Myung Dong Tofu House (review+pics)
Since there's no way I can drive to Koreatown and back for my lunch hour whenever I'm in the mood for Korean food, I'm just glad that I have Myung Dong Tofu House located fairly close to where I work.
Although Myung Dong's selling point is supposed to be their soon tofu soup, I actually don't think it's that great. The tofu itself is fine; however, the soup needs more punch and flavor. The first time I had their tofu soup, it tasted a bit watered down to me. The second time, there was a weird tangy metallic after taste which was a little off putting. In either case, their tofu soup needs a lot of work.
Anyway, before every meal, you get a scallion pancake. It' a nice little starter and is a good precursor to the panchan. As for the panchan, I have to say that I've never been disappointed by their panchan. They always have lots of great flavor and the quality of the vegetables they use to make their panchan is excellent. I actually enjoy the panchan more than I have ever enjoyed their soon tofu soup.
I always have to be really hungry whenever I go to Myung Dong Tofu House because there's a lot to their combo meals. Along with the scallion pancake, panchan, tofu soup, there's also a meat or seafood dish.
In the past, I've tried both their kalbi and bulgogi and while the meat is sometimes a little greasy, I never have any trouble finishing off the whole plate. The marinated meat is absolutely delicious. It's pretty hard to resist the hot plate coming to your table with the smells of the grilled meat wafting into your nose.
Other than the tofu soup itself, I've enjoyed my meals at Myung Dong Tofu House and have become a repeat customer. While I wish that that this restaurant was more in par with other Korean restaurants I've been to, I'm just glad that whenever I have that Korean food craving, I have some place close by to take care of it.
To see pics, go to:
Myung Dong Tofu House
1025 S. Glendora Avenue
West Covina, CA 91790
Thanks for the review. Same problem as yours - I am in Pasadena and can't go to K-town for lunches, yet I crave Korean food every so often. Arirang in Old Towne Pasadena used to provide the fix, but then IdeaLab took over their space! :-(
I love Myung Dong Tofu also - with some caveats. I usually go with a colleague who prefers not to eat raw eggs - so we usually get their barbeque combos. As you said, too much food. Their banchans are some of the most flavorful, and spicy hot, that I have eaten. Specially their kimchees are so hot and delicious. I specially like their seafood kimchee, which is picture # 10 in your Flickr site. It has a slight sweetness (is it eel?) and heat and the texture is just right for me. The only thing is that they bring the same amount of banchans whether we are 2 or 3 or 4 people in the party. I guess if you ask for refills, they will bring them. Great deals for lunch, where the cost of the same combos is lower than for dinner.
I used to think they had the best banchans I have had in LA (limited Korean experience - but have been to Chosun Galbi, Soot Bull Jeep, Yongsusan, but not Sa Rit Gol), but I went last week to Park's Bar-B-Q after reading the review in LA Times - I know, I know - heresy here. Park's banchans were even better than Myung Dong for me. Some of their banchans were strong flavors, and my wife, daughter, and nephew were not on the same page. But for me their overall quality was great. And while I find Irene Virbila's reviews often misguided, she was right about the quality of the meat here. Their thin slices of Kobe beef were richly marbled, and best eaten with a hint of the salt. Their kalbi were great, and we also had their Japanese style kurobuta pork belly was great. We ordered a soup dish also (at my daughter's request) and it was too much food. But it was great. I now prefer it over Chosun. My experience at Yongsusan was very mediocre. We ended up at Pinkberry at my daughter's insistence, and I failed to find any reason to go there again. I understand they are opening a branch in Pasadena!