Maum - Palo Alto

concept
contemporary korean

format
communal “dinner party”, very much like lazy bear. dinner starts with a standing"cocktail hour" with small bites and drinks. you’re then seated across from your dining partner at the 16 seat communal table.

service
a bit scripted with a few blunders.

food
solid but was expecting more wow bites given the price.

oyster, vinegar chili
we didn’t receive this with the rest of the group and had to remind our server. when it finally arrived my oyster came with an extra inedible plastic bead inside.

lobster, sesame

pork belly, octopus

"soondae", salted shrimp

spanish mackerel, "kakkdugi"
nice straw smoked mackerel, but was a big overpowered by the kimchi

dungeness crab, smoked ham, seagrass, truffles
truffle was an additional supplement

juk with crab, truffles, and foam. tasty.

sablefish, shiitake, bone sauce
highlight, loved the charcoal grilled fish that just fell apart with the slightest touch. wish they didn’t initially forget the delicious sauce made from the bones.

sauced

duck, honey nut, bracken fern
aged 9 days and glazed with ssamjang and maple. the duck was soft and tender with a crispy skin. highlight.

"galbi", pickle, jang, ssam
i was looking forward to this course the most but the beef from imperial wagyu wasn’t as tender as i was expecting. still pretty good.

abalone and anchovy rice, seaweed broth
my highlight of the night, loved the briny slight bitter baby anchovies with the tender braised abalone, so much umami. i just wish i could have seconds, thirds, fourths, and fifths, like at hayato. caution: may contain deliciousness. @Chowseeker1999, @NYCtoLA, @TheCookie, @foodshutterbug, @attran99, @Sgee, @A5KOBE, @JeetKuneBao

milk, mandarin
inspired by the citrus from jeju island, the milk ice cream was covered with a mandarin granita and candied kumquat. great refreshing palate cleanser. highlight.

black sesame, hazelnut, banana
can’t go wrong with this flavor combination @paranoidgarliclover

choco pie

gotgam mille feuille
preserved hachiya persimmons layered with echire butter

toto

Maum
322 University Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 656-8161
http://maumpaloalto.com/

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Thanks for the great report @PorkyBelly. It sounds like it’s maybe not worth the price given the blunders and some dishes’ execution?

But that abalone and anchovy rice sounds wonderful, as does the duck.

If I may ask, how much was it per person? Thanks.

And would you go back, or go back to places like Californios, Benu (or if Saison still existed with Joshua Skenes cooking) first?

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That gosari namul looks really nice.

With service charge and tax it’s $255 (Fri.-Sat.) or $295 (Wed.-Thurs.) without drinks?

This is one of my all time favorite places now. Been twice so far and really enjoyed it. Glad you tried it though!

Too bad about the hiccups you experienced. The rice course is brilliant and I got eel and anchovies last time, I think they do vary things around a little. It is the NorCal equivalent of Hayato’s rice course but not comparable, though absolutely satisfying when eating it with a slice of Imperial Wagyu kalbi, pickled crosnes and their house made kimchi.

The skin of the sablefish is brilliant. For the few Burg hounds that read FTC or lurk, that fish course is a match made in heaven with your favorite Premier or Grand Cru’s, especially an aged Mersault (which also works nicely with the Dunegess crab porridge)

The pork belly and octopus bite is great. The outer skin evokes memories of Cantonese crispy skin roast pork.

Try their non alcoholic beverage options, they have even made some fermented rice barley based liquor / milk like concoction recently. Their wine pairing choices are pretty solid and they do offer Den Sake Brewery by the glass.

The black sesame parfait chocolate cake is freakin awesome.

I would highly recommend other SoCal FTCers and lurkers to try Maum when you come up north.

Did you go on a weeknight or weekend? I’m guessing weekend from the number of items you had. The former is a bit pricier but you get more courses, one seating. Weekends are two seatings, a bit cheaper and reduced courses.

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The rice have eyes.

I think I might’ve felt that way, too. But the rice and black sesame dessert… :slight_smile: ::sigh::

Gorgeous pics, as usual, @PorkyBelly.

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the price per person is $255.06 ($195 + 20% service charge + tax) on weekends and $294.30 ($225 + 20% service charge + tax) on weekdays prepaid via tock.

i’m glad i tried it and would still recommend it even with the service and execution issues, but it’s not even in the same league as benu–not many places are. and even though benu is over 60% more expensive i’d still rather go back to benu.

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agreed. and wow eel with anchovies sounds incredible too.

yes, i forgot to mention how wonderfully crispy the skin was.

i went on a weekend, how many more courses do you get on a weeknight?

My weeknight menu was similar to yours with the following differences.

Welcome pour of champagne to start (included in the meal)

Imperial Wagyu Tartare tartlet (buckwheat base), Korean spice seasoning that was mild, poached quail egg (it was uni instead of egg last November)

Sweet potato custard, champagne cream, chives, topped with Maum caviar (made exclusively for them by Czar Nikolai and cured with Sinan salt from
Jeolla province in Korea)

And one extra dessert bite

3 Likes

Great pics… and that rice! :yum:

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