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jjajang-myun!

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can anyone help me find the best bowl of jjajang-myun? its the korean-chinese dish with the black bean sauce and the fresh yam or sweet potato based noodles. so delicious. its korean comfort food at its best. i just read the nyt article about it and i started craving it. i did try one place in annandale, sort of by sorak garden, set back a bit from the road that advertised "korean-chinese" -- i once drove 40 minutes in thunderstorm, for the $6 bowl of jjajang-myun (for i think a couple bucks more, i could have doubled my order). that place was alright but the sauce seemed a little thin and the noodles not very fresh. any suggestions?

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  1. Da Rae Won is a Chinese-Korean place in Beltsville that has it. I have not tried it so I can't vouch for it, but I'm pretty sure they make the noodles fresh daily.

    1. elnora, it sounds like you went to Choong Hwa Woon. The only jjajang halfway edible there is their samsun jjajang.

      In my opinion, the best jjajang in this area is at Tae Hwa Won. Of couse it's nothing compared to what you can get in LA, but it's by far the best in this area.

      Tae Hwa Won @ Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center
      703-266-4785
      13814-B Braddock Road
      Centreville, VA 20121

      Check out this article for more details:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

      1. I use to like Choong Hwa Won but I think their quality has gone down a bit. We had a chowhound lunch there once and I think folks gave it mixed reviews.

        In annadale, try Lunch Time. Behind YeaChon on Little River Turnpike, you'll see high rise building. Lunch time is located in the basement of one of those building. You'll see the neon sign.

        The sauce that come with the regular JaJang Mein tends to be runny. Go for the Gan JaJang JaJang Mein. The sauce is cooked with a lot less liquid.

        Lunch time stop making noodles by hand a couple of years ago. I'm still looking for a place if anyone knows, please let me know.

        1. The jajangmyun at Dae Sung Kwan in Wheaton is really good. I think they still make their noodles by hand (you can hear the cook thwapping the noodles in the back kitchen). I heard the ownership has changed but the noodles in porky black bean sauce taste more or less the same to me. We always get that and the tang soo yook (sweet and sour pork).

          Our parents used to take my sisters and me around to any place they heard had good jajanmyun and we think Dae Sung Kwan is the best in the DC-area. There's also a place with delicious jajangmyun on Route 40 in Ellicott City but the name escapes me now.

          Dae Sung Kwan 대성관
          11215 Viers Mill Rd. Wheaton, MD 20906
          Phone: (301) 949-1500

          6 Replies
          1. re: choconut

            The one in Rt. 40 i believe you are refering to Silver Dragon/Han Joong Kwan. Yeah it's pretty good there. There used to be a place off Nicolson Lane in Bethesda (Where the small lotte is) called Jang Won Ban Jum. I went to HS with their daughter. That place used to be really good. I hear they moved to somewhere in Columbia so if you ever find them, someone post. Recently a friend of mine told me about a good one in College Park. Once I find out more, I'll repost. And Dae Sung Kwan is good as well. It's the closest to me, so i go there all the time.

            1. re: skim32

              The only Korean place in CP is YiJo, but it's a barbeque place; I don't know if they have jajang myun. However, there are two places in Beltsville that have it: Myoung Dong and Da Rae Won. Of these, I prefer the house-made version at Da Rae Won.

              1. re: alopez

                Another vite for Da Rae Won. I love some of their banquet dishes too: seafood sizzling rice and the cold salad with mustard sauce. I want to go back for mandoo and wings with black bean sauce.

                1. re: deangold

                  Dean -- I'm intrigued. Can you give me some pointers on how to identify those items (seafood sizzling rice and the cold salad with mustard sauce) on the menu? I want to know the right thing to point at, their English isn't very good but my Korean is worse. :)

                  The mandoo are really good.

                  1. re: alopez

                    The sizzling rice goes by the description of seafood with rice crust or some such. Bottom of the first page of the menu if I recall. The salad with cold mustard sauce is at the top of the last page. The description says cold mustard sauce. Don't bother with either if you have less than 4 or 6 people. The mustard sauce is SPICY! The dish is a huege platter of slivered stuff: egg cake, cukes, shrooms, shrimp, meat, noodle, sea cucumber & conch, carrots etc. You spoon a bit of themustard sauce over and eat! Three of us tried to eat the sizzling rice seafood and could only manage about half before the rice crisps were too soggy to be of much use.

            2. re: choconut

              I'll second Dae Sung Kwan. My family use to go there a lot when the previous owners were still there and we have only been there once since the new owners took over. My gosh they changed around the lay out of the place. I think that the jajang myun sauce tastes about the same as before, if not better. I definitely think that the jambong has improved under the new ownership. Oh, and they still hand roll the noodles. You can hear the slap, slap coming from the kitchen. (opps. that sounded a bit naughty.)

            3. Well, if you're really desperate for a good bowl, and are willing to travel a bit . . . to Queens, that is . . . this spot was just written up in the Times:

              http://events.nytimes.com/2006/12/27/...

              1. awesome! thank you so much. ill let you know after i try some what i think. i appreciate the recs, im so hungry now.

                1 Reply
                1. re: elnora

                  I saw something a little closer than Queens.
                  We just made some at home, and I thought it was good, altho' my wife didnt think it was right.
                  I saw a listing in Hatboro, PA ("Ming's Restaurant", on York Road) that says that it serves JaJangMyun (See www.asiafood.com for a listing of restaurants from NYC to NJ). My favorite? Crystal Palace in Northern NJ.