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Jul 15, 2001 11:38 PM

Where to find Ja Jiang Mein?

  • m

Looking for Ja Jiang Mein, Chinese meat sauce noodles. I liked City Lights' version in the mid 1990's the best until they changed the recipe. Don't care for the Korean version: too chalky, dark, and too many onions.

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  1. very interesting that i should happen upon your posting as i love ja jiang mein.

    two places come to mind.

    saturday and sunday at szechaun best off of liberty road in randallstown. they serve pretty good ja jiang mian.

    also taipei-tokyo cafe off of wisconsin ave north of the white flint mall has pretty good ja jiang mian.

    3 Replies
    1. re: w wang

      Presumably the JJM at Mei Wah (New Hampshire and M St.) is comparable to the delicious version served at the early-mid-90's City Lights. MW is owned and operated by former CLC-manager Larry La, and the kitchen staff and menu are very similar. Haven't yet tried their JJM, however. Let us know if it compares.

      1. re: w wang

        Thanks for the tip about Taipei Tokyo. We tried location #2 last night. It is in the parking lot of Fuddruckers and Pier One, perpendicular to Rockville Pike, behind Diener's.

        The noodles in JJM were homemade, but a bit too thick for my taste. While I was eating the JJM, a woman came by our table to inquire what I was eating, whether it tasted as good as it looked! The "old" recipe of JJM at City Lights in DC is still my favorite and frame of reference.

        The other noodle soups, fried noodle dishes, and several dishes w/ black bean sauce on the menu seem worthwhile trying. Portion of beef w/ snow peas & water chestnuts was generous and tasty. The lemon chicken (recommended in a Washingtonian write-up) was a disappointment: chicken was dry and deep fried in puffs of batter although sauce was good and temperature hot. Entrees were around $9.

        The restaurant has a split personality, offering both Japanese and Chinese food. You order and pay for the Chinese food at looks like a steam table line. They give you a red plastic number and bring the food to the table. The Japanese food, mostly sushi, is ordered at a separate line at the sushi bar. There are some Japanese lunch specials for around $6.

        1. re: w wang

          In Chinatown DC @ 744-746 6th St, between H and G is Chinatown Express. They make fresh handpulled noodles which they serve in soup, fried, and as JJM for around $5. They're also known for their Shanghai soup dumplings. August 2001 Washingtonian described their ambience as a "seedy setting."