BCD Tofu House is a Korean restaurant chain with nine locations in Southern California. They also have shops in New York, New Jersey, Washington State, and Seoul Korea. The BCD story started with Hee Sook Lee, a first-generation Korean immigrant who loves to create in the kitchen and to share her cooking with her family. Her mother in-law owned a restaurant in Buk-Chang-Dong, the city in Korea after which the restaurant is named. Mrs. Lee opened the first BCD in 1996. Today, there are 16 BCD restaurants worldwide.
BCD dishes are focused around organic soon tofu. The ingredient offers superb taste and beneficial health properties. Tofu itself is a pretty bland food. However, it has the ability to absorb the flavor of whatever food you mix with it. BCD prepares their tufo dishes five different ways, and in heat levels ranging from mild to “Dangerous!” Of course, we had to try the dangerous level.
The Tufo is cooked in a clay pot, and then brought to you boiling hot (most likely still cooking). It looked like a pot of molten lava. The soup was bubbling for a good minute after it arrived at our table. To kick the taste up a notch, you can crack a raw egg into the pot. The egg will cook itself in the broth, and it also helps to cool down the soup to the point where you’ll be able to eat it and not burn your tongue.
Letting the pot cool down might save you from burning yourself. However, the dangerous heat level will do a number on your mouth. This is Marc’s reaction after his first bite. Unless you’re crazy like us, you might want to work your way up to the dangerous level.
The tofu is accompanied by a variety of Korean side dishes and a bowl of rice that is cooked in its own burning hot clay pot (be mindful of your kids if you bring them to BCD or they might burn their little hands off). You can order additional side dishes to go with your Tofu. We ordered a plate of short ribs and some deep fried fish.
If there’s a BCD Tufo House in your area, I highly recommend you try it. Most BCD Restaurants are open for lunch at 11am. However at select locations (Western, Wilshire, Garden Grove, Irvine, Manhattan) they are open 24 hours, so you can satisfy your tofu craving anytime you want.