Cheap Eats 2008: Vit Goel ToFu

Why go: Tofu soup may not sound like the stuff of cravings, but soondubu, the version at this serene, blond-wood parlor is irresistible. A tiny black cauldron hits the table looking like something out of the witches’ scene in Macbeth. Crack the accompanying raw egg into the pot and let the red-pepper broth, teeming with cubes of custardy tofu, cook the egg, which takes on the consistency of the tofu. Magic.

What to get: Soondubu or soondubu with oysters; sweet and tender barbecue short ribs called galbi.

Best for: A calm respite on a hard day. The place can make you believe that eating a good bowl of soup really is akin to an act of meditation.

Insider tip: The service is the antithesis of pushy; you have to flag your waitress down to get a beer, and it might take a while.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.