In 1987 China Grill New York opened to a packed dining room and immediate critical
acclaim. By its fifth anniversary, the restaurant was as busy as ever and regarded as one of the hottest destination spots in New York City. Jeffrey Chodorow’s labor of love, his first and only venture into the restaurant world, had proven to be an enduring success in a scene where restaurants seemed to come and go overnight. But something was missing, he wanted mashed potatoes. Never satisfied with the perception that China Grill was a “Chinese” restaurant, Jeffrey broadened the horizons to include even less likely pairings. “Why not wasabi mashed potatoes? Lobster mashed potatoes? What about lobster pancakes or a peking duck salad?” Chodorow’s insistence on thinking outside the wok would set the pitch for what would become one of the most innovative and highest-grossing multi-concept restaurant companies in the world.