Wednesday, January 19, 2011
A friend once raved to me about eating Kogi and questioned why I hadn't tried it. I asked how long it took him and was not surprised when he said "about an hour to order and another half-hour to get the food." When I explained to him that I could drive to H Mart, buy the ingredients and make my own Korean BBQ at home in less time than that, he offered me a challenge. I won.
But, as I wrote, I do not hate food trucks, and there are still a few out there that I would like to try. One that I have had my eye on for a while is Dumpling Station. The other windy day, driving down Mission in South Pasadena, I spotted the truck. There were only a couple people milling about and I was in the mood for a snack, so I parked my car and got out.
There were two people in line ahead of me. And it still took me more than ten minutes to place my order. I shudder to think what the wait time is when there is a long line. I ordered four "kimchi pork" dumplings, pan-fried (you have the option of pan-fried, steamed, or deep-fried) and garlic wasabi fries.
I stood on the street for about 15 minutes waiting for my food. There was a wall nearby and I thought about sitting there to eat, but the wind was blowing hard so I took it to my car.
Dumpling Station is usually in South Pasadena a couple times per week, and if I am with someone who wants to try it I would be glad to go back. Often the truck is parked by South Pas High School, which strikes me as a wonderful idea; when I was in high school I'm sure I would have been blown away by this food.
But I wasn't on this occasion and I doubt I will ever return by myself. The dumplings were good but not great, the fries were a disappointment, and the 25 minute wait - when there were only two customers ahead of me - was just too long. Despite that, I honestly do hope they succeed. They were very friendly and I appreciate them bringing unique flavors to South Pasadena, which is not exactly a bastion of ethnic cuisines. (Unless you count Panda Express and Baja Fresh. Which I don't.) But I just did not find anything special enough about the food to return.
Posted by JustinM at 10:45 AM