Alison Cook’s Curbside Chronicles: Starting a relationship with MDK Noodles

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Dusk had gathered a deep blue around its shoulders as I pulled out of the parking lot at Myung Dong Kyoja, the 5-month-old Korean noodle restaurant in the heart of Asiatown. For a full minute or so, I stopped before turning onto Bellaire Boulevard, transfixed by rank upon rank of blackbirds assembling on the utility wires.

Steamed pork and shrimp dumplings
— Alison Cook

Our guide for where to get great noodles and epic pulls around Houston

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At MDK Noodles in Asiatown, the knife-cut noodles, or kalguksu, arrive in a shiny metal bowl all but submerged in an opaque chicken broth. Digging my metal chopsticks deep into the bowl, I grab a thick helping of noodles, pulling upward so that a cascade of glistening, Instagram-worthy strands dangles before me. As I inhale the silken strands from end to end, they glide effortlessly across my lips, and it’s glorious. I’m reminded of that famous spaghetti-eating scene in “Lady and the Tramp,” and that’s me in this moment, slurping one strand at a time, like a 5-year-old child who’s just discovered the most entertaining form of eating.

— Mai Pham