Cho Dang Tofu Restaurant was recommended by an acquaintance, who said of it, “It’s open pretty late, until 2 am. We eat there often and the people there know us. I like it because they give you fish with your side dishes.” She then paused and said, “Is it a bad thing to like the side dishes more than the entrée?”

Personally, no, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to like one portion of a meal as opposed to another, as long as you do find the time to enjoy what you eat. The comment, though, piqued my interest, and led to me appearing at this spot. I’d stopped there before, and then moved on. This time, I stayed, to eat.

It was fairly empty at the time of night I arrived. The customers that were there tended to be young couples, fashionably dressed and attractive. Staff that night were a man and a woman, the man serving tables and the woman taking orders. I found her very easy to speak to. I mentioned my diabetes and talked a bit about the menu. She suggested blood rice instead of the regular rice, and I decided to try a seafood tofu soup. These soups go by the name of soon dubu (or soondubu jjigae, or soon du bu cchiggae, depending on the source), and there are good recipes online for making these dishes.

Banchan arrived first, and was partly refilled before the main dish arrived. An egg came with the banchan, to be cracked and dropped in the soup while boiling. The soup was in a clay pot and boiling merrily when it arrived. There was a shrimp, a clam, bits of what looked like baby octopus along with perhaps 5 to 6 ounces of silky tofu.

Blood rice was rice colored purple by a bean. I’ve tried to find mention of it on the internet, because it’s too deeply colored to make me think it’s an analog of the Japanese red rice, yet that’s the closest parallel I can find. I was told it’s more nutritious than regular white rice. I had 2-3 spoonfuls of it. It tasted fine to me.

I demolished the soup. Certain banchan were refilled repeatedly. It was a pleasure to go into a restaurant and know you could eat freely from almost everything on the table. That’s perhaps what I liked best about it. It was also inexpensive. The meal cost less than 10 dollars and provided plenty of useful nutrition, and a lot of delicious spicy flavor.

Verdict: Nice place to hit later at night on Buford Highway. Affable staff, easy to speak to. Highly recommended.

Cho Dang Tofu Restaurant
5907 Buford Highway
Doraville, GA 30340
(770) 220-0667

Cho Dang Tofu on Urbanspoon