“I don’t know how I ever survived childhood summers in the sunbaked San Gabriel Valley without the help of mool naeng myun,” says deliciouscoma. “A cold Korean noodle soup anchored by in an intensely flavorful, slightly tart beef broth and garnished with kimchee, shredded vegetables, a couple slices of meat and a handful of ice, it is both refreshing and fortifying. Like taking a cold shower while eating a pastrami sandwich, but not as soggy.”
For this experience, deliciouscoma sends us to Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun, known for its chewy black arrowroot noodles (chik naeng myun) and gigantic dumplings (mandu).
Naeng myun is served in big metal bowls, with ice-flecked broth, julienned cucumbers, sliced beef, and bright red chile paste. Add a squirt of vinegar and stir. The broth is the soul of the soup: “Yu Chun’s is good enough to make it through the pearly gates, no problem. Lurking below its vinegar bite and slow chili burn is a beefiness of staggering depth,” says deliciouscoma.
Mandu are “as big as tennis balls–soft, elastic tennis balls filled with a flavorful mince of pork and kimchee. Wrangling one into my mouth bite by bite took all my chopstick skills, but was well worth the challenge,” says deliciouscoma.
esquimeaux warns that Yu Chun uses a lot of MSG. esquimeaux actually prefers Chilbo Myunok for cold naeng myun. “No spicy/sweet sauce included, but the soup is more pure and on good days, super slushy and brain-freeze inducing!” They also serve yooksoo, the hot version of naeng myun, and it’s “freaking addictive.”
Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun [Koreatown]
3185 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles
Chilbo Myunok [Koreatown]
3680 W. Sixth Street, Los Angeles