Beverly Soon Tofu
Established in 1986, Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant was the first Korean restaurant of its kind in Los Angeles, serving customized, made-to-order soon tofu soups. Monica Lee took the idea of the traditional soon tofu, which in Korea usually comes with soon tofu ("soon" meaning soft), clams, and vegetables in a spicy broth, and catered it to whatever the customers wanted in their soups. The first restaurant opened in 1986 on Beverly Blvd. and St Andrews Pl. giving the restaurant its name, and the second and current location in 1988.
Since opening in 1986 with 4 flavors of soon tofu soup, Monica has added traditional Korean dishes with her own twist to her menu including more than 10 combinations of flavors of soon tofu, barbecued galbi, bulgogi, spicy chicken, spicy squid, tofu steak, and the stone plate bibimbap.
Photo: Coral Von Zumwalt for The New York Times