I had begun to hear some murmurings (internet-style) that the best jja jang myun in NYC might be served at a place I had not tried yet. So after my recording session this evening, I headed out to Bayside, Queens, to pay Guh Song a visit.
Well, the rumors may be right. I was the only caucasian in the place, and when I ordered the gan jja jang ("special sauce" jja jang myun), the waitress emitted a surprised/pleased "Oh!" The sauce is more flavorful than either of the other well-known places in the city, Sam Won Gahk and Hyo Dong Gak, and the noodles were good. My other must-try dish at a Korean-Chinese restaurant, goon mandu (fried dumplings), didn't fare so well. The wrappers were too thick and actually came out somewhat tough and leathery, and the filling was too heavy on under-cooked chives.
However, this was not, in fact, what most people were eating here. Clams and large crab seemed to be on every table but mine, and it all looked spectacular. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to determine exactly which dishes on the menu they were, but if I can scrape up some company for a return visit, I intend to find out. Especially delectable-looking were the large platters of clams slathered in a brown sauce (possibly "steamed clams with oyster sauce") with some Chinese broccoli, next to a mound of noodles. The waitress mixes it all for you at the table. For the novice, it seems to me it would be worthwhile to really take your time ordering, have a good look around the room to see what's on other tables, and don't be afraid to ask questions!
47-24 Bell Blvd., Basyide 11361
(7 train to Flushing-Main St., then take the Q27 bus to Bell Blvd.)