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Daol Tofu is a decidedly un-hipster Korean restaurant in Temescal’s row of trendy eats on Telegraph Avenue. While “tofu” is in its name, it’s not strictly a soondubu (soft tofu stew) place, unlike Pyeong Chang Tofu House a block away. Daol serves everything from kimchi fried rice and ramen to specialty dishes like bo sam and a nice-sized shareable "casserole" hot pot, too. One of the most interesting dishes is the bu de jungol kimchi and ham sausage casserole. We primarily chose it because it contains ramen, but the Spam, cut-up sausages, and American cheese speaks to the American military’s influence on Korean cuisine. “During and after the Korean War, there were many leftovers from the U.S. military,” explained manager Minki Bang. “People were so poor, so they mixed together the Spam and sausages to make a soup out of it.” Since, the “military stew” has become a part of Korean food culture, as Bang told it. It’s something people eat while drinking soju.

— Momo Chang

Hours: M-Th, 11am-10pm; F-Su, 11am-11pm

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