There’s not a whole lot of great restaurant options in Diamond Bar where my company is headquartered. But it is closer to my cousin who lives in CA than NYC! So I met up with him last night for a meal since we haven’t seen each other in many years. He was gracious enough to not only pick me up at my hotel, but to choose the restaurant. Diamond Bar has a huge Korean population so we both figured the best type of cuisine to eat would be…..Korean. Logic.
He chose Cho Dang Tofu and BBQ. It’s a small unassuming place – pretty standard of most Korean restaurants. I had actually read some pretty good reviews of this place when searching for options on Chowhound.com.
There are a la cart options and combo offerings (choice of BBQ meat like spicy pork, bulgogi, spicy chicken, etc with tofu stew, aka soondubu). We both decided to get the seafood soondubu (mine extra spicy) with the kalbi (Korean marinated short ribs) combo.
First came the banchan or small plates eaten with rice.
Nothing super fancy or special but the kimchi was really tasty – a good sign you are in a decent Korean restaurant.
I was SO happy to see that they gave the deep fried fish banchan – only served in certain Korean restos.
As mentioned this fish is lightly coated in flour and deep fried whole providing a wonderfully crispy skin. The fish is pretty salty as I believe it’s cured in salt and rehydrated? But it’s a nice salty. I love this fish. I’m a pretty good expert at getting every bit of meat off this tiny little baby.
The combo is served with the “healthy” Korean rice – it’s whole grain and served in a sizzling cast bowl which allows for crunchy rice bits at the bottom when you are done.
Very delicious and well done. The tofu was silken and soft and the broth had a full seafood flavor that was complex, deep and refreshing at the same time. Plenty of small clams and mussels. Delicious. Spicy but not too much – in fact it could have used some more heat. Seafood soondu is like a spicier and more garlicky version of Italian cioppino. Best way for me to describe it. You can also order it mild.
Ah …..gotta love Korean short rib. Melt in your mouth pieces of marinated meat that have been infused with a wonderfully sweet and savory marinade. When you grill this marinated meat, parts of the meat actually have concentrated sweet caramelized edges and bits.
Food was very comforting and everything was bursting with flavor. The place is pretty nondescript but the food was very much spot on. If you are in the area looking for a good meal at the bargain price of $20 per person, stop in here.
Cho Dang Tofu & BBQ, 1155 S. Diamond Bar Bl., Diamond Bar, CA