Myungin Dumplings: Eating Mandu Like a King in Koreatown

  • Home
  • California
  • Myungin Dumplings: Eating Mandu Like a King in Koreatown
Korean Restaurant Los Angeles

Myungin Dumplings makes a big impact in a humble strip mall setting.

The more people you follow on Twitter, the easier it becomes for information to slip through the cracks. However, time it just right (or create enough lists) and that little blue bird is bound to sing sweetly. That was the case on May 31, when the Red Medicine owners tweeted “”R&D” – Myung In Dumplings. Amazing.” The attached photo didn’t look like much, but the next chance I got, I made sure to set out for Koreatown, which was the surprise location for what turned out to be a unusual dumpling house.


Owner Yu Jin opened the first Myungin in Garden Grove and debuted the Koreatown branch three years ago. He also owns a San Diego branch. The Shenyang, China native was behind the counter during my initial visit and was happy to explain his Chinese-Korean concept.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Dumplings Los Angeles

A friend and I devoured dumplings as the restaurant hurtled toward the day’s closing bell.

Dumplings Los Angeles

King Steam Dumpling with Pork and Kimchi ($7.50 for 4) amounted to fluffy baseball-sized bao.

Dumpling Los Angeles

King Steam Dumplings contained minced pork, bits of pungent, chile-infused cabbage kimchi, scallions, glass noodles, mushrooms and more.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Small Steam Dumpling with Pork and Chive ($8) featured whisper-thin noodle wrappers and light fillings.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Most dishes at Myungin satisfied, but Fried Dumpling with Pork ($8) pan-fried to dry.

My second trip was exactly one month later, on July 3, with Matthew “Mattatouille” Kang and Zach “Midtown Lunch” Brooks, and every dish differed from my first visit.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Boiling isn’t my favorite cooking method for dumplings since the texture typically suffers, but Myungin’s beef dumplings were still fairly satisfying, juicy and easily supercharged with chilied soy.

Dumplings Los Angeles

It was interesting to find siu mai in Koreatown, and while fillings were fairly high quality, with minced pork and sweet shrimp, the bunched, bready bundles at the top did the dumplings no favors.

Dumplings Los Angeles

We ordered our steamed King dumplings kimchi-free, and while they were still flavorful, the bao certainly benefit from kimchi’s acidity and punch.

Kimchi Los Angeles

Unlike most Los Angeles dumpling houses, Myungin offers a small Korean banchan selection, , including a bottomless bowl of slap-you-in-the-face Napa cabbage kimchi. During our visit, Myungin also provided fibrous pickled daikon sheets flavored with soy, thin-shaved cucumber and jalapeño.

Korean Sauce Los Angeles

Since seemingly every dish in Korea incorporates at least a sprinkling of red chile, Myungin sprinkles their soy dipping sauce with chile flakes.

Korean Food Los Angeles

We finished with a version of Matthew Kang’s favorite Korean soup – yukgaejang [yook heh jang] – a fire red chile-infused beef broth loaded with mushrooms, scallions, free form egg and more. The soup was hearty and the spice level wasn’t as ferocious as it looked, which was fine by me.

Nothing was bad, and several dishes were good, but my experiences at Myungin Dumplings were too unbalanced to achieve “amazing” status. Still, considering that each dumpling is handmade on-site, costs very little, and that the restaurant is located right in the City of Los Angeles, that’s a winning combination.

Also located at 8911 Garden Grove Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92844; and 4625 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Myungin Dumplings: Eating Mandu Like a King in Koreatown

Tags:

Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

[…] owners told me it’s usually packed during the day. I believe it – I read Josh’s review on Food GPS and the article on their Garden Grove location in the OC Weekly. But I loved coming at night, when […]

thanks for the review, which pointed me to myung in for dinner last night!!!

Lynn, That’s awesome. Judging by all the exclamation points, I’m guessing you had a good experience. What was your favorite plate?

[…] owners told me it’s usually packed during the day. I believe it – I read Josh’s review on Food GPS and the article on their Garden Grove location in the OC Weekly. But I loved coming at night, when […]

Leave a Comment