Question: With the approaching summer, I am already dreaming about a good bowl of cold noodles on a hot day. I have found some decent restaurants, but I am still always searching for the perfect cold noodles to hit the spot.
—Smiles, Su Oh, Santa Monica
Answer: Cold noodles may be the ideal summer food, from the iced, handmade udon noodles at Kotohira in Gardena to the sesame-enriched cold noodles at the original Mandarin Deli in Chinatown. The Wang Simri Noodle House in Koreatown has delicious cold gook soo in soy milk and flavored with just a dribble of sesame oil, which is as refreshing as a long Coca-Cola poured over crushed ice. But the ultimate bowl of summer noodles may be the Vietnamese bun cha, vermicelli tossed with herbs, lettuce, scallions, crushed peanuts and perhaps a sliver or two of grilled pork or shrimp. Bun cha sometimes seems more like a composed salad with a prominent noodle component than like a dish of noodles, but by the time you have worked your way down to the bottom of the bowl, you won’t much care. Every Vietnamese noodle house has bun cha on the menu, but as is so often the case when it comes to Vietnamese noodles, I am especially partial to the version at Golden Deli. Golden Deli, 815 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, (626) 308-0803.
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