|Image via Wikipedia|
|Dozens of Korean restaurant line Broad Avenue in Palisades Park, above, and some are on the second floor of buildings or enclosed malls, like the one on the right.|
Two Korean restaurants, Son Ja Jang and Bunsik Nara, share the same address on Broad Avenue in Palisades Park.
I walked into the latter in error on Sunday evening, but didn't have to go back out into the rain. A waitress pointed me to a door in the back that leads to Son Ja Jang, a Korean-style Chinese restaurant known for its hand-made noodles.
The simply decorated, L-shaped dining room has only one window -- into the kitchen, and through it you can see a cook stretching and pounding the noodle dough on a counter, loud enough to be heard through a closed door.
I ordered a big bowl of spicy soup with hand-made noodles and seafood ($9.99), and started eating my side dishes, cubed radish kimchi and half-moons of Korean pickles.
Then I saw a waitress deliver two large, divided bowls to men at a table across the way. My waiter said the bowls hold hand-made noodles on one side and seafood or meat on the other, so I know what I'm going to have next time.
My soup had a beautiful, deep-red broth perfectly seasoned with red pepper, and hand-made noodles with shredded vegetables and seafood -- one large mussel, one large clam, a shrimp and several pieces of chewy squid.
This was a deeply satisfying dish and I lifted the bowl to my lips to drain every last drop of the spicy broth. Another seafood noodle soup, labeled "very hot" on the menu, is $10.99, and may be a larger portion.
The noodles were thicker than the hand-made ones at Chinese Mandarin Restaurant, but not as elastic or as chewy. (See post, My order causes a commotion.)
I dipped some of the noodles into a small portion of salty black bean paste that came with my kimchi.
A specialty at Son Ja Jang is jajangmyun -- hand-made noodles bathed in spicy black bean paste with onions and ground meat.
Son Ja Jang Restaurant, 232 Broad Ave., Palisades Park;
201-944-7777. Look for a sign over a glass door leading
to doctors' offices.