Zzamong Makes a Fine Bowl of Seafood Jjajangmyeon


My quest to find Koreatown’s best bowl of jjajangmyeon (noodles w/ black bean sauce) will likely never end.  For one thing I don’t think I would ever want to declare a best version of the Korean/Chinese specialty.  After all, as much as I love it it’s so ubiquitous, so cheap, so one note in a lot of ways, that I can’t even imagine sending anybody across the city with expectations that they will finally find a bowl of these noodles that is worthy of getting super excited about.  After all, it’s just jjanjangmyeon.

But sometimes that craving hits, and there are plenty of places ready to step up to the plate.  If I want to spend $5, but still get house made hand pulled noodles, I’ll hit up Mandarin House.  If I want a small bowl of it, paired with some cheap Chinese food as a lunch combo all for just $10, Dragon Restaurant is the spot.  Substitute the noodles with fried rice?  Al Ba Nae it is.   But if seafood jjajangmyeon is what I crave, I’m heading for Zzamong.

I first heard of this place from my buddy Josh, who had read this post on the blog Table Conversation.  Zzamong’s menu is simple, but a little difficult to decode for the amateur. (Luckily I had help from a Korean friend who came along.)


Jjajangmyeon is actually listed as peking noodle ($5.99), or soy sauce peking noodles ($7.99), which can also be ordered with seafood ($8.99) or beef ($8.99).


I know it’s hard, but resist the temptation to order the $6 peking noodle (their cheapest dish).  It was not good, and had this weird tomato paste aftertaste that I did not like at all.


Spend the extra $3 bucks and get the soy sauce peking noodles with 3 kinds of seafood.  They give you the black bean sauce on the side to mix in yourself, which is kind of nice for those who like to regulate the amount of sludge that gets mixed into their noodles.  It doesn’t limit the amount of splatter though (if you make it through a bowl of jjajangmyeon without getting some on your clothes, than you weren’t doing it right.)   The seafood gives it this great extra level of flavor that made it leaps and bounds better than the cheap version, but not so super fishy as to scare off those that aren’t big seafood fans.  All in all, just a great bowl of noodles.


The banchan is pretty simple, but standard for a place like this.  You get cubed radish kimchi, yellow radish (the one that always tastes like sweet n low), and plain raw onions- which you’re supposed to cover in vinegar and dip in the brown sauce they give you on the side.


They also do pretty decent versions of jjampong (spicy seafood noodle soup) and sweet and sour pork, two dishes you will often see at places like this.


And if you’re with a crew and need dumplings their fried mandoo are certainly not bad. But it’s the seafood jjajangmyeon is that will keep me going back.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I love jjajangmyeon, and this place has everything you want in a good place.
  • Their seafood jjm is worth the $9.  Very good.
  • I love that they keep the sludge separate from the noodles on their more expensive versions
  • Sweet and sour pork FTW!  And their jjampong is decent?  This place is a winner…

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Their super cheap version of noodles with black bean sauce is terrible
  • You can get sweet and sour pork AND a small bowl of JJM for just $10 as a lunch special at Dragon
  • I don’t like the seafood version of jjm.
  • Menu is too basic.  I like having more options…

Zzamong, 4255 W 3rd St, 213-739-2747


1 Comment

  • I like how you said a “korean friend” came along to help you decode the menu, when in actuality you were annoyed that was even trying to do so. I know now that my M.O. when dining w/ you at Korean restaurants is pretend that I’m not Korean. It’s actually not that hard since my Korean is pretty terrible. I’m just not good at faking another east Asian ethnicity.

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