Best Stinky Tofu (2005)

China Gourmet

Close your nose and open your eyes. Served atop a flame on a silver platter, the "double spicy stinky bean curd" at China Gourmet is beautiful. A steaming tofu mountain flowers with mustard leaves, leeks, jalapenos and garlic slices, all surrounded by a red moat of pepper sauce. It's almost enough to make you forget that it smells just like a sweaty sock. And tastes pretty much the same. This is not a dish for denizens of the Whole Foods hippie section. But fans of stinky tofu, which is flavored with fermented mustard, will find plenty to choose from: "Fried stinky bean curd" and "steam stinky bean curd" also meet the exacting olfactory standards of die-hard Chinese and Cambodian foodies, who pack the place. For other adventures, try the snails with basil or the mysterious "four things soup."

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