Young Dong Tofu
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When in an "ethnoburb"...
Inland southern California may lack the glam of the Pacific Coast, but its culinary reality is no less 'Pacific Rim.' No need to venture into urban Los Angeles for a taste of Chinatown or Koreatown--East Asian restaurants full of East Asian families are part of the scene in what have come to be called the 'ethnoburbs' of 21st-century suburbia. If you find yourself passing through Chino Hills east of L.A., check out "Young Dong Tofu." Korean BBQ is becoming ubiquitous, ('it's the new Thai'), but "soon-du-bu" is still off most non-Koreans' radar. Snicker if you must at the restaurant's name, but it's named after a district in Seoul. And inside this unpretentious strip-mall-eatery, you can imagine yourself in the Korean capital. Complimentary pancakes wih soy-scallion sauce greet you as you contemplate the Eng./Kor./Chinese paper placemat menu. Resist the bbq temptation and go for one of the boiling red bowls of 'soondubu' tofu soup--Korean comfort food. (Don't let the color scare you--it's not THAT spicy.) Your side of rice will arrive in an oven-heated 'dol-soht' stone bowl, along with a mini-buffet of 'bahn-chahn' side-dishes; the kimchi is awesome. The bowl of raw eggs is not a mistake, nor is it a health-hazard--they're meant to be broken into your soup, which will arrive still bubbling--the egg will be quickly poached in your fiery mini-cauldron. (If you're in the Ontario area, this place is worth the 20-min. drive!)
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Original the peninsula beverly hills