The best damn Soon Tofu place in Koreatown? Well, if Roy Choi and Anthony Bourdain have anything to say about it…
I’ll be honest, I only came in here because of Anthony Bourdain. Probably would have missed it otherwise.
I swear on the drive to and from Chosun Galbee a couple miles away, I must’ve passed this place a million times. But Roy Choi brought him there, so it must be at least okay.
Beverly Soon Tofu did a little better than that. It was good, and it also found for me, my Korean Grandmothers.
For such an old school place, it’s nice to feel as welcomed as I was. Granted it was the middle of the afternoon, well after the lunch crush, so things were more than a little quiet. But the ladies running the place that day treated me grand. They seemed to like the fact that I hadn’t just wandered in off the street looking for some kind of food adventure, that I genuinely loved me some Soon Tofu.
Like every other Soon Tofu place I’d been to, it was a mix of private and communal tables, all kind of woodblock hand cut and varnished straight form the forrest. You’re shown to your table, presented a menu, and get to work. You have but choose your style, and since I’ve been having Pork and Kimchi…it was Pork and Kimchi all over again.
Do we do this with Soon Tofu, or is this just a thing we do here?
In any respect, it looks like the chilis, the peppers, the fermented beans (part of Kimchi) killed whatever was in the Oysters that would have had me react to it. At my bowl and was happy.
Plus, the selection of Banchan they made that day was fantastic. Wonderful, better than what I had a BCD, and theirs wasn’t bad. And they served up some ice cold tea at every table. Wonderful touch.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, the Soon Tofu for starters. You’re at a Tofu place, so…what else should you be getting. But which kind to get? That’s another matter? Like with BCD, I went with the Pork and Kimchi variety.
Now, as I’m still a neophyte when it comes to Soon Tofu, I’m not sure whether or not Beverly Soon Tofu’s addition of Oysters and Clams to their recipe is unique to them or something I should expect from Soon Tofu in the future. I may have a seafood allergy, but I didn’t react one iota to their Soup, which I happily downed and am looking forward to having again real, real soon.
I must also say that Beverly Soon Tofu’s Banchan selections was first rate. I loved everything they gave me that day (understanding that things shift day to day). It wasn’t as elaborate as Chosun Galbee, which is my standard, but every Banchan was fantastic.
And the ladies who run the establishment came around every couple of minutes with freshly made, delicious, refreshing Barley Tea (at least I think it was Barley Tea). Either way, fantastic stuff. I loved everything about my meal here.
Oh, one more thing. I dialed up the spiciness to medium this time. So my Soon Tofu came with a generous kick. Nothing I couldn’t handle, but this is why I keep going to these Tofu Houses.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing really too bad here at all. I will remind you that Oysters and Clams seem to come mixed in their basic stock, and if you have a seafood allergy (like I do), then…it shouldn’t make too much of a difference, because between the chills, the fermentation and the sheer cooking of the soup, that anything that makes me feel bad seems to get killed.
PARKING: Smallish, but possible. Beverly Soon Tofu is a part of a two story Strip Mall complex, it has a parking lot, but it is very busy. Thus, the Lot has a Valet, which for $2, you can park in. I recommend this, just because you don’t want to screw around with finding a space in this neighborhood.
No, it’s not dangerous in the least, it’s just busy as all get out. Just pay the two bucks, give the guy a tip, and leave your care with him. You’ve got Tofu to eat.
Beverly Soon Tofu
2717 W. Olympic Blvd., #108
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Tel: (213) 380-1113
Daily: 10:30am- 10:30 pm