Did you bring lunch today?

My co-worker/work-wife and I go out to eat for lunch during the week way more often than we should…but I never regret it. In fact, sometimes the happiest part of my work day is when we both look at each other and non-verbally agree that we’re both hungry and whatever we brought for lunch that day is probably not as appealing as what we could be eating in the outside world. So today, I’m going to share with you one of our lunch-break excursions.

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(Outside of Gangnam Tofu House in Fremont, CA)

Unless we’re being taken out by our Management team, we typically keep our lunch choices simple and relatively nearby the office. Gangnam Tofu House in Fremont is a go-to for my work-wife but I had only recently made the discovery. The interior of this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is quite small, which is not usually a problem during lunch time because it isn’t very crowded. However, I have been here during dinner time with my boyfriend and it’s quite a dramatic difference – they have a sign-in sheet for seating and you’ll find folks waiting outside.

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(Interior is on the smaller side – better for groups no bigger than 4)

Like with almost all Korean restaurants, they seat you with a selection of banchan (small side dishes) on the table. My personal favorites being the gamja jorin (braised potatoes) and eomuk bokkeum (stir-fried fish cake). At a Korean restaurant such as this, where you order specific cooked-to-order plates from a menu, eating the banchan is an enjoyable way to keep you distracted while your real food is being made. At an AYCE (all-you-can-eat) Korean BBQ restaurant…I consider the banchan itself as a diversion from what you’re really paying for and why you’re there – the meats. But let’s be real, if you walk into a Korean BBQ joint with an overwhelming shaking-type hunger like I do, then you better believe I am inhaling that fish cake as soon as I am seated, lol.

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(Banchan & some delicious purple rice) 

The soft-tofu soup is one of the specialities here. They have 9 different varieties (whoa) that can be ordered in extra spicy, spicy, medium, mild, or white:

  • Beef & Seafood Tofu Soup
  • Seafood Tofu Soup
  • Dumpling Tofu Soup (my favorite)
  • Ramen Noodles Tofu Soup
  • Mushroom Tofu Soup
  • Kimchi Tofu Soup
  • Vegetable Tofu Soup
  • Beef Tofu Soup
  • Fish Roe Tofu Soup

The soup is served bubbling & steaming hot in a clay pot with a wooden-base and never fails to slightly boil over the sides when it’s brought over to your table. A lil mess never hurt nobody.

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(Dumpling Tofu Soup)

I usually like ordering a combination off the menu – in this case, it was a plate of beef bulgogi & the dumpling tofu soup. It’s a pretty decent-sized portion for 2 people to share. The beef bulgogi was also delivered to our table sizzling on a clay plate w/ a wooden base. Beef bulgogi is one of those Korean dishes that I frequently order when I’m with friends or family that are indecisive with what to order. It is thinly sliced, slightly crispy on the ends, sweetly marinated, and is pretty versatile, if you ask me. You can eat it with rice, serve it in tacos, burritos, in a hoagy sandwich, on top of french fries…the list goes on and on as my chest beats faster and I start to breather harder.

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(Beef Bulgogi w/ caramelized onions) 

Gangnam Tofu House has a larger menu than I expected with many other dishes I would like to try in the future. I have yet to try their japchae (stir-fried glass noodies), kimchi fried rice, ramen, etc – but when I do, you’ll be seeing it! Shout out to the work-wife for putting me on!

Gangnam Tofu House
3619 Thornton Ave.
Fremont, CA 94536

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