4 is the Magic Number at K-Town’s The Corner Place
No amount of heat will get me to completely give up ramen or pho or kalguksoo, but as the temperature goes up in the summer it certainly causes my lunchtime brain to dream of cooler bowls of noodle goodness. These 6 soup-less noodle bowls, like the hiyashi chuka at Santouka, make for some great heat wave lunching. And if you have time to make the drive down to Torrance, you can’t do better than the cold soba from Ichimiann Bamboo Garden. But if you’re craving Korean food, you pretty much have only two options: a bowl of naengmyun from one of the many places in K-Town that serves the ice cold tangy noodle dish, or The Corner Place.
Even though The Corner Place is technically a barbecue spot, this 30+ year old K-Town institution is known more for their cold noodles than anything that goes on the grill. The ironically named Dong Chi Mi Gook Su (dong means winter) is deceptively simple, but the recipe for the broth is a closely guarded secret. More like a water kimchi than a soup, the ”small” bowl (which is pictured above and is not what any normal person would call small) is less than $5, and is actually plenty of food for lunch. But according to Eater editor and longtime fan Matt Kang, to unlock the true joy of The Corner Place’s cold noodles, you have to alternate bites of the soup with pieces of marinated, charred BBQ.
The problem is, the menu of bbq’d meats will not only push your lunch into the territory of super expensive, it’s way too much food for one. Even two. But on a recent trip, I accidentally stumbled upon the magic Corner Place number. Party of four, please. Order the large bowl of cold noodles for $9, and they’ll actually split it into four perfectly sized servings for you. Tack on an order of their bulgogi ($23) and it’s the perfect lunch for four. Total price with tax and tip: exactly $40. And once you throw in all the banchan and rice, it is more than enough food for lunch. Will you probably want a few more bites of the bulgogi at the end? Sure you will. But who needs to be that full when it’s 100 degrees out.
Now… to find three other friends who are craving cold noodles.
The Corner Place, 2819 West James M. Wood Blvd. 213-487-0968