Late Night Eats: Nak Won House
Korea Town is a busy place, my friends, let me tell ya. There's bars and clubs galore here in K-town, insanity going on at all hours of the night, and when my Korean brothas and sisters are done drinking for the night, and are ready for something greasy or refreshing -- I could only imagine that they'd hit this house, the house of Nak Won.
Nak Won has a total of 41 items on their menu, and in case you're too drunk, half of them have large, easily distinguishable photos displayed on the wall. The waitresses kindly start you off with some ice tea to hydrate you, and then while you wait for your food, the panchan serves to suppress your case of the munchies.
My foodie companion and I started with the kimchi pancake. Big flat pancake made with starch, kimchi and grease, pan fried to a beautiful golden shade and cut right at your table for your enjoyment. It's on the greasy side, which you definitely need after some alcohol. For me, though, it was kind of on the bland side, and I thought it was supposed to be a little spicy? Well, it was kind of lacking in that department too, though I did spot a chunk of jalapeno pepper, which instantly kicked it up a notch.
I, of course, have to have some meat! This plate of galbi (Gal-bee) turned out to be mediocre, however. It wasn't particularly juicy, tasty, or much of anything. Don't get me wrong, I love galbi, and this is fine, but I was hoping for something extraordinary here.
Ah, the star of our show tonight. This is the cold chewy noodles and it was everything I wanted it to be. It was tangy, spicy, and so refreshing. The noodles are definitely chewy, they weren't lying about that. The cabbage and the spicy sauce complimented the cold noodles and whatever tangy dressing they splashed on very well. It also looks very hard core and deviant, which I love. The whole thing was put together very well and I kept coming back to this bowl. An excellent dish.
Overall the service was just okay, typical of a Korean place. And even though the waitresses didn't speak too much English, they were friendly. The atmosphere is definitely of a cheap cafe, purely functional, not romantical. Prices weren't as cheap as I thought they'd be. The Galbi alone was $14, which was almost as much as I'd pay for an all-you-can-eat Korean Barbecue dinner, so I wasn't too impressed. The noodles were more reasonable at $7.50, still, not particularly enticing considering what kind of damage I could do over at Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 about a mile away. But I guess if you need to eat at 3 am, this would be one of the better choices.
Nak Won House
1001 S Vermont Ave Ste 103 (SW Corner of Vermont and Olympic)
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Photos by Kevin Cheng for LAist