Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nothing Says Halloween Like Tofu

We live in a condo full of old and/or Korean people. This means we never have trick-or-treaters. In honor of our recent cooler weather and without worry of being "tricked" for not being home, we headed to Koreatown for piping hot sundubu jjigae.
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BCD Tofu House is a worldwide chain with 10 locations in the United States, eight of which are in Southern California. There are two outposts in K-town that are both open 24 hours a day, every day. We usually go to the one at 869 S. Western because it's less crowded than the one at 3575 Wilshire.
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Like other Korean establishments, the meal starts with a little salad and panchan.
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My favorite part of the complimentary pre-meal delights at BCD is the small fried fish. One is given to each patron. It's fantastic. I won't lie -- this fish is the main reason I keep coming back to BCD.
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I had the dumpling tofu soup ($8.99), an exquisite harmony of homemade meat mandu (Korean dumplings), soft tofu, beef, pork, leeks, onions, cabbage, and green onions. Medium spiciness is the perfect amount of hotness for me.
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Look at all that luscious redness! It's like lava!
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Mr. Monkey always orders the hottest level of spice available. I don't know how he does it. I like spicy things, but I also like to taste my food and not to sweat profusely. He had the yellow corvina and premium tofu combo ($14.99). His tofu looked similar to mine, so here's a picture of his yellow corvina.
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It's like a slightly larger version of the complimentary appetizer fried fish. Yeah, we really like the fried fish here.

Like at other Korean restaurants, near the end of your meal, your server scrapes out all of the remaining scorched rice from your hot dolsot (stone bowl) and mixes it with hot water for a soothing post-dinner quasi-porridge.
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I usually eat a couple bites and give the rest to Mr. Monkey. I'm not a huge fan, but he loves the smoky rice soup. He thinks it's good for digestion. I think it's just more carbs I don't need.

Our Halloween wasn't entirely un-Halloweeny. The beauty of living in Los Angeles is that our neighborhoods meld together. Throughout the night, little children -- mostly of Latino descent -- invaded BCD with requests for candy from our friendly Korean proprietors.
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We also sat next to a group of four fun guys who were dressed like a pirate (complete with a fake parrot on his shoulder), sailor, aviator, and sheik. I think they were probably on their way to the huge bash in West Hollywood.

Pretty cool.

If you'd like to read a post with slightly more detailed descriptions of various components of what we ate, go here for a better breakdown. Hope you all had a fun Halloween!


  1. I can't wait for the day I can come visit Cali and you and all the fun ladies can take me to awesome restaurants. That looks so good!

  2. I want to open a Tofu House in Kansas City!

    Or google a recipe for that soup.

    Whichever happens to fall into the budget this week.

  3. I'm not going to lie...that fish is a little creepy.

  4. LOVE that Mr. Monkey wears his Boston T-Shirt with pride!!!

  5. I used to go to the one on Wilshire with my co-workers! Sigh, I loved that place.

  6. i <3 bcd. the first time i went, my korean CW (who is like a mom to everyone in the office) attacked that fish with her chopsticks and within a few minutes, it was nothing by a small pile of bones with all the meat separated and easy to eat. so. dang. yummy!

  7. I have never had Korean food. I do not know why--- we have many Korean-run restaurants within 2 miles of our home. I love trying new foods--- thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Yum. This sounds much more enjoyable than my experiencing handing out candy to 61 children (if we're using the term "children" loosely in order to encompass 8th graders. But I'm not bitter).

  9. i loooove bcd. the chain is owned by the family of an old college pal of mine. the rice @ the end is called "nooroong-ji." it's one of my absolute favorite comfort foods. ;-)

  10. I wish I had gone to the huge bash in WeHo.

  11. Looooooove fried fish. And at least those trick or treaters were somewhat youthful. Can you believe I had at a dozen or so trick or treating old ladies on Friday?!!! WTF??!!!

  12. I love fried fish too! Whole fish only!

  13. i need me some bcd right about now.


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