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:

BCD Tofu House Curry Soon Doobu

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.

BCD Tofu

Bcd Tofu House on Urbanspoon

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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  • You so crazy. I love me some BCD. Making it at home would require…EFFORT.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Even More Bazaar =-.

  • Yeah, soon dubu is so expensive! I’m always mad to see how much it costs by itself. That’s why I always order it by the combination with meat. Still not a very good value but it feels like I am :).

  • The bigger question is why do Korean restaurants jack up prices so much more than Vietnamese restaurants?
    .-= Wandering Chopsticks´s last blog ..Thanh Tam Bakery – Garden Grove (Little Saigon) =-.

  • TonyC

    ^ Iunno. But the real Q is more like: when will the Vietnamese whore out soondoobu recipes like the Koreans screwed with pho? A $4.99 soondoobu restaurant on Western (selling $3 goi cuon) would clean up the town!

  • Pam

    That’s why I was bummed when Cho Dang near my office closed…$5.99 soondubu lunch special!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Bibimbapquinoa: A Healthy Twist on a Korean Favorite =-.

  • jenni h

    Adventurous, aren’t we? Curry soon dubu sounds so wrong… =/

    I love those stone bowls… also good for bibimbab

  • When David Chang upscales soon dubu, it’s over…
    .-= BeefNoGuy´s last blog ..[台北] – 上閤屋日本料理 – Jogoya Seafood Buffet (Taipei) =-.

  • i DID NOT like this place. it was way too salty.
    .-= bagnatic´s last blog ..blessing of the animals and a cream filled churro to boot =-.

  • Sometimes I wonder if there’s a secret Korean restaurant union. Everybody charges the same expensive prices and there’s no competition!
    .-= Protocol Snow´s last blog ..Cherry Blossom lane =-.

  • “If there’s a feeling that irks more than eating boring food, it’s eating expensive boring food.”–> Can I get an Amen?! Hell, yeah. I’d rather have expensive atrocious food than expensive boring food, too. At least there’s a great tale to tell!

    I really don’t get why anyone will go out to get soon dubu. Seriously. It’s take little to no effort to whip up at home. All you need is kimchi, gochujang, red pepper flakes, broth, and tofu. Chop, toss, and boil, and squeeze the heck out of some silken tofu. That’s it! The more incredulous thing is when most of the patrons are Koreans…I can understand a non-Korean paying that much for soon dubu..but Koreans? Shame on you if you can’t make it at home.
    .-= sophia´s last blog ..Easter Baptism =-.

  • pm

    you obviously have no idea how difficult it is to make soon tofu at home. and it takes a bit more than kimchi and tofu.

  • TonyC

    Thanks for your comment “pm”. However, Sophia above you, is clearly Korean. She says all you need is kimchi, gochujang, gochugaru, dashi and tofu. So what is this “bit more” thing you mention? Of course I have no idea how difficult it is to make soon doobu at home, cuz it’s EASY. I also add fish sauce, shiitake mushrooms AND cilantro to punch up the “umami” in the bland tofu, and it usually rocks the nuts off most restaurant versions.

  • sku

    I’ve never been a huge soon doobu fan, but Beverly used to make a great BBQ Ika. I haven’t been in a while so don’t know if it’s still there. (Though I guess you could just buy ika and throw it on the grill yourself as well).
    .-= sku´s last blog ..BT Experimental – Rockin’ Good Rye from The Party Source =-.

  • Was thinking of stopping at BCD the other day for some soon tofu! 😉 And yes… the curry soon doobu’s just wrong. Muhahah!
    .-= BoLA´s last blog ..Brunch & Mimosas at Little Dom’s =-.

  • TonyC

    Also, in response to Bagnatic: BCD says they use NO msg, and perhaps, even no gochujang (who knows). In order to punch up the flavors, they had to increase the salt levels, hence it’s saltier than the other soondoobu places. Good observation.

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