Last night, after a failed attempt to catch the premiere of 71: Into the Fire in K-Town, my friend and I walked 2 blocks to Myung Dong Kyoja so that the bus ride there wouldn’t have been a total waste. The restaurant is open 24/7, really clean and spacious. It’s located on the corner of Harvard and Wilshire. At midnight, there was a small but steady stream of customers coming in and out.
The menu is relatively simple, offering a handful of noodle choices along with mandu or Korean dumplings. The items are also relatively reasonably-priced, ranging from $8 to $12.
After we ordered, the waiter dropped off 3 banchan dishes, cabbage kimchi and daikon. There’s not much to say about the daikon. By contrast, the kimchi was really powerful. It is reasonably spicy and didn’t taste as fermented and sour as kimchi usually does. It also has a strong garlicky kick. As testimony, I woke up this morning and my breath still reeked of garlic.
I ordered the bibim guk su ($7.95), which are cold cut wheat noodles in a chili sauce, garnished with really thin cucumbers, cucumber kimchi and topped with half a boiled egg. It was served with a small bowl of broth, which was pretty bland. So I just dumped a few spoonfuls of kimchi to temper the kimchi’s taste. The bibim guk su tended toward to the sweeter side and tasted more like a dessert dish to me. Upon closer inspection, I could still see a few sugar crystals lining my bowl. But as a whole, the noodles were flavorful, although they were drowning in chili sauce. The cucumbers did give the noodles a nice crunchy texture.
My friend ordered the signature kal gook su ($7.95), which are hand cut wheat noodles in a soup of mandu and ground meat of unknown origin (it tasted like pork but I guess ignorance is bliss.) The broth was really meaty-tasting but perfectly salted. I often find that Korean soups tend to be saltier, but this one was perfectly balanced. The pork-filled mandu were likewise tasty.
P.S. I have several resto reviews to do, but I think I’ve learned my lesson of not delaying them because by that point, I’ve forgotten much of the dining experience.