After rumors or some great Korean-style zha jiang mian (AKA jjajangmyeon, abbreviated JJM for sake of convenience) being served at Lee’s, I had to make a trip to taste for myself.
The place is clean, and not crowded during the day.
Place setting was fairly standard.
Taro milk tea was a touch too sweet, even by taro milk tea standards. But as the ice melted, it became better.
Pan-fried pork mandu (dumplings) - They looked more like DEEP-fried dumplings, to me… In any case, they were pretty good (and surprisingly light in taste).
Honey butter Dok Dok fried chicken - Served with a light tomato/cucumber/mango chutney-esque garnish, I quite liked these sticky bites of sweet-&-salty chicken goodness. The word “addictive” could conceivably be applied to this fried chicken.
Fried egg - Again, I think they meant DEEP-fried whole hard-boiled egg. If you were expecting ajitama (with a soft, runny yolk), then you’d be disappointed.
And now, here comes the JJM. A few observations:
(1) The sauce was flavorful and well-made. (2) The chef gave me a LOT of sauce - a tad too much, in fact. (Note: I do prefer a rough 1:1 sauce-to-noodle ratio in my JJM.) In fact, there was so much sauce that even after I had finished consuming the noodles, there was enough sauce left over in my bowl for a second serving! I considered taking the sauce “to go” (thinking I could make my own noodles at home and try the leftover sauce with it) - nah, too much trouble…
(3) The noodles didn’t taste handmade. Unfortunately, I don’t think they even tasted housemade - the flaccidity and lack of “Q” were all too evident. Not that it was outright bad - they tasted fine I guess, but nothing special. Oh, and (4) the amount of noodles I was given wasn’t much. Perhaps they felt I ordered so much of everything else? Who knows. In any case, the noodle portion of this dish was a bit of a disappointment. This whole bowl of JJM rates a B to B+ with me.
Dessert consisted of a fried Twinkie, with powdered sugar on top. Now THIS was just great - the creamy center was runny, and really soaked through the whole hot mess as I bit through it… Delightfully reminiscent of the county fair!
So in summary, I (unexpectedly) liked the Twinkie and the Dok Dok chicken the most here on this trip to Lee’s. Though the JJM sauce was quite great, the curiously high sauce-to-noodle ratio, combined with the ‘meh’ quality of the noodles themselves, made it hard for me to give the highest recommendation for this particular bowl of JJM.
Lee’s Noodles Chinese Restaurant
401 S. Vermont Ave., Suite 1
Los Angeles, CA 90020