Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Yu Chun Bunsik

Yuchun Bunsik
10031 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

I wasn't much of a foodie back in college.  Probably because any meal over $10 was kind of a lot of money back then.  I didn't really seek out the best of the best as I do now.  I think I was just discovering different kinds of cuisines and building my own palate.  One cuisine that was really new to me back then was Korean food.  My mom does not like spicy food and my dad disliked the "strange" flavors of Korean food.  Thus, it wasn't until I struck out on my own as a college kid and/or dated a Korean guy that I discovered what Korean food was really about.  It probably also helped living next to the biggest and best destination for Korean food outside of Korea, LA's very own Koreatown.  One of my very favorite Korean dishes is naengmyun, cold spicy noodles.  The best naengmyun can be found at Yu Chun Chic Naengmyun.  Nowhere else are the noodles as chewy, the sauce as perfectly balanced between salty, sweet, tangy, funky, and the pickled accoutrements as flavorful and crunchy.  My favorite part might actually be the icy chilled broth.  So I was literally over the moon when I heard there was an outpost opened in Garden Grove.  LoMa Linda and Big Head Talks-A-Lot are also Yu Chun fans so were happy to come along.

Pretty standard fare.

Kimchi Wang Mandu
These are slightly different than the original, but similar in its hefty size.  I can't pinpoint what makes them taste different than the original.  They are still good overall.  Eggy, vegetal, a little spicy.

You'll notice from the very outset that this Yu Chun has a much bigger menu selection.  I'm thinking the restaurants share just name and maybe some recipes but that they are different owners.  You won't find this at the LA location.  Big Head Talks-A-Lot happily ordered this and gobbled it up.  It's hard to turn down carbo fried crispy goodness.
Chic Myul Naengmyun
Naengmyun can be had 1 of 2 ways.  Chilled broth with the noodles, or dry with broth on the side.  I didn't get to try this one, but LoMa Linda said it was pretty good.  She can't really remember how or if it really differed from the LA location.

Chic Bibim Naengmyun
I prefer bibim naengmyun, which is the original way I first tried naengmyun.  My expectations were really high coming in, so naturally I was disappointed.  First of all, the noodles weren't cold enough.  They didn't seem to have that same chewiness.  There was too much sesame oil flavor.  The sauce and/or pickled elements didn't have that same sweet tangy zing.  On a brighter note, this is in fact the best naengmyun I've had next to the original Yu Chun.

While Yu Chun Bunsik didn't quite deliver the same punch as its sister restaurant in Koreatown, I would certainly come back because it's the closest thing I can get to good naengmyun without having to drive 1 hour+ in traffic.  They also have a selection of other offerings which will be sure to please the palate if you're not in the mood for cold noodles.  I am not certain LoMa Linda and Big Head Talks-A-Lot will be coming back because traveling beyond a 10 mile radius from their home is more than they can handle with Fat Thighs in tow.  Though, even before Fat Thighs was born, they were hesitant to drive beyond the confines of their hood.  Now they just blame baby, but I know the truth, they lazy!

10 - You NEED to eat here
9 - Awesome!
8 - Very good
7 - Good 
6 - OK 
5 - Average
4 - Not bad
3 - Not good
2 - Terrible
1 - Do NOT eat here


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