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Apr 19, 2007 03:49 PM

Tofu Cabin in San Mateo

I love the Tofu House in Palo Alto (I mistakenly said Mtn. View earlier) and had no idea there was a place called Tofu Cabin in San Mateo in the Marina Strip Mall! I plan on trying the place soon, but there's also word of it being a bit pricey. How's the food (tofu stews and the like)? Is it worth it? How does it compare to the Tofu House in Mtn. View?


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    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks Melanie. I just read KK's post, which is how I realized the place even existed. I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on their tofu stews and other dishes besides the chicken soup with ginseng. And if the prices were worth it.

      1. re: VirgoBlue

        Here are some early reports from 12/06 to get you started,

        Updates, anyone?

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Oh, here was a short review of mine from January that I posted on yelp.

          "Like other reviewers' opinions, this place is "okay" since there are few Korean Tofu places within a 10 miles radius.
          I've only had the tofu there, and the prices are around a $1 more expensive than other places.
          There were only five starting small dishes compared to 8-10 dishes at other places.
          It does earn three stars because the tofu was silky and wasn't overcooked and broken up.
          As of 1/11/07, the place does not yet have their liquor license."

    2. The Tofu House in Mountain View is called Totoro, which to me is just ok. Then again can't complain because there's no competition otherwise.

      Myung Dong Tofu Cabin in San Mateo is much better and recently has gotten better than when they first opened (which was a bit of a let down). I'm still not quite enamored by their tofu pots and even the spiciest version is more spice than flavor. Perhaps in the next visit or two I will go back and give them another shot, though there seems to be more exotic and more interesting things other than the tofu stews to try. That ginseng game hen soup was wicked, however. In terms of prices, they range about $8 ish for a tofu stew, perhaps a dollar or two cheaper than the very pricey Kaya Tofu & BBQ in San Carlos (first and last time I went it was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad, not going back again).

      The best place for tofu stews from San Mateo to Mountain View is So Gong (spelling) Tofu House in Palo Alto on El Camino (next to Fuki Sushi and near Su Hong Eatery). Small menu but the tofu stews are superb and hearty, and hovering around the $7 ish mark. Reverse osmosis water that is done so well you swore they put MSG in it. Great selection of panchan, very kid friendly (if you have a toddler or infant they will give you a small freebie bowl of plain tofu) and if they happen to have the sweet black bean panchan that the employees eat, ask for it too (not part of regular panchan but they gave us a bit to try and it was delicious). Best of all, default rice is the purple mixed grain kind that I think has red bean in it too, and on top of that it actually tastes great.

      3 Replies
      1. re: K K

        Ah yes, the one I was referring to was the Tofu House on El Camino in Palo Alto, not Mtn. View. Love that place. I guess they are the best of the best. Was hoping to find another good Korean place closer to the Peninsula.

        I'm not a fan of Totoro in downtown Mtn. View. It's alright, but nothing to write home about.

        1. re: VirgoBlue

          Agreed. For anything better than So Gong Tofu House (which is very hard to top especially what you get for your dollar), you might have to make the trek down to Sunnyvale/Santa Clara part of El Camino. Slim pickins in the Peninsula, though MDTC San Mateo is definitely miles better than Kaya in San Carlos.

          There is a Korean BBQ place in San Bruno on El Camino, been around for a very long time. Tofu pots last I went, were only offered as combos with BBQ meats during dinner. Not sure if they do tofu stews standalone. Not bad, better than Kaya but not superb.

          1. re: K K

            Thanks, KK. The spot in San Bruno is the first place that I tried Korean food . . . many years ago. I've often wondered how it fares today.

      2. I just ate at Tofu Cabin SM last night. My GF ordered the combo soon dubu of meat and seafood so I tried some of hers. A little lacking on the seafood component (counted two shrimps and one clam in shell) but flavor was OK I thought...I think the soon dubu at places in the south bay like Tofu House near Lawrence Exp. are better. I ordered the galbi; the marinade was very sweet, but not bad. A tad undercooked to my liking.

        For their meat dishes, they have the requisite vents above and space in the table for self-grilling, but they charge you more vs. having the kitchen cook your food (something I've never seen at other Korean restaurants here) I've eaten here three times so far and have never seen anyone grill at their table... As other people have said, a little more pricey but still better than the few choices there are on the peninsula.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kerokero

          Wow, thanks everybody for your opinions! This really helps set up what I can expect. I'm hoping to pay Tofu Cabin in SM a visit soon. We'll see what happens and I'll give you an update here about what I think.

          At least now I know it's no Tofu House in PA! That place rocks!

        2. I couldn't bring myself to do it guys... My husband and I ended up driving ourselves down to Palo Alto to Tofu House on El Camino instead of trying Tofu Cabin in SM. That place is just too good! I ordered the Kimchee Tofu Soup and my husband had the Combo Tofu Soup. There was a pretty big wait there for a Friday night, but the meal was well worth it.

          One of these days when I don't feel like driving down to PA, I'll head to Tofu Cabin instead.