Homestyle Cooking Makes Clients Feel Like a Million Bucks

Digest Foodie Fare

April 28, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Even if you have never been to Million Restaurant before, you’re sure to feel right at home from your very first meal here — a notion that certainly is drawing customers in.

On one recent afternoon, a few various parties gathered together for a late lunch. And when one pair of clients walked in — a mother and son — they were immediately greeted by Diana Paik, who co-owns Million with her mother and siblings. Paik later explained that the mother and son come into Million every day. And it’s easy to see why. Visiting Million Restaurant is almost like stepping into the Park’s own kitchen — the homey decor makes you feel instantly at ease, and the menu is comprised mainly of Park family recipes.

Paik describes the restaurant’s cuisine as traditional, homestyle Korean food.

Customer favorites include Mool Naeng Myun + Kal Bi ($21), which is buckwheat noodles chilled in soup with barbecue short ribs, and Chicken Dol Sot Bi Bim Bab ($13), which is mixed rice with vegetables and chicken in a hot stone pot. Million is perhaps best known for its meat jun, which customers can feast on in a number of dishes, including Meat Jun and Mahi Mahi Fish Jun Plate ($11.95).

Also joining the extensive menu are new items that have been added within the last few months, including the kim chee-filled Mung Bean Pancake ($5).

“I soak the beans for two hours and then I make the sauce,” says Paik, explaining how she achieves the pancake’s flavor.

Other new items include Kalbi Seaweed Soup ($13.95) and Dried Pollack Soup ($7.95 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and $10.95 from 2 p.m. to closing), which includes daikon and egg. Another new item is Yellow Corbina ($17.95), which Paik describes as a fish so good that it is usually is reserved for special occasions in Korea.

Paik says that these newer items are among the best that Million has to offer and are some of her personal favorites.

Million Restaurant also offers an array of Yakiniku options for the do-it-yourself diner. Options include Bul Go Gi ($22.95) or marinated sliced beef and Seh Woo Goo-E ($22.95) or shrimp.

“People can choose which ones they want and cook it themselves,” Paik explains.

And customers who come by for lunch can take advantage of Million’s lunch specials, which include meals at discounted prices such as Kal Bi, Beef and Chicken Plate ($12.95) and Meat Jun Plate ($9.95).

On the Side

Million Restaurant has become an island favorite — and something of a late night dining icon — for quality homestyle Korean food during its 25 years on Sheridan Street. After all, the Park family brings authentic Korean dishes and favorite family recipes to the table. The Park family consists of four sisters, one brother and their mother.

“My mom, she’s a good cook,” says Diana Paik, one of the co-owners. “So we just followed her lead.

“And my youngest sister, she went to Korea to learn how to make sauces and everything,” she adds.

For example, the meat jun, which is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, is a recipe that has been in the family for years. Paik says the sauce that they add to the dish is one thing that makes the meat jun stand out. Paik started making the meat jun three decades ago and has been perfecting it ever since.

“Most of the dishes we have here are family recipes,” Paik says. “We don’t use MSG and we get our vegetables delivered fresh every day.”

Paik explains that the family gets a lot of their inspiration from trips to Korea, where they learn about new dishes. Currently, the Parks are working on another new menu. Two of the co-owners recently went to Korea to find more new ideas.

Million Restaurant

  • Where
    • 626 Sheridan Street
    • Honolulu, HI 96814
  • Call
    • (808) 596-0799
  • Hours
    • Sunday – Thursday
    • 11 a.m. – Midnight
    • Friday – Saturday
    • 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

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