If Mr. Borscht and I are feeling asian, specifically a want for Korean-Chinese food, we go to Young Kyung, our go-to Korean-Chinese food restaurant. The popularity of this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is ever-growing it seems and you can be expected to wait 15 minutes or so if you decide to visit during dinner time. The secret to our success? Go before dinner hours, on our latest visit we arrived at 5:00 pm and was able to get a table right away, plus half the restaurant was empty so it is quite a bit quieter and more private than usual (not that ever gets too loud).
The service is good in that it is very direct and frank, there is no icing on the cake here when it comes to service the waitresses are there to do their job and they do it well, and with having to fullfill the services of many large tables one doesn't expect them to smile and go through small-talk. I couldn't have more respect for the staff at Young-Kyung where speaking Korean, Chinese and English seems to be part of the qualification and then some Japanese- I find it absolutely amazing when I hear them go from Korean right into Chinese.
And while the atmosphere may not look like much, the food is great here.
Mr. Borscht and I often come with large parties of five or more to sit down at a large round table and order many dishes to be served family style. However when it's just me and Aleksey we do it simple, ordering a noodle dish (to take over the function of rice) and one dish to serve as a side- the simplicity of our two-person meals is the best way, in my opinion, to eat at Young Kyung.
We usually order a plate of fried bits of pork that comes with a dipping sauce (which is one of the more popular dishes at Young Kyung) but on this day we decide to go for the Spicy Fried Shrimp which would probably be more suitable to you if wanting something slightly sweeter, tangier and flavorful. The spicy fried shrimp has a beautiful crunchy texture on the outside and is topped with sweet gooey sauce that consists of green onions, chili peppers and bits of carrots and peas. And while the amount of chili peppers in this dish may make you feel the dish may not be for you, it really isn't, in all honesty, that spicy, just don't be reaching for a chili pepper to munch on.
Mr. Borscht and I usually split the black-bean noodle dish (pictured above, appropriately known as Ja-Jang-Myun), splitting noodles is a common practice among customers here (TIP: if planning to split a noodle dish let the waitress know and she will split it for you, else you may have a very hard time doing it yourself). The black-bean noodles consists of noodles with a semi-sweet sauce that contains a chunky texture from the diced bits of onions, zucchini, carrots and peas; a very popular dish in Korea and it seems, in China too?
Another popular Korean noodle dish is the spicy noodle soup (pictured below, appropriately known as Jang-Pong). This soup contains spicy broth with not only noodles but squid, onions and green onions. The flavor is mild yet pleasant, if you can stand the heat that is, but to be honest I never found this soup to be too overwhelmingly spicy, does make your nose run though! - That's good in my book :)
If your a first-timer at Young Kyung my suggestion for a proper traditional introduction would be to order the black-bean noodles with the fried shrimp. And if you're dining alone I'd think twice and ring up a friend to dine with, the dishes tend to be too large for one person to finish, then again, leftovers doesn't seem like bad idea either.
Total Damage: $32.00 +/-
1 Fried shrimp
1 Black beam sauce noodle
1 Spicy noodle soup
3100 West Olympic Blvd.
LA CA 90006