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A preview of coming attractions – my bowl of Gongchimi Guksu (somen like noodles in cold radish broth):
Late last year I started working for a Korean firm. One morn, before work, I was perusing the Chowhound board and read a post about these cold noodles (Gongchimi Guksu) at a place called The Corner Place. I was in love with these noodles, sight and taste unseen. Later that morning, the office manager, Judy, asks me if I want to go to lunch with her and Chris. She said, “It’s probably going to be Korean, is that ok?” and I replied, “OMG! I’ve been cravin’ Korean all day!” and she looked at me really funny and said, “You’re serious, aren’t you?” Perhaps she had forgotten that I and another employee were the only two people to eat the Jo Gee Gui (fried whole Yellow Corvina fish) at the last firm luncheon.
Needless to say the noodles were all that I had expected and more. I had been meaning to go back, like every day, but there have been so many other places to try. Finally, I got a group to go on what would definitely be a hot summer day. The day before, one of my colleagues tells me that the Gonchimi Guksu “aren’t as good as they used to be.” What! “I think they changed the recipe or something.” Oh, mon Dieu!
The recipe for Gongchimi is a closely guarded secret. Legend has it that a little old lady in Cerritos makes the broth and it is delivered to the restaurant in a Brinks truck. This is one secret that you’ll never learn: you are not allowed to take home your leftover noodles nor may you order them to-go.
The one secret ingredient that everyone can agree on is 7-Up which was very distinctive the first time that I had these noodles but since the 7-Up flavor has diminished somewhat. My colleague was right, the recipe probably has changed but in my opinion the noodles are even better now. They are slightly more spicy (almost like a jalapeno agua fresca) and taste a little more of cucumber.
The waitress splits out noodles for us:
Raven wants something extra in her noodles and I explain why she’s out of luck:
Below, a photo of our Kalbi that we ate with the noodles:
Above, we just ate the meat with the scallion salad and sesame oil dippy. Rice and lettuce leaves were extra and with the noodles who needed them anyway?
Below, select photos of our panchan:
Above, the fermented cabbage in jalapeno water. This was so refreshing! It’s pretty spicy but it also came with a whole bunch of ice cubes in the bowl – perfect for a hot summer day.
The Corner Place
2819 W. James M. Wood St.
Los Angeles, CA 90006