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Mar 24, 2009 07:55 PM

The best Korean-Chinese food (ex. jajamyun) in NY/NJ?

I'm jonesing for some Seoul style jajamyun (black bean noodle) and tang soo yook (sweet sour chicken) and Hyo Dong Gak didn't cut it. Haven't tried Shanghai Mong yet, but wondering if there are other options I should try. There's got to be better than this in the tri-state area. Am I right? I'm willing to drive or take a train.

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  1. don't like shanghai mong so if you didn't like hyo dong gak, you won't like that place either. All signs point to Fort Lee but I don't know any of it firsthand.

    1. I'd say your best bet in NYC would be Sam Won Gahk in Flushing on Northern Boulevard. Not sure where you're from, but when I was in LA for a period of time, the Korean food was really a lot better than in New York. I find that a lot of LA transplants are pretty disappointed here.

      I'm not too familiar with the New Jersey scene. You may want to give it a whirl. One of my friends lives in Hoboken and wasn't too impressed with Hyo Dong Gak as well as she's got better access to the NJ Korean scene.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Funny - I did live in LA for 7 years before moving to NY, so I think you've hit the nail on the head. The Korean food scene does pale in comparison to LA, but thanks for the recommendation. I'll make a trip out to Flushing - can't believe I haven't been yet.

        1. re: thegirlnextdoor

          Oh, it is funny! Yeah, LA's Korean scene is larger and much better. In Manhattan, BCD Tofu is considered to be in the top two or three. But in LA, BCD Tofu is just another chain. But I do have to say that the tri-state area isn't bad compared to other cities. One of my friends lived in Chicago (until last year), and complained about the lack of decent Korean. Luckily she got her fix every time she came to NYC.

          You should definitely check out Flushing/Murray Hill (most of the Korean places are actually in Murray Hill, which can be reached either by taking the 7 train and walking a bit or taking the LIRR). Assi Plaza and H-Mart is a lot better (and cheaper) than the H-Mart on 32nd Street. My dad blew his top when he saw the prices and quality of items at the Manhattan H-Mart as he shops in Flushing. And in addition to Korean restaurants, there's really a vibrant Chinese scene going on. There are tons of threads in the Outer Boroughs Board about the Chinese food scene (not as many about the Korean one).

        2. re: Miss Needle

          I did eat at a place on northern but it burned down a few years ago, was pretty close to the han yang on northern. There was also another one inside of a supermarket plaza I think? also on northern, in the HMart plaza I think.

          ya somehow I just got bored of it maybe; you could only have so many meals consisting of JJM, JP, mandoo gui and tang soo yuk without getting fatigued. what else is in the canon of korean-chinese cuisine that i should expand to?

          1. re: bigjeff

            Funny thing is whenever I went out to a Korean-Chinese restaurant, those dishes are the ones we always ordered (except for the sweet and sour beef -- somebody else would order it). When I would go to one of these restaurants, I would see about 90% of the Korean folks there eating either jjamp bong or jia jiang myun. It would generally be the non-Koreans venting into those stir-fried "Chinese" dishes. As I'm not a huge fan of heavily cornstarched sauces, I tend to stick with jjamp bong. And I get gan jia jiang, where the bean paste sauce is fried until it becomes like a delicious inky paste as opposed to a more glossy cornstarchy sauce of the regular jia jiang myun.

            If you want to try other dishes, you can try japtang, which is like stir-fried seafood and veggies in a cornstarch-laden gravy. We didn't eat that at restaurants but ate it at home sometimes.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              ETA: Oops a typo. I meant to say "venturing" instead of "venting."

        3. just ate at hyo dong gak and one thing I had different this time was getting the "special" JJM, where the word/character special is kan/gan JJM; it sounds very much like the word "dry" in chinese and, it makes sense since I read about it as the same dish but with noodles and sauce served separate; the sauce is cooked/re-cooked longer and tasted much more savory than the normal one; a load of onions in it but there was definitely more flavor. a buck extra but well worth it.

          we did see a giant mound of jelly fish go by ($18.95) which looked like it could feed at least 6. looked so good!

          1. Easily the best place is Crystal Palace in NJ. That's my parents' fav. We've been to Guh Song in bayside and a few others on norther blvd but Crystal Palace beats them all!

            1. Doh doh wa (aka oh oh wha) in Pal. Park has surprisingly good ja jang myun..