Monday, February 10, 2020

A Comparison of Two BCD Tofu Houses

I would argue that no other cuisine on Earth has as many hearty, spicy, full-bodied soups and stews at its core than Korean. Galbitang. Samgyetang. Kimchi-jjigae. There are more soups and stews in the Korean cook's repertoire than the movie Parasite has Oscars.

And soondubu-jjigae, soft tofu soup, is perhaps the most popular one of all. It's the best cold-weather antidote I know: a hot metal cauldron of silken tofu pudding simmering in a spicy broth with meats and seafood.

Whole restaurant chains are built to serve it. BCD, the biggest of them all, does it at nearly all hours of the day. But like Denny's, there can be variability between the branches. I noticed this after I tried the same soondubu combo at two BCDs a week apart.

The BCD in Artesia, which also happens to have relocated to a newer building on South Street, stacked the bulgogi that came with my soondubu combo order so high on its sizzling platter that it was twice as much meat as what I got at Irvine's BCD a week later. Irvine's rendition was also soggier, tasting more as if it were boiled rather than griddled. And the sliced onions that formed the base had practically turned to mush.

The Artesia branch also boasted one more banchan than Irvine, putting its spread of side dishes at seven while Irvine only offered six. Six infinitely refillable sides may already sound like a lot, but when you had Artesia's offering of vibrant broccoli florets just a week before, the omission at the Irvine becomes glaring. The broccoli not only added color but a refreshing textural contrast to the meal.

But the biggest difference was in the tofu soup itself. BCD Irvine's was a little less savory, a bit more flat than the soup served at the Artesia location. And as they say: the proof is in the pudding.

BCD Tofu House
2700 Alton Pkwy #135
Irvine, CA 92606

BCD Tofu HOuse
11710 South St #101
Artesia, CA 90701


At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BCDs not bad but Kaju is sooo much better.

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This entry comparing two branches of BCD Tofu is a great post. I very rarely see comparisons being made about different locations; occasionally there might be a line in a Yelp post somewhere about how so-and-so branch was somehow "better" with little explanation.

At 8:09 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I agree with you 150%. In fact, I originally was going to compare Kaju to Irvine’s BCD but decided it was no contest. So I did this post instead.


Thanks for the kind words and for taking the time to comment!


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