Cornering the Market on Secret Cold Noodle Soup: the Corner Place, Koreatown

by Jessica on January 20, 2011

Kid Hit Menu Items: The Corner Place in Koreatown has full-service, indoor gas grilling barbecue action. But I came for the tangy, sweet cold noodle soup that so amazingly hit the spot on a hot day.

Adult Perks: Beer and wine list, no hard alcohol served. Imported and domestic beers available, and Hite, naturally.

Pros: Easy parking lot, big tables (booths and chairs), two large dining rooms, super comfy seating for bigger groups. It’s a very utilitarian but also slick kind of business, as many of the intensely-used Korean BBQ joints tend to be.

Cons: The Corner Place has the same MAJOR obvious drawback and danger of any cook-your-own-food restaurant, what with the exposed heat sources and whatnot.

Changing Station: No

High Chairs: Yes

Parking and Access: Surface lot in the strip mall. Otherwise, this is located an incredibly dense part of K-Town where it borders Westlake, so parking can be a challenge. Off-hours recommended.


Other Tidbits:
I have Matthew Kang of Mattatouille — and now a maven of frozen confections on the Westside — for sending me to this gem. My go-to source for refreshingly cold noodles when high temps and call for such a need has always been Ma Dang Gook Soo on Western, and changing that routine felt like a slight betrayal. But it’s always good to mix things up, right? While Ma Dang’s soy milk noodles make your mouth, throat and all of your internal anatomy whimper in appreciation, a big bowl of dongchimi gook soo at Corner Place jolts the senses ($4.75/$7.95). Sweet-sour flavors and light fermentation get the salivary glands going, leaving behind a gently effervescent taste. Whatever is in that recipe (rumored to be 7-Up) works like magic in combination with the light, delicate noodles, julienne cucumbers, a restrained sprinkling of diced green onion and a tomato slice. A bowl of noodle soup with all the panchan make for an inexpensive and hearty meal. This contrast in the Korean cold noodle experience of Ma Dang vs. Corner Place is kind of like opting for the ice cream store vs. the soda shop. Both are refreshing for individually wonderful yet completely different reasons. Apples and oranges, folks. Or radish and cabbage kimchi. Whichever. As for the BBQ dishes at Corner Place ($15.95 and up), I think that’s a meal best saved for date night, or if your kids are older and have mastered any lingering impulse control issues. Matt also suggests the superb combo of grilled meat with the cold noodle soup. Duly noted.

THE CORNER PLACE


2819 James M. Wood Blvd., Koreatown
(213) 487-0968
Cuisine: Korean
Price: $-$$
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

steve January 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Would Ma Dang Gook Soo noodles (hot or cold) survive if carries out, assuming a 10-15 minute drive home? A trip out is not in the cards these days. Thanks.

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Jessica January 22, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Soup and noodles are carefully packed separately so yeah, they do travel fine for that length of time. The bummer is all the resulting styrofoam use, esp if you get all the panchan to go, too.

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steve January 23, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Thank you. Hopefully, I’ll get over there this week.

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Cicely January 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

So funny to read about a painfully hot day in January (that was my bday, actually!). The Korean noodle place you told me about, Myong Dong Kyoja, also has the soy milk noodle soup, although I’ve never tried it because I never went there in hot weather. I like their chicken soup with hand-cut noodles (kal gooksu) a lot, but the spicy noodles (bibim gooksu) gave me a stomachache.

N.B. that when we tried Corner Place with some friends (a few years back, before their spiffy new digs), the noodles were indeed delicious but the BBQ mediocre. I do recall they had really yummy house-made pickled chile peppers that they also sold by the jar.

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