Mandoo Bar

One of my Korean comfort foods: Mandoo (Korean dumplings). When I think of the best Mandoos I’ve had, the first thing that naturally comes to mind is my mom’s flavorful, hearty, and garlic-heavy mandoo and duk guk (rice cake) soup. Nothing tops it, even though my mom uses frozen Mandoo. I especially miss it on a cold day like today. The second thing that comes to mind is the homemade mandoos my aunt used to buy for us from a grandma that lived not too far from their apartment. We never met her ourselves, but one day when we’re back in Hawaii we’d like to thank her for making us such plump and flavorful mandoos that we’ll never forget. The third was the fried mandoo from a small take-out place in Hawaii called Gina’s BBQ. Not the healthiest variety, so something we wouldn’t have much of it now, but I used to eat that stuff like no one’s business. It was all about the sauce and texture. Now, we have a fourth place to add to our favorite mandoo list: Mandoo Bar in Koreatown New York.

There’s something just so enjoyable about watching them prepare the food you’re soon going to eat right in front of you. We’re all about fresh. These ladies were so good about people like me just staring at and photographing them. They looked amused.

Grant got the fried vegetarian mandoo, which was of course delicious. Traditionally, mandoo is filled with meat, but we were happy they had vegetarian options on the menu.

I had the vegetarian mandoo soup which really highlighted just how well the ladies made the mandoo. The broth was really light, and I loved the texture of these green guys.

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