I had the opportunity to visit Salt Lake’s latest Korean Restaurant last night and I was pleasantly surprised. It trends away from the norm when it comes to Korean and in this case that is a good thing.
The decor was modern, simple and functional, but the restaurant is small so come early to be seated quickly or expect to wait a while. If you don’t mind bellying up to the bar, they do have a short bar with about 6-8 seats that faces a wall. No kitchen views here. They say that the patrons can be a sign of true cultural experiences and the patrons here were the typical white bread crowd you would expect down in Cottonwood Heights, so we were just a bit apprehensive.
The menu is written in English with a little nod to Korean and the typical Korean fare is available here with a large bit of the menu focused on the namesake tofu dishes. On this visit we ordered the tofu cakes, fried dumplings, bim bim bop and the bulgogi and tofu stew combo. Of course the obligatory banchan dishes were also included, but were limited to only 4 dishes of various styles of kimchee.
Our tofu cakes and dumplings arrived first and I found them to be quite tasty the texture of the tofu cakes was well balanced with the smooth tofu and crunchy vegetable and the dumplings were uniquely filled with a similar mixture and nothing like the typical pot sticker. Whether bim bim bop is traditionally served with a raw egg or not is debatable, but I like it raw and ordered it so. The sizzling stone pot it is served in will definitely cook the egg. That said, it came with a fried egg, bleh! I still ate it… Anyway, it was quite good and well laden with the traditional vegetables. The bulgogi was also quite good and I felt it almost matched my Korean Mother-in-Law’s recipe, but didn’t quite make it (that means it was pretty good).
Service at It’s Tofu was quick, congenial and efficient. Food arrived quickly and hot with the stone pots sizzling as they should. Toward the end of the meal the owner stopped by out table to see how things were. We had a wonderful conversation, he apologized for the raw egg thing and we learned that the small space was already being expanded into the space next door! Here’s to success!
So if the hankering for Korean food hits, give them a try!