Yu Chun Naeng Myun (Ktown)

Yu Chun Neang MyunYu Chun Naeng Myun was brought to my attention by this post on delicious coma. The restaurant specializes in those toothsome cold Korean noodles, which made it the perfect choice for lunch one hot day last week.

The restaurant, located in the heart of Korea town, is on one leg of an L-shaped strip mall sharing a parking lot with some other businesses. The lot is small and there were no vacancies, so I just parked at an open spot on the street. Most of the servers only speak Korean with very rudimentary understanding of English, so either take a Korean-speaker with you if you want to ask questions, or just point and nod at menu. I did the latter.

The menu is limited, but it does have English translations under most choices. Since it was my first time there, I wanted to eat what the restaurant’s known for, so I ordered the spicy beef and raw fish cold noodles ($10).

The bowl of noodles and toppings came out along with a smaller bowl of iced soup, almost like a savory slushy. After the waitress cut my noddles with some scissors, I dumped the soup into the bowl and mixed, mixed, mixed.

One slurp and I was glad I braved the LA traffic to lunch at Yu Chun. The noodles were thin, chewy, and perfect. The soup was a healthy balance of tang and a little spice and had a savory richness that I can only guess comes from some sort of meat broth. The couple slices of beef in the soup were quickly devoured and I was left chewing on bite after bite of noodles with some raw fish and pickled veggies thrown in — not that I minded. The raw fish was hardly noticeable covered in the ample red chili paste. They didn’t taste fishy at all. The pickled veggies and red chili paste are a little pungent, like all good Korean pickles are, so don’t eat here if you’re going to meet a client afterward.

Yu Chun has a couple variations of the cold noodles, but what also caught my eye were the large dumplings on the menu. I’m definitely going to have to drag a friend with me next time so I can have my noodles and order the dumplings.

Yu Chun Naeng Myun
3185 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Yu Chun Naeng Myun in Los Angeles

Le Saint Amour — There’s a New Kid in Town

Le Saint Amour
Le Saint Amour is Bruno and Florence Herve-Commereuc’s latest restaurant. Located in downtown Culver City on a wedge-shaped block, the main entrance is actually on the Culver Blvd. side. The interior has a wall lined with booths and tightly placed tables on one side, and a bar on the other side. On sunny LA days, there’s also the patio located on the Washington Blvd. side.

I had read that Bruno was known for his charcuterie, so how could I come for my first visit without trying any of it? The decision of what to order was easy once I saw there was a charcuterie plate available for lunch ($10) with the choice of fries or salad as the side.

Le Saint Amour

Before my main dish came, I was presented with a basket of bread. The bread may not look like much, but it was the tastiest bread I’ve had for a while. The crust was perfectly toothsome, and the inside was flavorful with just the right amount of chew, and delicious with butter. I had to force myself to stop at one piece of bread to save stomach room for my main dish.

Le Saint Amour

The charcuterie plate came out swiftly with a side of fries. There were two types of each variety of forcemeat, which was plenty for me. Every individual piece was very pleasing to the palate, but I had favorites. Among those were the prosciutto, salumi, and the crushed pepper-corn crusted pate. I was worried that a plate full of meat would be too rich or dense, but that wasn’t the case at all. Nothing was overly salty and each bite of the cornichons (the small pickles) was a refreshing palate cleanse.

Le Saint Amour’s lunch menu offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, and more dinner-type dishes. The sheer number of dishes I can’t even pronounce makes me eager to return for more.  The restaurant is the perfect place to settle down with a long, leisurely lunch and a glass of wine.

Le Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Big Sky Cafe in SLO — a decent lunch

Our first meal in San Luis Obispo was at Big Sky Cafe, located right smack downtown. The place, a large, open, cafe, was bustling with diners when we arrived. The menu has a wide range of options from Mexican, to southern, to Asian-influenced.

Big Sky @ SLO

I was starving when I arrived, but I still didn’t want to face disappointment, so I went with a safe choice: a BLT sandwich and a side of gumbo. The BLT was good, as most BLTs were, and piled high with bacon. It wasn’t the most adventurous choice, but at least I wasn’t disappointed. The gumbo tasted good, but I don’t know if it tasted authentic. It had a small amount of heat, but missing some oomph.

Big Sky @ SLO

One of the reasons we chose to eat lunch at Big Sky was because they have vegan and vegetarian options which weren’t just salad. The BF ordered the bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with a side of fries. Other than being served on a baguette, it was nothing like a bahn mi. Despite the fact that it was clearly just a veggie sandwich with tofu, it was still pretty good.

Big Sky Cafe doesn’t try to get too experimental or fancy, but it’s a decent place to stop by for lunch. The large menu means almost anyone can find something they’d like to eat, and by sticking to the basics, no one should leave disappointed.

Big Sky Cafe
1121 Broad St
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 545-5401