Myung Im is located inside the food court at the H-Mart on Garden Grove Blvd. It's a little place that seems to do mostly take-out business; alot of people seem to order ahead and come pick them up to take home; GF said the way the lady was talking to these people, they were locals who come alot.
The food court is super cool, its got about 6 restaurants specializing in different Korean dishes. Definitely feels like some place in Korea. I'm not sure if the lady can speak english or not b/c my gf can speak korean, my gut feeling is that she probably doesn't speak very good english. She was very nice and my GF doesn't think she is from Seoul like most koreans in the US, she said her accent was different.
The menu is mainly wang mandoo, which are very large steamed white buns filled with various things, very similar to chinese baozi. In fact, I'm almost certain they are the korean take on northern chinese dishes especially b/c the rest of their menu (mainly noodle soups and regular dumplings) are originally chinese dishes and they have translated the menu into chinese as well as english. Anyhow, the buns are huge like if you ate one by itself you'd probably be close to full.
They cook to order, which is awesome b/c the buns are super fresh. It takes about 10-15 mins once you order for the buns to be steamed and ready. The lady told us to let them sit for about 15 mins after they're done to steam out and be properly ready to eat, she said they would be best at that time to eat them. They give you this light soy sauce and a thing of pickled radish and peppers (super good, its in this soy sauce...loved it).
We originally went on a whim, but they were so good we ended up going back 3 more times. I bought everyone in my family a batch. Here's what we got:
- kimchi and meat: awesome, filled with kimchi, meat (pork) and cabbage. The bread is awesome, so fresh and fluffy not quite as sweet as the chinese version, but really good nonetheless. The filling is awesome, very finely minced, good quality ingredients, no weird stops (stuff you can't bite through) and perfect filling / bun ratio. Hit it with a little of the soy sauce and its amazing. The kimchi gives it a nice tangy kick. These were my GFs favorites.
- meat: same thing except no kimchi and it has mushrooms in it. these were my favorite it as you could really taste all of the ingredients in the filling, whereas in the kimchi one and the kimchi overpowers the other ingredients (although its still awesome). I absolutely loved these, in fact they were so good that I froze a few and took them back to NY with me.
- red bean: I loved steamed red bean buns, these were good although different from the chinese ones in that I don't think the bread compliments it as well as the chinese one which is sweeter. That said it was very fresh and the bean paste was good, its the smooth bean paste where they have taken out the casings.
To be honest, I didn't think koreans were capable of making steamed buns at the same level as the chinese version (buns are probably one of my all time favorite food), but these were really good, much better than most chinese places (at least in the US). I love specialist restaurants b/c you know you're going to get a dish that is a really good and this place exemplifies why i like specialists restaurants. I was really pleasantly surprised about this place, I pretty much come here everytime I come home now. I highly recommend.
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