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Za Zang in Santa Clara

tanspace | Dec 16, 200404:24 PM

Za Zang is now a chain of four restaurants in SF, Oakland, Cupertino, and now Santa Clara. Unlike most Korean-Chinese style restaurants, these are not operated by Shandong'en but by Koreans (as far as I can tell).

I had a chance to try the two signature noodles: Gan Za Zang (Gan Zha Jiang) and Zam Pong (Chao Ma Mian).

Gan Zha Jiang Mian came in two bowls - one very large containing the noodle, and the other for the Zha Jiang sauce. There was a lot of noodle in the bowl, almost enough for two people. Not sure if the noodles were homemade or not, but certainly it was machine pressed and not hand pulled. The noodle was generally ok but was a tad thinner than normal - almost spaghetti like.

The only meat in the sauce was pork but it was not cooked tender enough. Otherwise the flavor was ok.

Chao Ma Mian came in a smaller bowl than the Jiang Mian noodle bowl. The amount of noodle seemed to be half of those served for the Gan Zha Jiang.

The broth did not seem cloudy as a true mark of good Chao Ma Mian broth should be. And the flavor didn't taste as rich as it should be. It was also overly sweet. The vegetable ingredients were slightly softer than normal. The seafood consisted only of squid and clams. There were plenty of them but the problem was everything was overcooked as to be too tough. If you like chewy squids and clams (like the chewy shrimps in Soon Tofu dishes) then you may like this.

Overall, neither of the noodles met my expectations. On this stretch of El Camino, there's far better choices available at China Way and Tong Soon Garden.


PS: I didn't try any of the Pizza.

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