatopoeic name. At this point, almost every photographer assumed a position to capture what was about to happen next. From all the fanfare, I thought it was going to be the arrival of Busta Rhymes, who was set to perform later. Instead, the lights came up to reveal gleaming piles of fried chicken on silver platters, carried by servers stationed around the perimeter of the room, which reverberated with cheers. I have never seen a plate of fried chicken reach such a level of exaltation. Guests flocked to the trays, but there was more than enough to go around; COQODAQ, after all, is a cathedral of abundance —– a sentiment shared by fashion designer Jérôme Lamaar, who I clinked drumsticks with while listening to a Robyn remix. A few minutes later, anticipating the sudden needs of hundreds of people, the servers distributed wet napkins from the same trays.

Shortly after, Busta Rhymes performed a 20-minute set — including “I Know What You Want,” his 2002 hit featuring Mariah Carey — gave nods to hip-hop’s 50th birthday, and praised Kim before diving into a drumstick, which he exclaimed was “crazy.” Later in the evening, the party continued with karaoke and Khee Soju bombs in the back room. But I left long before this: I was already so full.

BEST DRESSED: Kim Shui in white fur boots, a red mini skirt and corset, and fur-lined red coat. (Or, the chicken, well-dressed in COQODAQ’s soy sauce garlic and gochujang glazes.

OVERHEARD: “What the f*ck did you do to this chicken?” Busta Rhymes, after taking a bite. “That gluten-free sh*t is what I’m on.”


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