It's not often that right after I eat at a place I think about how much I want to return, but I was already thinking about my next visit to Arirang in the middle of my meal. And by "thinking about my next visit," I mean my brain was going, "OH MAN, I LOVE THESE NOODLES AND I LOVE THIS PANCAKE and I CAN'T STOP EATING EITHER OF THEM."
The chicken kar-jeabe, a combination noodle soup of kalguksu (knife-cut noodles) and sujebi (torn noodles) topped with shaved green onion, was one of the most chickeny things I have ever eaten—and it didn't even have much chicken in it. I know that description is about as helpful as defining a word with the word itself, but I don't know how else to do it. Most chicken doesn't even taste as chickeny as that thick, semi-opaque broth unmarred by MSG or excess salt. The noodles made me just as happy, the sujebi in particular: thick, slightly chewy chunks of dough, akin to dumpling skins.
Even though Arirang specializes in sujebi and kalguksu, don't miss the seafood pajun, a massive savory pancake that I ate too quickly before fully discerning everything it contained. What I remember: lightly on the outside, not too doughy, and mostly full of green onion and cuttlefish goodness. Even better dipped in vinegar and soy sauce.
Before you order, keep in mind that one bowl of noodles is enough for two or more, depending on how hungry you are. Even though my party of five ordered two bowls of noodles and one order of pancakes, we still had some noodles leftover.
Arirang can be easy to miss if you don't know to look for the door to the left of NY Kom Tang Soot Bul Kal Bi. Go up to the third floor and noodle and pancake bliss can be yours.