If there’s a feeling that irks more than eating boring food, it’s eating expensive boring food. This is how I view the atrocity called soon doobu served at a typical Korean restaurant. Before the K-hate mail starts again, let me just say that I (as well as B-Side) have this awesome secret book called: Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles, and as B-side has demonstrated, it basically negates the need for 50% of restaurants in Ktown, save for Korean bars that serve food at 2am.
The only difference between the soon doobu one can make at home, versus the one served at BCD, or Beverly, is the stone bowls. Do a quick cost breakdown, figuring $6 for a gallon of kimchi, and $1 for a pack of tofu, (which serves 2) and a quarter for an egg results in a sum of whopping $1 for a bowl of soon doobu. In a typical bowl of seafood soon doobu, you get 2 tiny clams, 2 40/50 shrimp, 1 mussel if you’re lucky, and that’s it. Let’s say that bowl costs… $2
So on this day, when the eternal tablemate wanted soon doobu, I obliged, and secretly revolted by ordering the stupidest thing on the menu:
Curry soon doobu – it’s even more worthless than a bowl of kimchi soon doobu as it has none of the attractiveness of a typical soon doobu bowl except for the silken tofu. And it’s thickened by potatos into a not quite gooey goppity gop that sports only the color, but not quite the taste, of a good Japanese/Malayasian curry.
This dish is such an affront to the human discovery of curry that it really should just be taken off the menu as I never see anyone ordering this. Alice Waters may want us to forget about food being cheap, but I say we should never forget about food that’s a straight rip off.
Forgot something: the whole point of writing this was to say I like BCD because they serve up little value-adding fried corvinas so I don’t feel as ripped off as I do visiting Beverly Soon/
Seong Beok Dong So Kong Dong, etc. Surely the other 2 joints make better soon doobu, but I can’t stand paying $10 for half a chunk of tofu, especially because there’s actual tofu shop goodness 1.5 miles away from my residence.
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