Jonathan dines at Chungsil Hongsil in Koreatown

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A new restaurant has opened up on the bustling stretch of Western Avenue that runs through Koreatown. Chungsil Hongsil is a chain of noodle and dumpling shops that first opened its doors in South Korea in the 1960s. Now there’s a branch in Los Angeles. The restaurant name refers to the blue and red threads used in Korean wedding ceremonies, according to Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Times.

Chungsil Hongsil specializes in momil, which are buckwheat soba-like noodles. They are served two ways at the restaurant. You can order them on a bamboo mat and dip them into an ice-cold anchovy broth that is flavored with horseradish mustard, grated daikon, roasted seaweed and green onions. Or they will arrive at the table as bibimguksu would (top image) with a spicy kochujang (red chile paste sauce), julienned cucumbers, Asian pear and an egg.

2000 Chungsil Hongsil - Min Goo Kim eats momil
Min Goo Kim dips his momil into cold anchovy broth.

There are also steamed dumplings on Chungsil Hongsil’s menu that are made at the restaurant twice a day. You can order dumplings filled with pork and kimchi or doughy king-size dumplings. Jonathan recommends the small, delicate-skinned pork and vegetable-filled variety as they are “way above what anyone else in Koreatown is doing at the moment.”

Read Jonathan’s LA Times review of Chungsil Hongsil and get more weekly restaurant recommendations here.

Recommendations: Jonathan suggests the momil noodles served with cold anchovy dipping broth and the small steamed pork and vegetable dumplings (pictured below).

Location: 338 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020 | (213) 383-1055

2000 Chungsil Hongsil - Mandoo Tray
An order of small steamed dumplings filled with pork and vegetables. One order will probably not suffice.
2000 Chungsil Hongsil - Min Scott Vincente
Behind-the-scenes at Chungsil Hongsil (L to R): Min Goo Kim, owner Scott Kye and Vincente.