On the drive back to Salinas on Wednesday, my mom asked me to stop in San Jose to get more of the tofu fa that my sister had brought from Hung Vuong. Instead I took her to Sogo Tofu to give that version a whirl.
As KK promised, it's so much better. Called soy milk custard or pudding and kept in the refrigerator case on the right side of the store, maybe the organic soy does make a difference. Rather than being scooped from a big vat, the tofu fa is formed in individual quart-size tubs ($2.99). It feels more solid and has just a narrow layer of liquid pooling on the top. The amazing thing is that it stays soft, tender and smooth for a few days, whereas other versions get firm overnight. I can't tell you how long it stays in that condition, as we polished it off within three days. My dad has little appetite, but he asked for a second helping!
My mother still had some of the ginger sauce leftover from Hung Vuong and did a taste comparison. She felt that Sogo Tofu's was not as concentrated as Hung Vuong's.
We bought some of the milk custards too: almond, black sesame, green tea, and coffee flavors. Moderately sweet, the flavors were all very clean and pure but mild. We enjoyed them, but I don't think we'd buy them again.
We liked the big scallion pancake (cong you bing), $3.99, coated with fragrant sesame seeds. This was a raised bread version about 3/4" high and a foot wide. Very nice toasty flavors, satisfying gluten chewiness with crisp exterior, and the right tinge of scallions. Mom and I felt it needed just a little more salt, or should be accompanied by something salty. It held up well the next day and revived with reheating in the toaster oven.
I went back on Sunday to get more of the tofu fa. I also picked up a smaller size pancake stuffed with chives, glass noodles, and either egg or tofu, $1.99. This had a pan-fried, chewy mochi-like exterior. We liked this, but thought the big scallion pancake was more special.
With a $20 purchase, you get a bonus of one soy custard ($2.99) free. The link below details some of KK and tanspace's recs here.
1610 S. De Anza Blvd. (near Hwy 85)