On a hot day when the cruel sun is baking anything foolish enough not to be undercover, there's nothing like a bowl of ice-cold noodle soup, specifically the Korean buckwheat version called mul naengmyon.
Wang and Koh House, a Korean snack bar in Fullerton that specializes in huge portions of carbohydrates like kimchi fried rice, dumplings, and noodle dishes, strips their toppings down to the bare minimum: carefully peeled ribbons of daikon radish that bend on your chopsticks but snap in your mouth; thin, crispy batons of cucumber; small slices of Korean pear for a little bit of sweetness; and half a boiled egg perched atop the noodles.
And those noodles–soft and pliant, but you will have to use your front teeth to bite off the chewy, springy strands of buckwheat. The waitstaff will probably watch you and offer a fork, which will compound the problem. Ask for mustard–the fiery Asian kind, of course, though not without some back-burner sweetness–and mustard for your broth. Dip the noodles in the dark, slightly salty broth each time, and wonder at the fact that despite its perfection for an inland OC summer, this is traditionally a wintertime food.
Wang and Koh House, 217 N. Euclid St., Fullerton; 714-680-9793; no website.