Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun - A Top Choice for Naeng Myun in KoreaTown, Los Angeles

If you had seen the Los Angeles episode of "The Layover", this is the restaurant where you've seen the well-knowledgeable clientele of Korean descent slurping and enjoying the thin yet chewy cold buckwheat noodles known as "Naeng Myun". As LA can get hot during most of the year and besides getting Korean Barbecue during those times, those that really know LA should be eating at naeng myun restaurants or at least at Korean barbeque restaurants that offer naeng myun as well. At Yu Chun, they stand out compared to the other naeng myun restaurants that they use "chic" in Korean, or what is known as the Kudzu vine, when preparing the noodles along with buckwheat.

Usually, naeng myun comes in two main forms: Mul Naeng Myun and Bibbim Naeng Myun. The former is naeng myun in a cold beef broth with boiled beef, cucumber, daikon, sesame seeds, and a hard boiled egg as garnishes. In addition, one can adjust the taste by adding vinegar and Korean hot mustard to the broth. Mul Naeng Myun is extremely refreshing as one can also slurp the cold broth from the bowl, especially on a hot, blistering day. The latter is naeng myun in a spicy yet sweet chili paste but with the same garnishes as mul naeng myun. If you really want to eat noodles already concentrated with flavor sans broth, then choose Bibbim Naeng Myun instead.

I ended up having both kinds of naeng myun as we've shared our dishes within our  dining party. The servers will give you a cup with warm beef broth which has a distinct simmered turnip flavor. It's great to drink, especially when you have to neutralize either the spice from the bibbim naeng myun or the sourness from the mul naeng myun.


As my Bibbim Naeng Myun arrived, I've mixed all of the components, even added some of the cold beef broth that came with it for another dimension of its flavors, and dug right in. This is certainly the best bibbim naeng myun I've had. The heat, flavor and sweetness from the chili paste all delivered well without being too intense as they meld together harmoniously. Also, the naeng myun itself had a nice degree of chewiness without being too difficult to bite through or coming out too soggy.


I then had the Mul Naeng Myun. Although it wasn't exactly a hot day as it was Thanksgiving Day, the refreshing broth definitely hit the spot. With the heat from the Korean Mustard and the tang from the vinegar, the cold beef broth became one of the best concoctions I've ever gulped down. Unfortunately, the pic shows the mul naeng myun already mixed. 

These bowls of naeng myun are the best I've had in respect to their individual preparations. Even though they are both extremely delicious, I can't say whether I prefer one or the other. It really all depends whether if you're in the mood for Mul or Bibbim Naeng Myun. If you can't decide, have more than one person in your dining party so you can share each others' dishes. Although there are other top, hole-in-the-wall naeng myun places in LA that differ primarily in their noodle preparation unlike ramen where the difference in what broth they use is the highlight, it's safe to say that Yu Chun is a solid, well-respected establishment serving some of the best naeng myun you will ever eat in the States. If you're visiting LA or have been living in the city for quite some time, you have to head down to Yu Chun Restaurant in Koreatown so that you will not miss out on Naeng Myun which is some of the finest dishes LA has to offer, especially more so for the latter.


Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment