Comfort cuisine reigns supreme at Ma Dang Gook Soo, a charming den of Korean home cooking. Ladies donning red-striped aprons were quick to pour glasses of iced barley tea as The Astronomer and I perused the menu and considered the plethora of dishes available.
The food photographs plastered overhead were helpful in narrowing down the array of options.
To start, we shared an order of mandu, boiled dumplings stuffed with minced pork, tofu, and scallions. A dab of vinegar and a touch of soy sauce and these parcels were all set.
We also shared an order of kimbap, a Korean sushi roll of sorts studded with egg, fish cakes, vegetables, pickled radish, and ham. It was a kaleidoscope of colors and flavors.
The most alluring dish on the menu was the namesake kal gook soo, steaming bowls of knife-cut noodles served in a chicken, clam, anchovy, or kimchi broth. We selected the subtle yet satisfying clam variety, which arrived tongue-scaldingly hot and brimming with slices of zucchini and potatoes, clams, egg ribbons, and seaweed flakes.
The soup’s subdued flavors allowed for the toothsome, irregularly edged noodles to soak up the spotlight. A garnet-tinged condiment made from scallions, garlic, and chilies was on hand to add some zip to the soup.
From the smiley service to the soulful fare, there’s a lot to love about this homey spot.
P.S. Happy 60th birthday, Mom!
Ma Dang Gook Soo
869 South Western Avenue, Suite 1
Los Angeles, CA 90005
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