A Food Occurrence: Bacon Tofu at Jang Soo Tofu (Korean Tofu & BBQ Restaurant)

In our second Northwest edition of A Food Occurrence, let’s celebrate cultural diversity by reviewing another Korean restaurant: Jang Soo Tofu.

Admittedly, it could use a coat of paint or three.

There are quite a variety of Asian restaurants in the greater Seattle area, from Japanese to Korean to Chinese and more. The Great Wall Mall is like a microcosm of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, “the only neighborhood in America where Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese and Southeast Asians live and work together, side-by-side,” so it’s only fitting that it is host to one of the best Korean restaurants in the area. Jang Soo Tofu has three locations, this Renton location, Federal Way, and Tacoma; or at least that’s what the cute Cho Dang Tofu character advertises.

The menu is a good assortment of the normal Korean food you’d find, a BBQ option I’ve never tried before, as well as some dishes I’ve only seen at this location / company. I am a big fan of the Budae Jjigae, because what could be better than a Korean soup with kimchi, SPAM, hotdogs, tofu and bacon? Oh, that’s right, a dish with less goodies and a cooler name: Bacon Tofu.

DAT BACON

Today was the second time I had Bacon Tofu, and I had to bring my brother along to give it a try. The banchan is a generic variety of kimchi, spicy things, and mild things. The green tea is nice, and after you’ve had your fill of rice, you can pour green tea in the rice bowl for a sort of green tea soup. As a sort of entree, you also receive a whole “yellowfish” (not pictured: we ate much of the body, but left the head intact) that my good friend Kwang Bae points out isn’t Korean, because if it were, it certainly wouldn’t be affordable to serve. Ah, economics.

At least it’s not false advertising.

So, bacon. Since first having Bacon Tofu, I had to study the consistency and quality of bacon at other restaurants and pro-bacon companies. Let me make a confession: I feel that most bacon is overrated. If I’m going to pay over a dollar for extra bacon on a burger, I better sweat bacon for the next few days. Instead, I get burnt cardboard that might be meat I can barely even taste. That’s the bottom rung bacon, I suppose, whereas better quality bacon has a nice crisp and texture to it. This bacon is soft, not deep fried or burnt, and is more like Canadian bacon than American bacon. The tofu is unoffensive tasting and has much of the same texture as the byproduct of liquid scrambled eggs.

“This tofu doesn’t really look like much, but at least I can eat it.” – Some misguided vegan, perhaps

Overall, Bacon Tofu is a great quality soup at a good price. For a few dollars more, you can try pronouncing Budae Jjigae and receive more meat and maybe more bacon. Jang Soo Tofu is a good restaurant, and certainly one I’ll go to again, but I’d still recommend South Gate Garden (Nam Dae Mun Garden) first.

All this bacon tofu talk has oddly not made me hungry for more bacon. Hunger: overcame.

As an added bonus, we forgot an item at the restaurant, and when I drove back to retrieve it, the staff were very polite and returned the item without issue. Since I was there, (I added Wolverine to my collection of cute little capsule toys I bought from their arcade,) I figured I’d do a walkabout survey of the restaurants in and around the Great Wall Mall. On a Tuesday night, more than half of the open restaurants were empty. The Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants in the nearby strip mall were half full. Jang Soo Tofu was packed.

Packed full of superheroes? Maybe.

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About Zombiepaper

My interests are very specific and sometimes esoteric: writing, videogames (EarthBound), movies (zombie, martial arts, and animated), music (listening and bass guitar), thrift stores, philosophy, and toys. Also, Cowabunga!

Posted on November 7, 2012, in Occurrences, Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I like reading these. Even if it does make me jealous that awesome diverse Asian food is not really among Cleveland’s otherwise bountiful food options. Much of our Asian population has gone the Chinese buffet route. Also that little Juggernaut toy is a thing that I need to own! I’ve never seen those around here.

    • Thanks, Ryan. I’m lucky that Seattle is such a diverse area for good food. We have a few Chinese buffets as well, including one named Super Buffet. My next edition of A Food Occurrence will feature an American food stand, either that or Hawaiian, Japanese, Greek, or even IKEA-n. (The Filipino restaurant there closed down a while ago, which was very good.)

      The capsule machines I’ve seen range from the cheap quarter machines (I found a line of deformed Street Fighters that I had to own so badly I have two complete sets, somewhere) to these which were a dollar each. Kind of pricey. Wave 2 (Juggernaut and Wolverine) are much better quality than Wave 1 (Spiderman and not shown: Hipster Cyclops). Not bad, though.

      edit: Oh yeah, I’d also like to hear about some great Ohio restaurants. Or Canadian occurrences. 🙂

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