One Sunday afternoon, I found myself wandering around a plaza in Rowland Heights. The BF and I were planning on going to No. 1 Noodle King, but they were until 5pm and we still had an hour or two to spare before they would re-open. As I walked into the plaza, something tickled my nose. An odoriferous, yet comforting and appetizing smell that could only mean one thing: stinky tofu.
Tucked in a small walkway in the corner of a ubiquitous Asian strip mall was Dynasty Plaza. The restaurant, if it could be called such, was tiny, with just two or three small tables crammed inside. Most people chose to sit outside on plastic chairs in the food court area, which is a wise choice when you’re going to eat something with a lot of fragrance.
I could smell the stinky tofu from pretty far away, so I was excited to actually taste what Dynasty Plaza had to offer. I ordered what everyone else seemed to get, the stinky tofu ($5.50). It came with a small serving of pickled cabbage, and three fried and scored pieces of tofu in a light soy sauce broth. The tofu was an interesting, porous, chewy texture that made me think they froze the tofu before frying it. I was disappointed by the actual taste. It didn’t smell as strong as I thought and the taste was still quite mild. From how much the restaurant was stinking up the rest of the plaza, I thought the tofu should taste a lot better.
The pickled cabbage was also just as bad. Instead of being sour and spicy, what I would expect, it was incredibly sweet. Sweet relish, sweet. Even stuffing it into a piece of stinky tofu didn’t seem to help tone down its sweetness.
It’s a shame that the stinky tofu was such a letdown at Dynasty Plaza. Maybe I just had my expectations set to high after experiencing the smell wafting from its open doors, but I just wanted more flavor.
18414 Colima Road, #S-2
Rowland Heights, CA 91748