Los Angeles, CA – Thirty-four years in and Beverly Soon Tofu announces their retirement as the pandemic ruptures business for LA.
Something to love about living in LA are all the experiences you walk into. It’s by the very act of walking that made me hungry enough to spend shamelessly on local eateries.
On one occasion, my girlfriend (at the time) introduced me to tofu stew.
This was after hours of aimlessly exploring the rich architecture of downtown. So sitting in a warmly-lit room was satisfying enough. But I really felt snug in the hot seat when they brought our meal. It was nothing like I’ve ever seen before. Onions, mushrooms, curdled tofu and even eggs, lounging in a boiling pool of red-orange broth. Amazement came over me, followed by shock by how hot it was. And though the burnt taste buds stayed for another three days, I had fallen in love with Korean meals.
(Don’t even get me started on Korean barbecue. I’m an absolute spaz on the character of kimchi, the bravery of brisket, the challenge of chicken feet!)
Therefore it’s because of love I am despondent to deliver such depressing news. The first restaurant of it’s kind to introduce sundubu-jjigae or soft tofu stew to Angelenos has announced it’s closure.
Since COVID-19 took the nation by storm, many businesses have had to shutter, in spite of improving public health awareness.
Monica Lee first made her mark opening Beverly Soon Tofu in 1986. Among the cost-efficient crossovers cooked were baby clam, squid, shrimp, rib-eye beef and even bibimbap. Move over, Marvel. These bites were the original blockbusters; if not belly-stuffers.
Thanks to Beverly Soon Tofu, SoCal is infamous as the go-to for good stew. Even Anthony Bourdain and Korean American Chef Roy Choi enjoyed the steamy meals! (Too Beverly Soon, Tofu?)
BCD Tofu House and Seoul Tofu among others reap the benefits of Lee’s initial innovations. However, the game is big enough to let Lee and her daughters, JJ and CJ make their exit their own way. When asked about a possible reopening, JJ had this to say: “It’s still on the table,” JJ Lee said regarding a potential reopening. “We’ll see what happens but for now, this is the right decision.”
Takeout will be available until Beverly Soon Tofu goes out of business on Sunday, September 20th.