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Just Noodlin’ Around: Where to Find the Best Noodle Joints Near the Pearl

If you love noodles as much as we do, there’s no question that Koreatown is a noodle nut’s paradise! Whether you’re hankering for steaming bowls of soba, hand-pulled udon, knife-cut gook soo, or you’re a fool for pho, The Pearl is smack-dab in the middle of some of the best Asian noodle joints in the US. The restaurants tend to be stranded in neon-lit strip malls or hidden in plain sight, but don’t let that stop you. The prices are generally quite reasonable and the food can be great!

 

Ma Dang Gook Soo

869 S Western Ave #1

Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

It’s easy to drive right past this Korean noodle shop, tucked in the corner of a big Koreatown mall on busy Western Avenue. But stop on by and you’ll get to try gook soo, the signature noodles of Korea. Gook soo are flat and slightly stretchy, about the size of fettuccine, knife-cut from a thin sheet of rolled dough. The restaurant’s basic gook soo, “Handmade Noodles,” is served in a broth based on dried anchovies, garnished with seaweed, kimchi or bits of meat, and a few chunks of boiled potato. For a tangy change of pace, try the Kong-guksu, noodles served in a cold soy milk broth made fresh on premises, which pairs well with a kick of kimchi. Other dishes include soybean handmade noodles, steamed dumplings, and elastic spicy noodles.You can eat the gook soo as is, or spike it with the restaurant‘s smokin’ chile-scallion condiment. SWIPE TO PAY ALERT: This restaurant is Cash Only!

 

Slurpin’ Ramen Bar

3500 W 8th St

Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

The name Slurpin’ Ramen pretty much says it all. This hip, affordable Japanese joint serves liquidy ramen bowls in an aray of sizes and guises, with ingredients sourced from local farmers’ markets. The signature Slurpin’ Ramen is Tonkotsu, a rich pork broth ramen that comes with green onion, garlic, dried seaweed, black garlic oil and choice of meat. Another interesting dish is Tsukemen, which consists of noodles which are eaten after being dipped in a separate bowl of soup or broth. Or try the Chashu bowl, a sybartic dish made of fattier cuts of pork braised over low heat––the slow cooking renders out the fat while tenderizing the meat to melt-in-the mouth perfection. There’s also a Veggie Ramen option and a selection of appetizers, most notably the bulgogi egg rolls. Getting hungry? Just show up or order online.

 

KTown Pho

974 S Western Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90006

 

Expect to be treated like family by owners  KT and Helen, who are excited to share their authentic home style Vietnamese cuisine with their customers. Using only the freshest ingredients, every dish strives to achieve that elusive, cuisine-defining balance of sweet, salty, and sour — even dessert. Start with the namesake Pho, a classic Vietnamese soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, primarily made with either beef or chicken. Don’t be shy, try the Bun, a healthy plate of vermicelli-like noodles, lettuce, fresh herbs, cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, peanut, traditional Vietnamese dressing, and choice of pork or shrimp. Need more noodles? Go for the crispy wok stir-fried Egg Noodles, adorned with an assortment of vegetables and choice of meat. HUMP DAY ALERT: KTown Pho is closed on Wednesdays!

 

Odumak

338 S Western Ave, Ste D

Los Angeles, CA 90020

Photo: Yelp

 

Can’t decide which noodle you love the most? How about a Korean-Sichuan restaurant owned by an ethnic Korean born in China, who speaks fluent Korean and Mandarin? Adding to the fusion confusion, Odumak’s Chinese culinary roots are hot and spicy Sichuan, about as far away form Korea as you can get. And the Odumak BBQ is actually Korean yuksu bulgogi, thinly sliced beef in a soy-sauce based broth with julienned vegetables and glass noodles. Other standouts are the sweet spicy potato noodles on a rack and the moist, cumin-spiked toothpick lamb. BUZZ KILL: The last time we checked, Odumak did not have its liquor license. BYOB may be possible, but call first.