If you stop by the bright and airy SGD Tofu House on 3450 El Camino Real # 105, be sure to try some of the restaurant’s signature soft tofu. The smooth tofu will slide into your mouth like silk and its accompanying broth will warm and comfort your belly. While you’re here, try out some of the other tasty entrees this Korean restaurant has to offer.
“The recipes used in my restaurant come from my wife, Hanna,” says Jim Hwang, owner of SGD Tofu House and a native of Seoul, Korea.
The authentic Korean food served at SGD Tofu House has attracted many loyal diners over the last 13 years since the restaurant opened. Popular tofu orders include the original soft tofu, assorted mushroom tofu, and kimchi soft tofu- customers can select a broth according to their taste preferences- hot, medium hot, mild, or not spicy at all. Meat eaters enjoy the ginseng chicken, prepared with milk vetch root, jujube, sticky rice, and chicken broth, as well as the expertly marinated and barbequed beef, pork, chicken, and short ribs. Also served here is bibimbob, an entrée of meat, seafood, and vegetables served in a stoneware pot. Seafood lovers go for the seafood pancake, made with oyster, squid, clam, imitation crab, grilled onion and fried in a special batter.
Complimentary with every meal at SGD Tofu House are the banchan, which are small dishes of appetizers. Although the banchan served varies from day to day, typical dishes include spicy kimchi and other pickled vegetables, glass noodles, fish cake, bean sprouts, and a cooling pink soup made from water and kimchi.
Hwang makes sure that his restaurant is welcoming to everyone who passes through his doors. Regular customers recognize Hwang by his bright smile and warm greeting. On Fridays and Saturdays, Hwang makes balloon animals and art for children. Children who come can color on paper and have the pleasure of later seeing their art work decorating the walls in the restaurant’s back room.
Hwang’s Christian faith also guides his management of the restaurant.
“We are closed on Sundays because it’s important that I go to church and spend time with my family on Sundays,” Hwang says. “I became a Christian many years ago after a missionary came to South Korea and taught me about Jesus Christ.”
Hwang gives back by volunteering his time to participate in international missions through his church.
“My father has gone on Christian missions around the world to help out in underdeveloped areas in countries such as Mexico, Peru, China, and South Korea,” says Alex, one of Hwang’s sons and a helper at the restaurant. “He also does balloon art for the children he meets on his missions.”
“I learned how to make balloon art by reading different books,” Hwang says. “I’ve been doing balloon art for the last four years for children who come to the restaurant.”