Cycle 4 – Item 139
24 (Fri) May 2013
Vancouver-Style Sundubu Jjigae
at Vancouver House of Tofu Soup
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
Vancouver House of Tofu Soup is a Korean restaurant chain. Specializes in LA/Bukchang-style sundubu jiigae.
While I was living in Los Angeles during the early aughts, restaurants specializing in sundubu jjigae were, presumably still are, common around Koreatown. In addition to various types of sundubu jjigae, the service was distinguished by the rice that came in a sizzling hot stone pot, resulting in nurungji. The trend was likely started by BCD (Buk Chang Dong) Tofu House, founded in 1996, a chain with several locations throughout the area; the website claims that the founder had learned sundubu jjigae at her mother-in-law’s restaurant in Bukchang-dong in Seoul, though it doesn’t explain about the nurungji bit. While making nurungji in a stone pot is a common practice, serving it in combination with sundubu jjigae is not a thing in itself. Generally, sundubu jjigae is a dish prepared simple and sold cheap, no fancy variations, in the humblest restaurants throughout the country. Recently, a restaurant opened in Sinsa-dong called LA-style Bukchang-Dong Sundubu.
The sundubu jjigae at Vancouver House of Tofu Soup was meh. The soup itself had a slight chemical aftertaste, perhaps from some packaged sauce mix. The nurungji was fine, though personally I’m not a fan. It’s called “Vancouver-style,” though clearly an LA/Bukchang knock-off. At 8,000 won, definitely not worth it.
The server began speaking to DJ in English when he pronounced “LA galbi” in an American accent. She said that she’d lived in Vancouver, making me think that she’s probably affiliated with ownership. I should’ve asked her about Vancouver-style sundubu.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)