Manhattan's vibrant Koreatown has been infilling with all the subsidiary cuisines that you used to have to travel to Flushing for. Kum Ryong specializes in cha chiang mein, the square noodles brought by Chinese refugees to Korea after World War II. The noodle maker twirls and slaps the starch ropes from which they're made right in the front window. Ask for "noodles with special brown sauce," and receive them with an inky onion sauce. Apart from noodles, stick with other northern Chinese stuff, like Mongolian beef-tender, sautéed strips of meat hounded by masses of scallions.
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Thwap! Thwap! Thwap! The dude in the window slaps the yellowish rope of noodle dough mercilessly on the stainless-steel counter. A line of gawkers begins to form outside on 32nd Street. Heck, it's a free show. But the guy isn't ther...