Back to Koreatown, Los Angeles. The night after the Oo-Kook outing with elders, we ate dinner with younger members of the missus’ extended family—two nieces and a boyfriend. They chose the restaurant and just as my nephews would in Delhi, they chose a trendy-looking restaurant in a shiny mall (the Madang Plaza at the corner of Western and 6th): Hansol Noodle & Korean Food. However, this may be the lowest-utility review I have ever posted—whether of a whisky or a restaurant. This because in the month or so between our eating there and this post, Hansol Noodle has closed. I’m going to post the review anyway, if only because I’d already resized, uploaded and captioned all the photographs. This will remain as a monument to yet another casualty of the Koreatown dining scene, where no amount of shine will keep open a place that doesn’t deliver on its food.
It’s not that the food at our dinner was bad. Indeed, it would have been considered very good in most American cities—we’d kill to have a place like it in the Twin Cities. The ambience—inherited from the previous failed restaurant in the space—was upscale but neither the ingredients nor the cooking was anything out of the ordinary by Koreatown standards; not even their signature mul naeng myun. And I guess that was something that neither their appeal to millennials, nor the write-ups they got in the L.A. Times and Eater when they opened could overcome over the longer haul. (That said, they were doing pretty good business the evening we were there and I have no idea why they closed—it might just have been an issue with the rent.)
We got one of their beef combos to grill at the table, a galbi-tang for the boys and a few mul naeng myuns and bibim naeng myuns. The beef was fine; the boys liked their galbi tang; the two cold noodle dishes left us cold. The banchan selection was likewise solid but unremarkable. For the pictorial evidence launch the slideshow below. Scroll down for highly pointless comments on the price and service.
All of this came to $115 or so. Which is not bad at all for five adults and two small kids. Service was spotty—very friendly and present for parts of the meal, harried and absent for other parts. Again, we would kill for Korean food of this level in the Twin Cities but I’m not surprised they couldn’t hack it in Koreatown: they did nothing well enough to justify going there for it and Koreatown diners are spoiled for choice.
My next Korean food report will be of a Koreatown institution that will—I hope—never close. Before that, however, I’ll have another Twin Cities report or two and another sushi report from L.A (alas, of a meal of less than good quality).