By Maritza Velazquez
Tofu. The first words that probably come to mind are bland and flavorless.
But this healthy protein-packed food is not just for die-hard vegetarians. Nor does it have to be merely a meat substitute.
At Koba Tofu Grill in Diamond Bar, you get both.
This Korean eatery offers a dozen selections of soon, a type of Korean soup, which combines bold, spicy broth, soft tofu, and your choice of meat served in a boiling hot pot.
I tried the Dumpling Soon Tofu, which features delicious beef dumplings and small slices of beef. Unlike many other soups I’ve tried, there’s no fishing through the broth to find the good stuff. It’s loaded with tofu.
My order came with six good-sized dumplings. Regularly $8.99, all of the soon varieties are now on special for just $6.99. To name a few, you have your choice of seafood, kimchi, seaweed, vegetable, curry, beef and octopus, or oyster soon tofu.
The weather has been heating up too, so if you’re not willing to tolerate the spice amid 90-degree temperatures, you can also try some of the other dishes and specialties Koba has to offer.
The restaurant also offers dishes like tofu and vegetable salad, pork bulgogi, barbecue beef ribs and chicken teriyaki.
All of the Korean soon come with a plethora of side dishes. When I ordered, I had no idea I would be getting a mini feast – bean sprouts in a sesame sauce, fried fish, kimchi, white rice, potato salad and garden salad were a few of the offerings. And for dessert, you get a tiny cup of tart frozen yogurt.
I enjoyed most of the sides with a few exceptions – I hated the garden salad and spinach, and the kimchi definitely wasn’t up to par.
The servers weren’t particularly friendly either, but they did bring out the food quickly, and kept it coming. Anything else I needed (like refills on water and the check) was promptly brought to my table after waving them down.
All in all, I had a good experience at Koba, which also has locations in Irvine and Fullerton. For under $10, I got a huge meal, with more than enough food to spare.
The decor is great, too. A very clean, modern restaurant with dark woods, soft lighting, and calming wall colors, this place was a great find.
Koba Tofu Grill is at 2839 S. Diamond Bar Blvd. in Diamond Bar. For more information, call (909)839-2898.