Take a Bao.

1 Nov

myung-in-dumplings-01It’s been a bonkers few weeks, lately. Ervin and I have opposite schedules, so we decided to get lunch together one Saturday afternoon. (Hi, yes. We live together. Oh, life!)

I had recently watched Anthony Bourdain trip around Koreatown on TV one nite, digging into some giant steamed buns at Myung In Dumplings. Best buns In LA. Of course, I made a note of it in my phone, under “Go To Here”. I first tried this type of bun in Portland, OR. It was like *the perfect food* for Fall (Sorry, mac n cheese. And soup. And pumpkin spice everything) because it’s warm, it’s comforting, there’s something in the middle of it, and you can hold it in your hands like a baby bird.

A really fat one.

I remember seeing these buns at little street carts when I lived in the Lower East Side of NYC (basically Chinatown). I wasn’t ready for them to come into my life. I thought “GROSS. A lightly sweet bun with PORK in the middle of it? I’m from Pennsylvania! We put SWEET things inside sweet things! Or potatoes!”
myung-in-dumplings-05But now, these buns is ma thang. They are so good. And truly, this place is worth the trip. Because oh heyyyyyy it’s also ONE dollar sign on Yelp. Y’all know what that means. You get a lotta bun for your buck. And also other things! We ordered #2 pork and kimchi steamed buns, and #7 pork and shrimp dumplings. Now I like steamed pork in everything.

The buns are, in fact, ginormous. myung-in-dumplings-03I always have this moment when I’m trying new cuisine (and I feel like the employees are looking at me), where I think “OMG. How do I eat this.” And then look around the restaurant for clues. I have this with oversized-lettuce salads, pho, and coffee at Food+Lab (it comes in a giant bowl).

I watched a woman pick up her bun with chopsticks. So I did that. She was Asian! She knew better than me, right? I nibbled a small chunk out of it, before it heaved itself back onto my plate. Where I picked and ripped it to shreds with my sticks.

Finally, Ervin got the idea to “Do it like a sandwich.” Some other guy ate it like that too. And they both looked like pros. Chopsticks lady and I cried a small tear. I thought we were the cultured ones…!myung-in-dumplings-04I was all stressed out when we got there because — well, I’m always stressed out — and also you seat yourself and we had grabbed the last table. Everyone was waiting for an order. But we were in and out within an hour. As much as I almost wanted to spring out of my seat and flee the scene, pre-buns, I’m glad Ervin convinced me to “OMG, Babe. Relax.” Because the food is so good.

I took a picture of us as we were leaving. I never post pics of us on here! I kinda hate selfies. And until I can hire a private photographer to follow me around LA (and deal with me going “Wait! No. That was a bad one. Delete. Wait. I don’t have any makeup on — ok, stop. You know what — you can be done for the day. I’m starting to feel bad about myself), this is the best we can do to document STEAMINGPILEOFBUNS2013.

myung-in-dumplings-02Also, I don’t want Ervin to appear *too* cool, so here is a shot of the face he was making while he ate:myung-in-dumplings-06STAY BACK, he’s MINE.

…because that picture makes us both laugh.

XX,

L

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5 Responses to “Take a Bao.”

  1. Jody November 1, 2013 at 1:37 PM #

    That picture made me laugh, too :)

  2. tinykitchenstories November 1, 2013 at 2:47 PM #

    I’m glad someone else shares my “OMG I’m doing it wrong. I walked in the door wrong. Everyone’s staring at me because I don’t know how to order. Did I ever learn how to eat? HELP!” phobia. That photo is hilarious. All the other photos make me want steamed buns NOW and I just ate half a pound of carnitas 20 minutes ago. Plus there’s no Korean restaurants within 50 miles of Santa Barbara…. *whimper*

    And I can’t tell you how much I LOVE THE WORDPLAY in your title. LOVE.

    • Lauren Bair November 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM #

      Ahahahaha this makes me feel better. I am literally incapable of understanding the signage “push” and “pull” when under even the slightest amount of pressure. I always do the opposite.

      I wish these buns were mailable! They actually have bags of frozen ones for purchase, and believe me I spent like the whole time thinking “how do you steam them at home then?”

      XOXO

      • tinykitchenstories November 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM #

        I wish those buns were mailable too. I’d be fine in my own kitchen, as the dogs rarely laugh at me for doing anything stupid. But I’d probably eat them all before James even got home. Wait, “probably”? Definitely. Is it lunchtime yet? Sigh.
        xoxo

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