Palo Alto Korean restaurant Maum snags first Michelin star | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Palo Alto Korean restaurant Maum snags first Michelin star

Uploaded: Jun 3, 2019
Maum, which brought modern, high-end Korean dining the Peninsula last summer, has won its first Michelin star, joining a small but growing group of South Bay restaurants with the sought-after culinary distinction.

Michelin announced the stars on Monday night in Huntington Beach for the company's inaugural California guide, which now covers the entire state, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and other cities.

In a tweet, Michelin described Maum as "heartfelt, precise, and focused." Husband-and-wife team Michael and Meichih Kim, who both previously cooked at Michelin-starred restaurants, lead the kitchen. Maum is located at 322 University Ave. in downtown Palo Alto.


Michael and Meichih Kim, co-chefs at Maum in Palo Alto, stand amid rows of vegetables grown in a Los Altos Hills backyard for the Korean restaurant. Photo by Veronica Weber.

In an email, Michael Kim said the Michelin star has been a "lifelong professional goal" for him and Meichih.

"The Michelin guide has been the gold standard when it comes to restaurant reviews and to be validated with a star in less than a year is a huge achievement for the restaurant and its team," he said. "At the end of the day I am proud of Meichih and the whole team at Maum for their tireless efforts and sacrifice for us to achieve this."

In an Instagram post with photos from the awards ceremony, Meichih wrote: "Incredibly proud of what we've achieved one month shy of our one year anniversary! Many thanks to all the people who have helped us along the way and our entire team (past & present)."

Maum was first a private dining space, then opened to the public last July. Anonymous Michelin inspectors said that Maum, which means "from the heart" in Korean, creates an "incredibly exciting dining experience."

The kitchen is fueled by a private farm in Los Altos Hills where the chefs work with a farmer to grow hard-to-find Korean produce for dishes such as kkakdugi brisket rice and abalone porridge. At Maum, which is open just for dinner four nights a week, diners eat at a long, wooden communal table that accommodates 16 people.

With the 2019 guide, Palo Alto is now home to three Michelin stars: Maum, Protégé (which won its first star in November) and Baumé, which has held onto its two stars for several years.

Michelin defines one star as "high quality cooking, worth a stop;" two stars as "excellent cooking, worth a detour;" and three stars as "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey." Anonymous inspectors determine the stars based on five criteria, according to Michelin: quality of ingredients used, mastery of flavor and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.

The statewide guide now has 90 Michelin-starred restaurants: 69 with one star, 14 with two stars and seven with three stars.

Below are the other Peninsula winners, all who held onto their stars from last year. Read the full list of winners here.

- Manresa, Los Gatos: three stars
- Baumé, Palo Alto: two stars
- Chez TJ, Mountain View: one star
- Madera, Menlo Park: one star
- The Village Pub, Woodside: one star
- Protégé, Palo Alto: one star
- Wakuriya, San Mateo: one star
- Sushi Yoshizumi, San Mateo: one star
- Rasa, Burlingame: one star
- Plumed Horse, Saratoga: one star

Michelin also announced last week its 2019 Bib Gourmand awardees for the California guide, including local restaurants Vesta in Redwood City, Pausa in San Mateo and Royal Feast and wonderful in Millbrae.
What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dendromecon, a resident of Ventura,
on Jun 10, 2019 at 4:17 pm

Dendromecon is a registered user.

Address and phone number?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bob, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 10, 2019 at 4:37 pm

The article rants and raves about the restaurant, but no mention of where its located. I guess I'll walk down each street until I find it. What kind of journalism is this?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by hahaha, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 10, 2019 at 4:59 pm

Really funny that someone apparently has internet access but doesn't know how to look up the address for a popular local business. Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by another new restaurant!, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 10, 2019 at 5:46 pm

probably just another kimchi & korean short rib joint with a star to enable higher prices.

just add some garlic to japanese food & you've got korean.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Eater, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

Ah, the Palo-Alto new-restaurant naysayers weigh in (from Barron Park, this time)! I was wondering what happened to you folks lately.

Any hot tips about other new restaurants you've never tried?



Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 56 comments | 15,329 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 34 comments | 1,822 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 3 comments | 1,099 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 745 views

How to end the summer
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 607 views

 

Early Bird rates end today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now