Before my trip to NYU, Mama Cho was all up in my grill about not stuffing my poor body with as much Korean food as possible. To her response, I was like “Smh, I’m gonna survive on falafels and Two Bros Pizza.” It’s been two months and Mama Cho was right all along.
East Village is cruel. Samgyupsal is $23 per portion, not a plate of ddeokbokki in sight, and Momofuku Ssam Bar is less Korean than Kimora Lee Simmons.
Only my weekend trips up to Koreatown will kindle my appetite. Only BCD Tofu House will save me until Thanksgiving break.
Portion/Price/Service: Paying $11.95 for Tofu Soup (I’m just gonna call it Sundubu from now on) is ridiculous UNLESS you’re from the city. BCD delivers the best sundubu, compared to many of the other Korean restaurants in Midtown.
The sundubu comes in piping hot in the traditional dookbaegi clay pot and the banchan dishes are consistently refreshed throughout the meal. The service is impeccable. I feel like such a douchebag for saying this, but the potato salad is my absolute favorite side. The waitress, already aware of my fondness for this dish, constantly brings an extra portion for the table.
Taste: I’ve already accepted the fact that the line cooks spoon a handful of MSG into the bowl before it arrives at the table. It’s what makes it so damn delicious. Choose your sundubu, choose your spiciness (Plain, Mild, Regular, Hot).From personal experience, I’ve witnessed the Hot and it is absolutely painful.
My ideal sundubu is the Pork Sundubu in Regular. The pork fat glistens throughout the soup and creates this rich, warm broth. Release the perfectly poached egg and my mouth begins to water. Seriously, my mouth is watering all over my laptop RIGHT NOW. Shit.
Word of Advice: Timing is KEY when entering BCD. No reservations on Friday nights mean waiting for approximately 30 to 90 minutes to get a glimpse of the beloved sundubu. You’ll be greeted by a mid-aged Korean lady named Lydia (most of the time). She has full control over the notepad so be damn polite when speaking to her.
Based on my frequent visits, I’ve noticed that there are fewer 2-table seats available than 3-5table seats so travel accordingly!
Although Korean food in New York is overpriced, this place has consistently saved my ass for weeks. God Bless the BCD Tofu House.