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ISO 'Best' Zha Jiang Mian, Any Location

Steve Jun 18, 2013 06:12 AM

Visitor from DC looking for noodles in bean paste sauce to replicate the experience at Noodle Loft in Beijing.

Where I live, there is only one ok version (A&J) that I mostly ignore because I find it uninteresting. All other local options are pretty bad. I have taken to making it myself: the result is far better than all places except for A&J, but it falls short of that.

For the purpose of this quest, I am willing to sacrifice great noodles for great sauce if needed.

I am looking for a saucy, complex version.

And, please, no Chinese-Korean noodles in black bean sauce.

The most convenient would be 101 Noodle Express since I will probably go there anyway. Their 'minced pork noodles' might do the trick, but photos I've seen of it make it look dry.

So far the recs I've seen from scouring Chowhound are Qingdao Bread Food and FFY Noodle House. But I am not limited to SGV for this.


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  1. Servorg RE: Steve Jun 18, 2013 06:31 AM

    Two places that have good versions:

    FFY Noodle House
    18219 E Gale Ave
    Rowland Heights, CA 91748
    (626) 839-8806

    Mandarin Noodle House
    701 W Garvey Ave
    Monterey Park, CA 91754
    (626) 570-9795

    1. J.L. RE: Steve Jun 18, 2013 12:47 PM

      Try the hand pulled noodles when you order the zha ziang mian at Kam Hong Gardens. It's just west of the corner of Garvey & New (they're neighbors with Beijing Pie House, if you're also missing the Beijing pies).

      Noodle Loft's zha ziang mian is tourist-friendly, but it's not the best iteration of this dish in Beijing.

      5 Replies
      1. re: J.L.
        Mr Taster RE: J.L. Jun 18, 2013 12:51 PM

        That's actually a great two-fer.

        While I haven't tried the zha zhang mian from Kam Hong Garden, I have had their noodles and they're quite good.

        The fact that you can also get an order of pan fried fennel and minced pork pies just by crossing the parking lot is one of those super "only in SGV" bonuses that make me so happy to live in Los Angeles.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster
          ipsedixit RE: Mr Taster Jun 18, 2013 03:53 PM

          I actually like the ZJM at Beijing Pie House. Quite a bit, in fact.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            TonyC RE: ipsedixit Jun 18, 2013 07:42 PM

            A couple of elderly Chinese adults nearly spat out the ZJM at BPH. Just another data point.

            1. re: TonyC
              J.L. RE: TonyC Jun 18, 2013 10:37 PM

              BPH... An unfortunate abbreviation.

        2. re: J.L.
          Steve RE: J.L. Jun 18, 2013 01:09 PM

          I was taken to Noodle Loft by a Chowhound friend living in Beijing. We went to holes-in-the-wall not on any tourist map and anywhere else he took us. Noodle Loft was sensational all around.

          But for the purposes of this thread, i will happily take any suggestions that are even better than NL.

        3. ipsedixit RE: Steve Jun 18, 2013 03:59 PM


          I think lots of places do a good rendintion of ZJM, none of them great. These include Earthen, Dings, Beijing Pie House and Ding's.

          But I think my favorite, right now, and not by alot, is probably No.1 Noodle House.

          1. n
            noahbites RE: Steve Jun 18, 2013 05:31 PM

            I tend to prefer the Chinese versions to the Korean, and my favorite so far is at Malan Noodle in Hacienda Heights. I adore that place.

            2 Replies
            1. re: noahbites
              Mr Taster RE: noahbites Jun 18, 2013 09:21 PM

              When were you last at Ma Lan? I had an outrageously disappointing visit several months ago that I wrote about here, and the response was essentially "we know". I haven't cared to go back since (and I absolutely loved the place when they first opened, and was heartbroken when the Monterey Park location closed.)

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                noahbites RE: Mr Taster Jun 18, 2013 10:21 PM

                Oh, that's unfortunate. It's probably been a really long time since I've been.

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