Los Angeles is a haven for Asian cuisine in Southern California. In Koreatown, just off of Olympic Boulevard in a small strip mall, Myung In Dumplings is epitomizing the beauty of delivering straight-forward, great tasting Korean dumplings.
When you take into consideration the range of dumplings you can get (just in L.A. alone), you may overlook another place seemingly producing just another dumpling, but you’re wrong if you skip over this restaurant. Not only do they serve steamed, fried and boiled dumplings, they’re doing it in a quaint, hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
As seen on Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” Myung In Dumplings is taking quality to the next level by serving each plate of food hand-made to order. The execution of these dumplings is nothing short of impressive and equally tasty.
Upon entering, you’re greeted and asked to find a seat available among their small, eight-table restaurant. You find yourself easily scooting in next to strangers as you frantically survey the hanging menu above the register, deciding quickly so you can get your order in before your tablemates.
Their most popular menu item, the King Steam Dumpling with pork and vegetables (#1), is a must order. Equally huge in size as they are in flavor, the delicate blanket of bready goodness wraps up a savory mixture of mushrooms, celery, onion and pork almost mimicking the flavors of Thanksgiving stuffing. As you bring the colossal dumpling to your mouth, your sense of smell is quickly overwhelmed by the sweetness of the dough, and as soon as your taste buds kiss the umami flavor – otherwise known as the best dumpling ever, you can’t help but realize how unbelievably balanced (and satisfying) this dumpling is.
Another dumpling that should be ordered (and devoured) is #4: Shaomai, small steamed dumplings with pork and shrimp. These bite-sized dumplings are a favorite at Myung In Dumplings and is recommended by the staff. It’s no wonder why once you taste them. You could compare the flavor of these to Japanese gyoza, but better. These thinly wrapped dumplings are juicy, chewy, salty and so easy to eat. They have fantastic texture from the chopped shrimp and a very familiar flavor from the soy sauce in the mixture, making them easily inhaled.
Delivering food that tastes good in a no-frills restaurant is nostalgic nowadays and one can truly appreciate establishments like this that are dedicating themselves primarily to serving great tasting food. The simplicity of the atmosphere enhances the food, allowing it to be the main event without the distraction of a fancy restaurant. Metal chopsticks clinking ceramic bowls and a phone that never stops ringing become the main focus of Myung In, besides, of course, the palate-pleasing, sensory-overload dumplings you can expect here.
Myung In Dumplings | 3109 Olympic Blvd. B, Los Angeles | 213.381.3568