Monday, June 7, 2010

Ma Dang Gook Soo

Although a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup may epitomize comfort food, in LA's summer months, who needs their meal to make them sweaty when the weather has already seen to that?

Unwilling to abandon delightfully oversized bowls of noodles for months, I recently visited Ma Dang Gook Soo in Koreatown to taste their cold soybean noodles, which were featured in LA Weekly's list of "Top 10 Asian Noodle Bowls for Under $7.00."

Ma Dang Gook Soo

Inside the quaint Ma Dang Gook Soo, one finds a dozen or so tables and photos of the menu items lining the walls above a tiled roof-like awning. The no-frills interior and size of the restaurant were comfortingly reminiscent of small Asian shops I grew up with in Hawai'i, and I grew eager to try Ma Dang Gook Soo's food, which those around me seemed to enjoy.

Ma Dang Gook Soo

Like the restaurant itself, the menu is rather small. It seems, however, that this allows for the menu to be focused and specialized (most items are either a noodle or soup), which is perhaps what helped to land the restaurant on an LA Weekly "best" list.

Although many items seemed appealing, I had to stay on task: cold soybean noodles!

Ma Dang Gook Soo

The meal began with several side dishes, one of which was a wonderfully executed kimchi. Each bite packed the perfect amount of heat and crunch, and I wished the portion was larger...much larger.

Ma Dang Gook Soo

As we were munching on the side dishes, the cold soybean noodles ($6.95) arrived in a behemoth bowl.

Cold Soy Bean Noodles @ Ma Dang Gook Soo

Garnished with a slice of tomato and shredded cucumber, the soy-based soup was frothy, bubbly and surprisingly cold (in fact, my fridge made my leftovers seem downright warm in comparison). Although the soy flavor was subtle, it created a soup that was heartier than any clear broth and decidedly more gratifying. I enjoyed the chewy, cold noodles to which the frothy soup clung but was somewhat put off by the powdery residue left in my mouth and on my lips after each bite.

Cold Soy Bean Noodles @ Ma Dang Gook Soo

We also ordered steamed dumplings ($5.95). The outer layer was moist and soft, and the pork and vegetable stuffing was juicy and bursting with flavor. These were everything that I hope for when I order dumplings.

Dumplings @ Ma Dang Gook Soo

Dumpling @ Ma Dang Gook Soo

Although the cold soybean noodle's powdery aftertaste was not enough to deter me from eating the dish, it may be enough to keep me from ordering it again. After sampling Ma Dang Gook Soo's tasty dumplings, however, I would love to return to try the dumpling soup.

Ma Dang Gook Soo
869 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 487-6008

Ma Dang Gook Soo in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

1 comment:

  1. the cold soybean noodles are definitely an acquired taste, one that i've grown up with and love. ma dang gook soo is also known for their kal gook soo (knife cut noodles), which i think you would like a lot more than the soybean. :) i haven't been in awhile.. lets go back!