This Ellicott City store clearly caters to a Korean clientele. There are beautiful party platters, coolers of soup and prepared food, and a menu that offers dozens of choices. My problem is that there is little English. Not on the menu. Not from the employees, who have not spoken any English on either of my visits there. One day I spoke Spanish with a woman who came out of the kitchen. Another day, a construction worker explained that the soup I was holding had been made with meat, but didn't have meat in it. (It turned out to be a spicy seafood soup that I assume was made with a beef broth.)
Yetnal's seafood soup was delicious, but you can find similar prepared food at H Mart and Lotte -- especially at Lotte with its entire bar of panchan for takeout. Both supermarkets offer English labels and employees who can be encouraged to explain dishes and Korean food. At Yetnal, I tried what looked like a large sushi roll, which was okay. I also tried some pickles, which I didn't like at all.
What should I buy at Yetnal? What is good? How do I order? Clearly, something happening here. The menu (below) looks like they offer catering and party platters. Yetnal's appears to be expanding, and people have come and gone while I browsed. A woman my age came in as I was leaving, and I should have overcome my embarrassment and asked her what she buys there.
Yetnal is in the same Rte 40 shopping center as Mirocjo, a Korean restaurant that is on the western end of Ellicott City. It is also just down Rte 40 from the Soft Stuff ice cream stand. Or click here for all the posts about Korean food.
Yetnal Asian Food Service House
10194 Baltimore National Pike #6 (Rte 40)
Ellicott City, MD 21042
NEAR: On the north side of Rte 40 west of Rte 29. It is west of the Enchanted Forest shopping area. If you're driving west, you pass Enchanted Forest, then a wooded area, then the Bethany 40 shopping center is on the right.