Rockwell Group puts a seductive spin on fried food for New York’s COQODAQ

“The ritual of dining together is such a powerful thing,” said David Rockwell, architect and founder of Rockwell Group. “Something about coming together to share a meal is very healing.” COQODAQ, the 190-seat, Korean fried chicken restaurant in Manhattan that Rockwell recently designed for restaurateur Simon Kim, is a celebration of this ritual.

After four years of conceptualization, Kim, executive chef Seung Kyu Kim, and president Dexter Zimet, conceived of COQODAQ as an opportunity to explore an elevated experience of a beloved fried food. The menu is inspired by the ancient Korean philosophy of Eum-yang: a concept grounded in the idea that duality is fundamental to nature’s balance. Gluten-free ingredients and pickled vegetable dishes lighten up the heavier fare, and in addition to the usual chimaek pairing with beer, COQODAQ offers an extensive champagne menu—the nation’s largest—a hint of which can be gathered from the eatery’s name, a portmanteau of the French and Korean words for “chicken.” Its interior design, then, also had to rise to the gussied-up occasion.


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