It’s been one helluva year for Danny Bowien. Besides being named one of GQ’s Men of the Year and appearing in the pages of Playboy, the young chef’s first New York outpost—a followup to the wildly popular Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco—has been the year’s most talked-about restaurants. Sure, profiles were scribed and the place found its way onto just about every food writer’s “best of 2012″ list, but what stands out most is unprecedented Twitter love: It feels like no restaurant in the age of social media has ever inspired so much public adoration.
This isn’t #menswear, but if it were, you might say that The Influencers—from chefs like David Chang and Rick Bayless, to celebrity gourmands like Questlove and Andrew Zimmern—have conspired to make Mission one of the hottest restaurants in the universe. For those who follow the food world, 2012 was the year of giddy, Szechuan peppercorn–fueled tweets and Instagrams washed in that unmistakable red glow of Mission’s dining room. And in many ways, it’s these off-the-cuff endorsements that speak to the infectious spirit of the place better than any review or profile ever could.
Click through the above gallery to see critics, chefs, and celebrities tweet about their unbridled love for Mission Chinese Food.