Feeling once more the urge to slurp, last night, I headed up to the Korean Strip on Lincoln to hit the Lincoln Noodle House. It was closed. I ended up at a place whose sign reads "Cold Buckwheat Noodles" about a block south of the Lincoln Noodle House. There may have been another name: there were some korean letters on the sign, but my korean non-literacy prevented me from reading it. I actually like the idea of restaurants being named after their best dishes: it would simplify the ordering process, encourage a narrower focus in the kitchen, and increase the amount of chef-accountability.
I had the buckwheat noodles, in the spicy sauce/sliced vegetables/dried beef configuration. The noodles were good: slippery, with a healthy resistance to biting, perfect summer time cold noodle action. The spicy sause however was less spicy than anticipated. Perhaps I was a victim of the gringo effect. I'll try next time to persuade the very nice servers to provide really spicy stuff. All in all, nice noodles, generous portions, and good veggies.
My date had a tofu/seafood soup, perhaps related to the Pho 777 red seafood soup described in the tampopo thread below. This was the real standout of the meal: a seething hotpot, filled with dark red kimchee accented broth, overflowing with silky velvet tofu, little chunks of octopus, squid, maybe crawfish, some mussels, a whole egg dropped in. It was a great combination of textures and flavors.
I also really liked some of the little dishes they brought by at the start: I'm definitely interested in making those chilled fried sliced fishcakes (?) with onions a regular part of my diet. Anyone have specific information on what these things actually are? I'm assuming they're fishcakes, but they may not be: they have a great slightly resilient rubbery texture, tan fried looking skin, and white rubbery interior. I have trouble identifying the component tastes: maybe fish sauce? The kimchee was also tasty. However, I continue to be baffled by the tendency I've noticed in Korean places of repackaging what appears to be Dominick's Potato salad with a little bit of fresh vegetable, and (at this place) what appears to be cubed baloney. It didn't taste bad: it just stood out as an exception to the otherwise exotic array of little appetizers.
There were plenty of other diners in there: so I was having neighboring dish envy. The kalbi (that is what the barbecue on the table is called right) looked great, there wer some wan tan (sic?) on the menu described as giant dumplings, and giant there were: a little bigger than my clenched fist. Definitely on my list for a repeat visit.