Fresh Thoughts Blog

3 May 2008

Koreatown Eats

Posted by Chef Paul under: Dining .

Korean Tofu House CondimentsDriving to Los Angeles is never a sure thing. It could be 30 minutes or 2 hours. Today I got lucky and was driving into the heart of Korea town a full 40 minutes ahead of time. When I stopped, I was really just looking for a cup of hot tea from a little bakery. What I found instead was the BCD Tofu House. This place was a model of efficiency. I was seated in a mere 15 seconds, had ordered within a minute, and had food on the table within 2 minutes. Watching the table next to me I quickly figured out what to do with all the dishes that were headed my way. I ordered the Curry Tofu Soup that had beef in it. As plates hit the table I counted them…eight plates so far and I hadn’t even received the soup yet! I might as well just list them; a whole fried 6″ long fish, one raw egg, a scoop of potato salad, kimchi (cabbage), pickle spears on ice, a salad of iceberg lettuce-carrot julienne-and vinegar, another kimchi (smaller, I could not recognize but wouldn’t be surprised if it was octopus), and a very hot covered ceramic bowl of rice. When my soup arrived it was a boiling hot mixture of onion, carrot, tofu, peas, potato, beef shreds, and curry broth. I quickly added the raw egg, stirred it in. Meanwhile the server dished out some hot rice into a metal bowl for me and immediately added some water to the crock the rice had been in. I had already snacked on the fish and the salads but the rest was condiments for the soup and rice. When I ran low on rice, the server ceremonially scraped the bottom of the rice bowl and mixed it with the water previously added making a toasted rice porridge. This was new to me but upon tasting it I compared it to the toasted flavor of a puffed wheat cereal. All this with two glasses of Oolong tea and I was stuffed. I left 35 minutes after I had arrived with only $9.95 less in my wallet. Good Eats!

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