Restaurant brings high-end, private dining to Palo Alto | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Palo Alto Online |

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By Elena Kadvany

Restaurant brings high-end, private dining to Palo Alto

Uploaded: Jun 29, 2017

Maum, a Korean restaurant that was supposed to open for years in the former Apple Store on University Avenue in Palo Alto, has quietly opened just blocks away at 322 University Ave.

Owner Patrick Tsui did not return several requests for comment, but social media posts indicate the restaurant — now a high-end, private dining concept — soft opened earlier this month.

An online job posting for a sous chef describes Maum as an upscale, private restaurant "serving an exclusive clientele searching for the highest quality of cuisine, drink, and service."

In May, Tsui posted on his Facebook that he was "close to soft opening Maum finally!" and looking for "fine-dining" wait staff.

On June 8, Jaeson Ma, a talent manager and producer whose connection to the restaurant is unclear, posted on Instagram a photograph of the restaurant announcing the "soft launch" of the "east meets west private restaurant in the heart of Silicon Valley." The photo shows a dining room with one long, immaculately set communal table and a small open kitchen in the back.

"So blessed to host amazing new friends from Beijing with red champagne & the most exquisite Korean dishes @ 322 (University)," he wrote. "This is just the first of more amazing nights of friendship, fun and forward thinking thought leaders between Silicon Valley and Asia." 

On June 17, Ma posted more photos of the restaurant, with a group of diners — including none other than MC Hammer — and a series of dishes like caviar, oysters, sashimi, grilled meat and a bottle of Chablis Grand Cru wine. MC Hammer also posted the photo on Twitter with the message: "Ain't no lyric you can spit to give you this ... you either got it or you don't. It's real #TownBizness."

The restaurant has no signage outside yet and its front windows are tinted, preventing a view inside from the street.

Tsui originally planned to open Maum at 451 University Ave. but withdrew the project late last year.

322 University Ave. formerly housed Madame Tam, which closed in 2015.

Tsui was the general manager of Frances, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco, before leaving to work at casual Asian street food eatery Spice Kit, which has locations in Palo Alto, San Francisco and San Ramon. In 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tsui opened Mealtop, a Korean-style shaved ice shop, in Santa Clara. It has since closed.

Perhaps it is not yet a trend, but Maum is the second upscale private dining concept to open on the Midpeninsula in recent months. At Hiroshi in Los Altos, dinner is limited to one seating of eight people each evening and dishes like Wagyu beef and uni are flown in weekly from Japan.