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A Fine Lunch at BCD Tofu

Based on a number of Chowhound recommendations, Lau's & MissNeedle's in particular, my sister & I had lunch today at BCD Tofu and were very pleased. I thought the tofu itself was a little inferior to Cho Dang Gol's, but it's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison since I had a stone rice bowl at Cho Dang Gol, which is mild and allows the flavor of the tofu - such as it is - to emerge. The soup at BCD was spicier (I chose the "regular" spice level), so the tofu got a little lost, except for its texture, which was a little looser than I like it. The broth was just right, and the seafood very good as well, albeit a little skimpy - but for $9.95, I'm not complaining.

The fried fish banchan was excellent, and I liked the cabbage kimchi a lot (although it wouldn't hurt to chop it a little finer). The others were less successful. There was a penne/mayonnaise/ham thing - not too thrilling, reminded me of school lunch macaroni salad. And seaweed with no seasoning to speak of. Also a sweetish radish dish and a grievously oversalted red pepper (I think) kimchi.

It's a nice looking place, with quick and efficient service. We started out hating the strong air conditioning, but once we were head down in the soup, it was a blessing.

One rookie question: we were served the crispy rice scrapings from the stone bowl, in hot water. Are you supposed to do something with this beside just eat it? I just ate it.

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  1. >One rookie question: we were served the crispy rice scrapings from the stone bowl, in hot water. Are you supposed to do something with this beside just eat it? I just ate it.

    Nope, you did it right. It's called "noo roong ji" and it's a Korean dessert of sort.

    2 Replies
    1. re: uwsister

      Phew! I have avoided embarrassing myself, for a change.

      1. re: uwsister

        Yep, it's supposed to be a palate cleanser.

      2. I've been twice. Once, I got barbecue. It was pretty good but not as good as Madangsui (same with the banchan), though cheaper. The second time, I got Mul Naengmyun and Hyaemul Pa-jun. The Naengmyun was tasty but not as good as Yo-Chun/Memories in Seoul used to be (it wasn't iced, didn't have as much liquid, and we had to mix it ourselves, whereupon it wasn't as uniformly spicy), and the Pa-Jun was nicely crispy toward the circumference but not as tasty as the one we got at Arirang (which, to be fair, was a Kimchi Pa-Jun, and BCD Tofu doesn't serve those).

        So far, my verdict is that BCD Tofu is a good place which gives a fair value, but nothing amazing.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Pan

          I went to Madangsui for dinner tonight intending to have the Hwe Naeng Myun, but the waitress wouldn't let me get the small size because I wasn't having barbecue. My second choice was the Al Chigae, but they were out of it. Grrr. So I had the seafood tofu jjigae (this dish seems to have an awful lot of names - BCD calls it seafood soon tofu). I didn't like it as much as BCD's rendition, but it was pretty good. The banchan was fine, particularly the fried fish filet and the seaweed, although again, I don't think it was better than BCD's. I'd go back to BCD before Madangsui, based on these two experiences.

          1. re: Pan

            >So far, my verdict is that BCD Tofu is a good place which gives a fair value, but nothing amazing.

            I'd suggest that what you ordered was unlikely to be amazing. This is a soon dubu specialist, after all ( http://www.chow.com/manhattan_digest/... ). I've had it there several times, and I'd rank it right at the top among Manhattan Korean restaurants.

            BTW I agree about naeng myun at the departed You-Chun on 36th. Best in Manhattan, when it was around. The You-Chun locations in Flushing and Palisades Park are still open, as far as I know.

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            You-Chun
            135 Broad Ave, Palisades Park, NJ 07650

            You-Chun
            156-03 Northern Blvd, Queens, NY 11354

            BCD Tofu House
            17 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

            1. re: squid kun

              >I'd suggest that what you ordered was unlikely to be amazing. This is a soon dubu specialist, after all

              Exactly -- it's a soon doo boo place! Of course they won't do an amazing BBQ. IMO their soon doo boo is very good, not as good as Natural Tofu in Queens (the best in NYC) but as far as Manhattan soon doo boo is concerned, theirs is tops. They earn extra points for the fried fish banchan, for me.

              1. re: uwsister

                is natural tofu the place on 40th st off right off the 7 train? that place is awesome. i was excited that bcd was coming to nyc after having eaten it multiple times in l.a. the soondooboo wasn't as good but the galbi is slightly better in quality. also, it's overpriced for dinner and there's no sdb/galbi combo.

                1. re: tkm616

                  Yes, that's the place. Their "very spicy" MEANS very spicy! Great soon doo boo there.

                  I also frequented BCD Tofu in L.A. and was excited about Manhattan one opening -- unfortunately I don't think Manhattan BCD Tofu is as good as the one in L.A. I'd never had their galbi though.

                2. re: uwsister

                  I get your point. By the way, though, they didn't give us the fried fish last time, and by the time I realized it, I was kind of too full to point it out to them.

                  1. re: uwsister

                    yes! the fried fish is my favorite part of the meal. the meat on these little guys is so sweet and tender

              2. Closed at the end of December. They're supposedly looking to open somewhere else in Manhattan.

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                BCD Tofu House
                17 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

                1 Reply
                1. re: squid kun

                  Yes, I read that on (I think) Eater. Sad news. Any recommendations for a temporary replacement, until BCD re-opens? I liked Li Hua/Jup Shie, but that closed as well.