BCD Tofu---no more little fishies!!! and a somewhat disappointing meal
Went to BCD Tofu with the family last night--long day at work and everyone wanting spicy tofu soup for dinner. Smallest pup ordered the combo of bbq ribs and soon tofu [medium], oldest pup ordered beef bulgogi and soon tofu [medium], spouse got pork bulgogi and soon tofu [spicy] and I got the bibimbap and soon tofu [medium]. yes, too much food but everyone had a nice lunch today!
The first bad thing happened with the arrival of the panchen [sp] which consisted of a big plate of kimchi, what we call "kimchi soup," sliced dill pickle, some other kimchi and <shock! horror!> a salad with a sad tomatoe and a peanuty dressing! what the heck? Part of the reason we go to BCD tofu on wilshire is the fried little fish--I think its a covina or croaker or something. The kids love the little fish and elder pup is known for eatting it pretty much down to the head, crunching the whole thing with much glee. I asked our server who just said "no more. Salad!" Well, yea, I get that you gave me salad but I wanted the little fishy. My spouse's first thought was that we were being tricked out of the little fishy because the adult half of the dining party is white so we quickly scoped out the room and did a reconnisence into the back. No little fishies to be seen anywhere. Suffice to say, elder pup was most disappointed.
The soon tofu appeared quickly enough though I am not sure that the mediums were really medium or that the spicy was really spicy. And then came the ribs and the beef and eventually the pork bulgogi. But they completely forgot my bibimbap, bringing the bill to the table without having brought the bibimbap. When we finally got them to remember, they tried to get me to mix it with the by then cold rice that they had served out of the stone rice pot a good half hour earlier. I declined and they finally brought me some hot rice. But it was most disappointing.
And spouse says that his pork bulgogi didn't taste the same. He couldn't quite place his finger on it but it was different in the seasonings or something.
All in all, the meal had declined. I know that many people prefer other places--that was the kids first soon tofu place and pups are, as we all know, often set in their ways. But the meal was over $60 and it was disappointing so we are looking for a new soon tofu place, preferably with a parking lot because we typically eat soon tofu when we are lazy or feeling under the weather and don't wish to hike. Any thoughts?
sokongdong soontofu is my favorite. you get raw spicy blue crab as part of the panchan and the soondubu is pretty good...
beverly soon tofu across the street is my second favorite. it has nicer ambiance. both have strip mall parking but street parking is never that hard either...
both are at olympic and vermont on opposite corners (towards new hampshire)
by the way, my mom (a biologist) told me those little fishies (i think those are the ones) have some of the highest levels of heavy metals in them...
Thanks for the sokongdong rec! I recently tried Beverly and liked it quite a lot (more than BCD, that's for sure).
Beverly has a large variety of panchan, though no fishies either. The kalbi combo is actually pretty good for a place that's not primarily a BBQ joint. It's not overly sweetened or overmarinated. I've been trying to get SO to go, but I think if I can tell him there's raw blue crab, he'll happily go to sokongdong first.
you know, BCD used to serve some kind of jut (pickeled squid or something like that) for free with their banchan. that disappeared a few years ago. then I noticed the fried fish on the menu that can be ordered a la carte.
i guess their bottom line is not where they want it to be...
The soon tofu stall in the Koreatown Galleria food court is not too bad, and (at least the last time we were there) they definitely had the fried corvina. I believe it's called Tofu House. Parking's easy--just drive up to the top floor of the parking garage and walk right into the food court.
There's a place on Wilshire (can't remember the address or cross street... sorry!) called "Keun Gah Mah" (sign says "House Tofu" in english) that is now my favorite place for soon tofu. It's on the south side of Wilshire, east of Vermont. A little hard to see as the front windows are covered with a "we're closed" metal grate, the restaurant is on the bottom floor of a multi-story building. There's a parking lot, so no street parking required.
They serve a good marinated raw crab, and I really like their pork bulgogi. Other options include traditional favorites like gamja tang (pork neck soup), dolsot bibimbap, bulgogi, galbi... Combos run around 14 dollars, I believe, which is a bit pricy, but you get a lot of food. I'm not a huge fan of soon tofu stew myself and can't do a comparison with any precision, but I am always happy with the other part of the combo. Unfortunately, they don't give you a little fishie with the food either. Unlike BCD, I don't believe you can order a meat dish without getting a combo.
I'll try and lock down the address, or at least the cross street.