Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cuts Like A Knife

What's better than the simple joy of finding a Kalguksu spot that's tasty enough to blow its own doors off? The fact that it's open 24 hours?, perhaps. Is it that they also serve exquisito steamed mandoo?, always a bonus. Or maybe it's the tangy baek (white) kimchi that makes the signage at Myung Dong Kyoja gleam a little brighter in the bustling calles of Koreatown?, bingo.
 This stuff is truly remarkable: cool, crisp, and refreshing. If my mother in law were to make this version (she likes it spicy) I'm sure it would be much better, but until then Myung Dong Kyoja wears the crown. This is it, however, for the banchan. You won't find fifty small dishes competing with your elbow space here, just the basics.
Seeing as how they throw a few steamed mandoo in the kalguksu, K and I ordered up some pan fried dumplings instead. These little bastards pack in a lot of flavor on their own but really take off when dipped in a handmade concoction of the house chile sauces.
 And out comes the kalguksu: knife-cut noodles in a rich, milky colored broth with green onions, seaweed, sliced carrot, dumplings, and ground carne.
I adhere to K's method of eating kalguksu and dip my kimchi in the soup which leads to a crescendo of spiciness that peaks about halfway through creating a cauldron of pure delight. I like to imagine myself coming here for some reinvigorating kalguksu at three in the morning after a long night of crooning at the local noraebang, although the chances of that happening is pretty slim these days....Oh well, at least if I wake up in the middle of the night (which is often with a chica bambino) I can rest easy knowing that I could have a steamy bowl of kalguksu at that very moment. And as we all can agree, knowing is half the battle.