I've always been an adventurous one when it comes to food and ever since hearing about stinky tofu i've wanted to try it. I will be visiting LA in April and looked up some places online that supposedly carry the hard-to-find dish.
I found an old review of "foo chow" that claims they have it, but i found their menu on menu pages and couldn't find anything other than fried tofu... I also found "old country cafe" with recent reviews mentioning their stinky tofu, however i found a copy of their menu online and the only thing i can see that might be stinky tofu is their "special fried bean curd" but im not entirely sure on that one(maybe someone that's been there could fill me in?).
and last but not least i found the "Stinky tofu king" in rowland heights, it's quite a drive from the hotel i will be staying at though, and pictures of the stall show nothing written in english...
so if someone can fill me in, that'd be great
Won Won Kitchen
Pa Pa Walk
And yes, Old Country Cafe still does have stinky tofu ... and it's still pretty good.
Won Won Kitchen
9461 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780
PA PA Walk
227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
633 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Won Won, Pa Pa & Old Country are casual cafes that you can pop in and out quickly. But Indian Restaurant is a quintessential Taiwanese beer pub that is extremely popular (and extremely loud) for its plethora of pub food dishes, reasonable prices, and the lovely "Inidan" server girls (a la Hooters). Best way to get a table is by reservation or show up at 6 PM when they open. Besides stinky tofu, you also have to try the fried pig intestines.
Indian's take is pretty good, and they serve it 3 different ways (fried, sauteed, and braised, IIRC). Theirs is definitely not as pungent as most, which is probably lucky for the rest of the patrons.
I don't think it's legal to serve "real" stinky tofu here; my understanding is that everywhere (even the really stinky places) simulate the taste using herbs, but I could be wrong.
ps - Hooters is the best comparison I can think of too, but the atmosphere is much less overtly sexual, and the outfits (uggs, leather tool belts, black t-shirts, sorta short denim shorts or skirts, and a feather in a headband) are not as hyper-sexual as the outfits at a Hooters. Plus it's just kind of funny, because they're clearly not trying that hard to look like Native Americans. I guess there's a burger chain in Taiwan called Indian, maybe there's a loose connection.
The funniest part is an older guy (maybe the manager or owner) hanging around who looks kind of like an Asian Hugh Hefner - an old guy with poufy white hair and wearing suspenders. Awesome!
Ips, went to Won Won last night. Was really bummed they didn't have Stinky Tofu anymore. The owner said that he just stopped making it not too long ago. But i had the minced pork rice, friedchicken, meatball soup (love!) and i was more than content. such a homey place. posting will be up on my blog soon. thanks for the recs.
More often than not restaurants touting Taiwanese food will have chow tofu on their menu. There is a fine collection of such restaurants in Irvine off Jeffries or off Culver; also in Rowland Heights. It's been a while since I've enjoyed Taiwanese food so I don't remember their names but usually the English translation of their names will have "garden" as one of the words. You'll know it's authentic Taiwanese if they have pork belly mustard green buns on their menu. HongKong style cafes (not full blown restaurants), many of which can be found off Valley Road in San Gabriel often have it too. Stinky tofu is a fairly simple dish and there will not be any appreciable difference among restaurants. Bon Appetit.
Actually I don't think it will be hard to find in San Gabriel Valley at all. There's a very small restaurant in Hong Kong Supermarket plaza that specializes in stinky tofu, don't know if it's the stinky tofu king you referred to. It's taiwanese style, which has a different taste. I can take the smell, but the taste is a bit overwhelming (this from a person who loves anchovies). Anyway, even if they don't speak english you can just point and ask.
I had these in Hong Kong as well and actually, I could smell them a mild away. I could see them just soaking in the fermented liquid in tubs. They were tasty.
The guy at the HK Supermarket Plaza in Rowland makes it pretty good - love the pickled cabbage (pao tsai) that comes with it. mmm.
Mama's Kitchen has stinky tofu ...deep fried or steamed with a spicy red chili sauce.
Located on New Avenue just south of Valley
Also one located on Atlantic Blvd. in the same strip mall as Elite Restaurant (dim sum) and Foo Foo Tei in Monterey Park
I wouldn't try it at Foo Chow either, but I don't follow - while stinky tofu is popular in Taiwan, it's not only Taiwanese (though you may prefer a particular style).
The gf is partial to Lee's Garden.
BTW, reading the wikipedia article about traditional production, sounds like dried shrimp is occasionally used in the brine - anyone know how common that is (either here or overseas), or in what regions that is most common? I am both vegetarian and allergic to shellfish, so I would prefer to avoid cho dou fu made with shrimp.
1428 S Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803
One note: If this is your first introduction to Stinky Tofu (or Odorous Tofu) you should *not* try it at Mama's Kitchen... yet. :)
Mama's Kitchen in San Gabriel does a homemade Stinky Tofu (Fried or Steamed), and the Steamed version they have is HARDCORE (extremely pungent and definitely not for newbies :). This would have to be the most "odorous" tofu I've had in the U.S. (although not exceeding the hardcore level I hit while visiting Taipei one time on a trip through Asia :).
I have yet to try Mama's stinky tofu simply because I'm not "convinced". the shop is self-admittedly no longer a Taiwanese joint, hasn't been for over 10 years.
steamed stinky tofu also available at:
534 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Taipei Ning Gi Hotpot:
2019 1/2 S. HACIENDA BLVD
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
B20 is essentially Indian of the north with cheaper beer, so of course they also do stinky tofu 3 ways:
8841 E Las Tunas Dr.
Temple City, CA, 91780
there's a new-ish Cantonese operated Taiwanese-style beer house in the same strip mall as Giang-Nan
306 N Garfield Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
they also have fried stinky tofu. the portion was huge but it wasn't any good.
If you want something hardcore, try Boiling Point in Monterey Park, they have hot pots made with stinky tofu...
Second Old Country Cafe & Mama's Kitchen.