Mmmm Tofu

Dallas gets steamy with tofu soup restaurant from California

Dallas gets steamy with tofu soup restaurant from California

BCD Tofu House
Tofu and spicy soups are the thing. Photo courtesy of BCD Tofu House

A Los Angeles-based tofu-centric restaurant is coming to Texas, and the first location will open in Carrollton. Called BCD Tofu House, it's going into Carrollton Town Center at the intersection of President George Bush Turnpike and Trinity Mills Road, and will open in the fall.

Carrollton Town Center is the center at the intersection of the Bush Turnpike and Trinity Mills Road from Houston-based NewQuest Properties. BCD Tofu House will occupy one of the project's most prominent sites, fronting East Trinity Mills Road at an on-ramp to President George Bush Turnpike.

The first BCD Tofu House was opened in Los Angeles in 1996 by first-generation Korean immigrants Hee Sook Lee and her husband, an award-winning chef. Named after a city in Korea where the family once owned a restaurant, the chain now has 10 restaurants in California, two in New York, and one in New Jersey.

The Korean cuisine's specialty fare is velvety soft, organic "soon tofu," made at each location; soon means "soft" in Korean. Ergo, soft tofu — quivery soft, like custard.

However, there is no shortage of meat on the menu, with Korean specialties such as BBQ short rib and bibimbap, the Korean rice and vegetable dish. Don't worry carnivores, they got chya covered.

One of their most famous dishes is the assorted Soon Tofu with beef, shrimp, and clam, served in a hot stone crock.

Vegetarian and cold dishes include tofu salad with lettuce, vegetables, and tofu in sesame dressing. Crispy garlic tofu bites are perfect cubes in a light crisp crust, with garlic, green onion, and sweet-and-sour sauce. Are they better than the fried tofu squares served at BonChon? Time will tell.

According to NewQuest Properties' partner Heather Nguyen, it took them four years to get BCD signed on. "They studied the market extensively and made several trips to Texas," she says. "They saw and heard first-hand the success stories of our tenants in Carrollton Town Center. And they paid attention."

Carrollton Town Center's phase I is a dining and shopping destination with leading Asian brands as its drawing card. Those include Asian supermarket 99 Ranch Market, fun discount store Daiso, Kinokuniya bookstore, 85°C Bakery & Café, Gen Korean BBQ House, T-Swirl Crepe, and Kula's Revolving Sushi Bar.

"We're at the point in our tenancy that we're being selective," Nguyen says. "BCD Tofu House is a recognized name in the Asian community. Its customers know the quality and the brand."