Hit Up Cho Man Won Now, Before The Price of Dumplings Goes Up Again


“So how long do you think your dumplings will be on sale?” I asked.

“Don’t know,” the older Korean lady standing next to the register said with a wry smile across her face. “Could be a day…. could be a year.”


That’s the party line at Cho Man Won, the Korean Chinese spot that has gradually gotten busier and busier since being written about in the L.A. Times back in August.  Yesterday you could have walked right in to O Dae San, the popular Korean BBQ place next door that owns Cho Man Won. But for cheap dumplings and Korean Chinese food?  There was a wait at 12:45pm.  The good news is, the dumplings  are still marked down from their regular price of $7.99.  The bad news?  They raised the price from $4 to $5.


Still, $5 for 10 of these dumplings is still a great deal and both the beef and kimchi versions are very good. The wrappers are thinner than what you’ll find a few blocks away at Myung In (the place Anthony Bourdain made popular on Parts Unknown) but Cho Man Won’s fillings are more flavorful and they stay together better than the mandoo at Myoung Dong Kyoja (a popular place on Wilshire known for its dumplings and knife cut noodle soup.)


The fried dumplings come out fresh and hot, with a crackly wrapper that makes them completely different than Japanese gyoza (if that’s what you’re expecting.)


You’ll see the spicy seafood soup known as jjampong on a lot of tables, but don’t bother with the noodles and black bean sauce (jjajangmyeon).  The jjajangrice is marginally better but ultimately not worth the stomach space when $5 dumplings are available.


The only other thing really worth ordering is the “glazed chicken”, which both Food GPS and Tasting Table likened to General Tso’s (a comparison that will always get me excited!) Unfortunately the price of the chicken has gone up from $8 to $10, and even though it’s more tasty and less gloopy than the sweet and sour pork that is typical at Korean Chinese places like this, it’s not enough like the General to get me to order it with less than 3 or 4 other people splitting the bill.


The dumplings alone, on the other hand, are totally worth a visit… that is until they raise the prices again.

Cho Man Won, 2881 W. Olympic Blvd. 213-249-9900


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