'A premature ending:' Palo Alto's Maum to reinvent itself with meal kits, online market | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Mountain View Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

E-mail Elena Kadvany

About this blog: Get the latest food news with the biweekly Peninsula Foodist newsletter.
I am a perpetually hungry journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at Embarcadero ...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

'A premature ending:' Palo Alto's Maum to reinvent itself with meal kits, online market

Uploaded: Jun 15, 2020
When Maum reopens in Palo Alto later this summer, it will no longer be the intimate, communal dining concept its chefs originally conceived of.

Maum will instead sell housemade pantry items, imported products from Korea and Japan, meal kits, farm boxes and baked goods made by up-and-coming local pastry chefs, according to a newsletter the restaurant sent out on Sunday evening.


Maum co-chefs Meichih and Michael Kim have lunch at Orchard City Kitchen in Campbell in 2019. Photo by Veronica Weber.

"Although we are saddened by what feels like a premature ending to such a memorable place, we have grown excited about the changes to come," the email reads.

Co-chefs Meichih and Michael Kim declined an interview at this time.

The coronavirus has forced a reimagining of one of the Peninsula's most successful restaurants. Maum, which means "from the heart" in Korean, began as a high-end private dining space at 322 University Ave. before opening to the public in 2018. Less than a year later, the Kims won their first Michelin star.

Maum served modern Korean tasting menus at a 16-seat communal table, much of the fare drawing on produce grown exclusively for the restaurant at a private farm in Los Altos Hills.


The Maum dining room in downtown Palo Alto. Photo courtesy Thomas Kuoh Photography.

Maum briefly reopened for takeout in May, offering meal sets along with kimchi, seasonal pickles, ssamjang and boxes of produce from the private farm. They were checking masked-and-gloved employees' temperatures daily, allowing no more than five staff to work in the restaurant at a time to maintain physical distance and conducting several "deep cleanings" throughout the day. They stationed an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser outside next to a vase of fresh flowers from their Luna Vez Farm.

"Pivoting to a takeout model is not sustainable for any full operation restaurant," the Kims said in late March, before they reopened for takeout.

Maum will be closed through early July. It will return as a retail operation with pantry items, meal kits and weekly specials from the Kims, all available through Tock.

They also plan to host guest pastry chefs who will offer a rotation of pastries, cakes and breads. (Charles Chen, a partner at Maum, recently started offering his Japanese-inspired Basque cheesecakes for pickup out of the restaurant once a week.)

"This incubation program will not only allow these rising talents a space to create, but could also provide the community with one of the first tastes of something potentially undiscovered," the Maum newsletter reads.

In the fall, they plan to launch Maum Kitchen, an online shop selling Maum pantry goods and kitchen and dining products from Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia.

And "when a normalcy to indoor dining can be established, we hope to provide the community with more memorable experiences once again," the email reads. "It was a magical couple of years but we hope to recreate it for you soon."
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

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

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

All-day Indian cafe opens in Redwood City with a focus on takeout
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 12,392 views

Polar vortexes and clean energy in the Upper Midwest
By Sherry Listgarten | 3 comments | 3,635 views

Union demands too many: Open up the schools now!
By Diana Diamond | 12 comments | 2,674 views

Premarital and Couples: What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Stay in Vegas
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,642 views

 

Calling all photographers!

Enter your best shots in the Peninsula Photo Contest. Open to anyone who lives, works or attends school within the 650 area code. There are both Adult and Youth divisions and six different categories to submit your digital images. Deadline for entries is March 22.

Contest Details