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The Corner Place--No Box For You!

Stopped by The Corner place on James Wood near Vermont today, after hearing good things on this board about their mul neng myun.

The good:
At lunch time today (Friday), the place was practically empty. Very nice, considering how packed all of KTown can get on the weekends.

Service was prompt, and the bowl of noodles was HUGE. Easily twice the size of the chik neng myun I had last week at Yuchun, and I dare say even more noodles than the typical #1 large bowl of pho has at a Vietnamese restaurant. I'll say this: after half a bowl of mul neng myun I was full, and I hadn't eaten anything all day. And I LOVE noodles (my old handle on this board wasn't nooodles for no reason!).

The texture of the noodles was perfect. Does anyone know if they make the noodles themselves? It reminded me of Taiwanese mien xien, thin pulled noodles usually used for oyster/innards soup. The versions here are always insipidly soft. Maybe the Taiwanese restaurants need to start buying their noodles from the Koreans.

The not so good:

I can't say enjoyed the broth very much. There's something in it that gives it a particular funk that I don't enjoy. And don't get me wrong: I love stinky tofu, doenjang, gochujiang, miso, bean curd, and any number of other foods that have their own funk. I just didn't like the way this soup tasted. I also am not a fan of the 7-up sweetness and fizziness. I much prefer the light spiciness and vinegary tang of Yuchun's broth.

The napa kimchi was just okay, and not nearly crunchy enough, and they only brought out three panchan.

And despite how much I liked the mul (wheat-somen?) noodles, I think I prefer the chik (arrowroot).

But the reason I probably won't be hurrying back to The Corner Place is this: they wouldn't let me take the remaning half of my noodles home! Here's the conversation:

Me: Check, please, and could I have a box?
Server: For what?
Me: the noodles
Server: We don't do that to go

I was too flabbergasted to ask why, or whether I could pay for a to go box, or whether I could bring my own to go box next time. It just seemed so bizarre to me. I've never been to a restaurant--other than a buffet--that refused me a to go container! So I had to leave behind what could easily have been tomorrow's lunch (or at least afternoon snack!). Very irritating. So if you do try The Corner Place and don't want to waste food, bring a friend or make sure you're very hungry!

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  1. one reason may be because this restaurant is SUPER FAMOUS For their cold noodle soup. from what i understand, people have offered to franchise the place or flat out buy the recipe for big bux. i could imagine they dont want the soup going elsewhere for "research".

    soup noodles wouldnt taste good the second day anyway...

    from what i understand, this place is famous for their cold somen noodles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: modernist

      Aha. Good logic. Although in that case I wish they'd offer a smaller bowl, even if it's $5. It just felt like such a waste to get a $7 bowl and throw away half of it. Of course, they probably have no incentive to do that either.

      Come to think of it, the bowl was so excessively large that if they'd charged me $7 and just given me a hanful less noodles, I would have actually left happier because I would have eaten all or most of it and never even known about their bizarre no box policy.

      I just asked my friend, and she confirmed that the recipe is TOP SECRET.

    2. my dad's friend actually owns the place (there's another location in cerritos, btw).

      yes, the recipe is top secret and not even the owners know it- only an elderly korean lady who makes it herself and has the soup shipped in top secret white vans to their two locations. it's the only item they won't let you take home b/c they're afraid someone will figure out the secret (some people think it's some kind of soft drink concoction).

      and i'm assuming you're referring to their dongchimi noodles and not nengmyun. i've heard all sorts of crazy stories about pregnant women from arizona driving to satiate their craving or shiesty grandmas trying to steal some home.

      gilmok's (the korean name) bbq isn't half bad either.

      2 Replies
      1. re: greengelato

        Wow, what a story. Thanks for the info!

        What is dongchimi, and how is it different fron neng myun at Gilmok's? I specifically asked for neng myun, in my bad Korean. The lady repeated back "Cold noodles" in English and brought out whatever it was that I ate!

        1. re: Pei

          You know, even if they won't provide a box for you, you should be able to pack up the noodles in your own container if you're so inclined. Once you've bought and paid for the goods, it's illegal for them to stop you from taking what's your's.

          Having said that, I don't think I'd go quite so far as to bring in a tupperware container myself. I'd just stop going.

          - Chubbypanda

          http://epicurious-wanderer.blogspot.com/

      2. dongchimi uses somen noodles...i don't think nengmyun ever uses cold noodles. don't worry, i think she gave you dongchimi b/c that's what they're famous for. if it tasted 7-upy like you said, then it was probably the dongchimi. i usually get that and bbq and split it with someone since the portions are quite large.

        1. oops, i meant, i don't think nengmyun ever uses somen noodles.

          for nengmyun, yuchun is the best, imho.

          5 Replies
          1. re: greengelato

            I always thought "neng myun" just meant "cold noodles"?

            And I further thought chik neng myun (like at Yuchun) was the black arrowroot noodles, and mul neng myun (like at Gilmok's) was with wheat/somen noodles.

            Dongchimi, I thought, was just the lightly pickled daikon in clear pickling broth.

            I clearly have lots to learn and sort out. Time to reread that post on Korean food speak.

            1. re: Pei

              chilk naeng myun is made of arrowroot noodles, regular naeng myung is made of buckwheat noodles. Dong chi mi is served with somen noodles.

              Dong chi mi is a type of water kimchi which is "lightly pickled daikon in clear pickling broth". Ta daa :)

              1. re: MeowMixx

                A round of applause, please! Now, where can I get all three in one restaurant for the sake of research? Or do I have to go to three different places?

                1. re: Pei

                  Unfortunately, you won't be able to find great versions of each in one restaurant. The Corner Place is the best for dong chi mi, Yu Chun is the best for chilk naeng myun and as for mul naeng myun, I would say either Chun Ki Wa on Olympic and Arlington or Ham Heung Naeng Myun on 8th and Ardmore. I've heard Chun Ki Wa has been slipping on quality but I found it good when I went a month or so ago....

            2. re: greengelato

              Too bad YuChun is notorious for using loads of msg...

            3. yes, they have a big sign in korean "no take-out on the dong-chee-mee guk-soo". they should have it in english too, i guess. could have saved ya some aggravation.
              =)

              1 Reply
              1. re: koreankorean

                Yeah, but look at the education we all got!!

              2. I agree that their dong chi mi serving size is HUGE. Very easily shared between 2 people. And their bbq portions are pretty big too. Usually, if I go with one other person, we split one order of noodles (around $7?) and one order of meat (around $15?). Comes out to a great deal :)

                1. I also wish they'd lay off the a/c. It makes sense when everyone's cooking BBQ, but today the place was so empty and cold. I choose cold noodles because it was sweltering outside, and I was shivering so hard halfway into my bowl of noodles I couldn't eat any more. Then I got outside and it was hot again--and boy did I wish I had some cold noodles to eat!

                  1. i went back last month and the dong-chi-mee gooksoo was still the best i've ever had. =) and they had huge portions for the meat!

                    1. I read this post very early this morning and made a note to self to go here tres vites to get some of those noodles. While at work, I was unexpectedly asked out to lunch by some fellow co-workers. I work for a Korean firm, and my co-workers asked me if it would be ok to go to a Korean place. Ok! I replied, I've been dying for Korean ever since I read this thread about these cold noodles. The leader of the gang knew of The Corner Place and the noodles.

                      I have to say they were beyond delicious. They definitely surpassed my expectations. They were so simple yet somehow complex. I will definitely be going back.

                      http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com