Mul Naeng Myun
A great bowl is hard to find in the Bay Area. For those who don't know, m.n.m is thin Korean buckwheat noodles in cold beef broth, topped with sliced hard boiled egg and varying quantities of Asian pear slices, beef brisket shreds, and pickled cucumber and/or radish. You add your own vinegar and mustard at the table. This dish hits the spot in the summer.
I've been disappointed in what's been offered in SF. However, I liked it at Seoul Gom Tang in Santa Clara, on El Camino and Alpine (in a strip mall w/ a restaurant called Vesuvio). The sign is in Korean and the restaurant is in the inner corner. I'll try out more places in the San Jose area as resources permit. If you have friends who know how to make it confidently, most likely it will be just as good or better than what's in restaurants. And if I'm missing important m.n.m info, I'll be happy to know what that is.
You've hit on one of my favorite summer time dishes. Here in Sacramento, you can get it in any Korean restaurant. The Korean groceries carry packages of the noodles and flavoring mix together. I have tried several recipes and have finally settled on one in which you make the beef broth using a big piece of boneless beef. You cool the broth with the beef in it. Then you slice the beef and add to the soup. You 'doctor up' the broth by adding some beef bouillon granules......that's the big difference between this recipe and others I've tried. Also, you need to adjust the taste of the broth to order by adding white vinegar, little by little, until you get it "just right" for you.
i posted about a place called moran gak in sunnyvale a couple months ago. great mul naeng myun. do a search or find the post entitled "ny pizza and north korean food in sunnyvale". happy eating.