Mildly Stinky Tofu @ Dynasty Plaza

DSC_5189One 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.

Dynasty Plaza
18414 Colima Road, #S-2
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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    • Will says

      I don’t know if anyone here makes it the traditional way (which may be a good thing, if the Wikipedia article on it is accurate). Since the DOH frowns on the “traditional” methods, I heard most stinky tofu is simulated using herbs, though I may be wrong. A good “starter” one is the one at Indian – deep-fried is definitely the easiest to get used to, and theirs is fairly mild. I heard Mama Jia (“Mama’s Kitchen” — they recently moved) has a good version, and given that Mama doesn’t care much about the health code as far as I can tell, it may well be made more “authentically”. You can see Tony C’s post about it here:

      He also has a good roundup of other places in the area that have it:
      I think Louise likes “Lee’s Garden”, at least it’s some place on Atlantic and Valley.

  1. says

    I haven’t had stinky tofu since I was little but I use to love it despite the smell. I’m going to try drag my BF to a place that serves it.. I wonder how he’s going to handle it. =P

  2. j gold says

    No. 1 Noodle King is never open quite when one wants it to be, is it? And then when you finally get there, it’s never quite as good as you’d hoped. If only Shufeng was a little cooler looking…

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