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Taste of China – Tasty Shandong in San Jose

Alice Patis | Dec 13, 200512:55 PM

I’ve been here 3 or 4 times with a Korean friend. Our favorites are the ja jiang myun (noodles with black bean sauce) and jjam pong (spicy seafood noodle soup). The noodles are on the too-soft side and I was surprised to find out in the post linked below that they might be handmade, because to me they don’t have a chewy/springy texture I thought hand made would have. Though they do look unevenly stretched and slightly wavy so I guess they could be handmade. Maybe the kitchen overcooks the noodles.

The ja jiang sauce is thick, very tasty but there’s too much of it and it’s scarfalicious for the first several bites, and but you can get tired of the dish, and the serving is very large. I don’t remember what’s in the sauce but I remember it’s got a lot of "stuff" but is more unctuous than chunky.

The jjam pong is medium spicy with a deep bright orange broth that sticks to your throat (in a good way), and huge amounts of seafood (large, very tender pieces of squid, plump shrimps, non-chewy mussels), tenderized beef, spinach and a few other veggies. It had a little too much garlic. The best part of the jjam pong besides the seafood are the 10 or so roasted chiles, way too spicy to eat but lovely to suck on for their smoky flavor. The serving is very large, even for 2 to share, let alone one to finish (it doesn’t make good leftovers).

Kim chi is free but you might have to ask for it (I didn’t see it on all the tables). It’s sometimes a bit bland, sometimes aged too much, and sometimes just right.

My friend also likes their sweet & sour beef but I’m not a fan of this dish anywhere, even if it is Shandong style and not American style. Liang Zhang Pi is an okay version here; it seems like a hot cooked dish here, less of a salad and more meat-heavy than the version I love at Tong Soon Garden in Santa Clara.

We’ve also had 1 or 2 other dishes but I don’t remember what they were. I’ve noticed their lunch specials seem to be a good deal considering the large servings. I’m sorry I don’t remember the prices, I think the lunch specials are $7 and the noodle dishes are $8.

Service is very nice if you speak Mandarin or Korean, and nice enough if you don’t. It’s also quite fast. Decor is more upscale than the prices suggest, with greens and dark woods. I like watching their non-edible aquarium, two of the fishes are the largest I’ve ever seen in an aquarium of that size.

Taste of China
1659 Branham Lane
San Jose, CA

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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