Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hang A Ri Noodle House - Garden Grove, CA

Nostalgia. That's the word I can describe when I visit Hang A Ri Noodle House. It takes me back to a time when I was a lil tike,visiting my relatives in the country side of Korea, where everything was made by hand, including the noodles. Among the multitudes of stores and restaurants in Orange County's Koreatown, is this modest noodle house, overlooking the busy main artery.

The Korean name says Hang A Ri Kal-guk-su. The term hang a ri means "clay pot." The various dishes are served from clay pots here. The second term, Kal-guk-su, means "knife noodle." Kal-guk-su, a traditional Korean noodle dish, is made by placing the dough for noodles, laid out flat, then cut into strips via a knife, thus the term knife-noodle is coined.

(Menu in english - the descriptions do not do it justice.)

On my first visit, I ordered the Kal-guk-su, 2 orders with a friend. Before the main dish was served, we were presented with these two items: barley and turnip top kimchee.

The barley is simply cooked. Nothing fancy about it, just something to keep you busy until the main dish comes out.

(Barkley? no Barley.. oh..)

Turnip tops.. not particularly high on my list of kimchi. In fact this is my least favorite. However, the turnip top kimchi at Hang A Ri is actually decent. It is seasoned and fermintated to perfection and compliments the dishes served here rather well.

(Kimchi, one of its many forms.)

The Kal-guk-su came out piping hot, on a huge clay pot (remember this is for 2). Besides the knife-cut noodles, the pot was loaded with clams, mushrooms, green onions, zucchini, potatoes, dried cuttlefish, and shrimp, all floating and hiding in a sea of refreshing broth.

(Almost like how mom makes it.)

This is a smaller bowl that I "assembled. Note the little dobblet of red paste - this is kochujang, the Korean hot chili paste. I used it to make my small bowl a bit spicier. The noodle is firm yet yielding to the bites. The large clay pot keeps the food nice and hot, down to the last morsel.

(I had about 4-5 mini-bowls.)

On my second trip, it was a hot day in Orange County. I ordered the Dong-chi-me-guk-su (#3 on the menu), a cold noodle dish, served in a mild, tangy base. The flavor is rather difficult to to describe. You need to taste this for yourself. On hot days like the days of the past week, this cool noodle dish is awesome. My buddy who went with me, is actually Vietnamese and enjoyed this dish. The noodles are tender and refreshing. The sliced turnip and pears are a nice added touch to this chilled concoction. On the sidelines, are jullienned cucumbers, sliced chili peppers, slice of tomatoe, and pine nuts.

(Chillin out.)

My buddy and I also ordered their Shrimp and vegetable tempura. Nothing outstanding about this dish, but it's a decent size and more than ample for 2 people. Various vegetables, such as onions, squash are served with the shrimp. The oil didn't seem too greasy and it was a nice addition to our meal.

One table across from us ordered the Mo-mil-guk-su (#6 on the menu). Which looked like a salad but has a bed of the arrowroot noodles underneath (sorry no picture).

If you are in the mood for something ethnic and different, Hang A Ri Noodle House is a place to try your palates on.

Hang A Ri Noodle House
9916 Garden Grove Blvd
Garden Grove, CA 92844

(Edit: Fixed pics)

Comments on "Hang A Ri Noodle House - Garden Grove, CA"

Blogger Wandering Chopsticks said ... (July 15, 2007 at 10:02 PM) : 

That's a nice alternative to the Korean BBQ or tofu house foods I'm used to. The knife-cut noodles are different from the Chinese version I'm used to. The Chinese version the noodles are uneven, thicker in the middle, thinner on the sides.

Blogger polar said ... (July 16, 2007 at 1:39 PM) : 

Wondering C. - Yes, the home-versions are actually uneven. I am guessing the ladies at the noodle house decided best to make them more uniform for even cooking time. Hearing that there is a Chinese version do not surprise me. In fact, I would even guess that that the Korean version originated from the Chinese version.

Blogger Chubbypanda said ... (July 17, 2007 at 10:54 PM) : 

Excellent post. I plan to hit this restaurant soon. Korean food is something I've been exploring more and more. I really love the noodles, particularly the arrowroot or buckwheat varieties.

Blogger polar said ... (July 18, 2007 at 5:55 PM) : 

Thanks CP ^^

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