Why: The people at Dong Phuong Tofu know their way around the soybean. In their headquarters in Westminster — a.k.a. Orange County's Little Saigon — they make and sell a wide variety of tofu products, which play a starring role in Vietnamese cuisine. The inventory is so fresh that items are often warm on the shelves.
What: Dong Phuong's top man, Tony Dang, started making tofu at the age of 7 in his native Vietnam. In 1991, he opened Dong Phuong Tofu in Westminster, selling to stores and restaurants across the Southland. Today the reach is nationwide — but thanks to the small grocery outlet next to the tofu-making facility, locals can still get the goods straight from the factory floor.
Besides the company's own products, the store offers other specialty Asian items. Lining the shelves are Dong Phuong soy milk, tofu pudding and white tofu cake (in plain, mushroom onion and lemongrass chili varieties), packaged and ready to take home. Or try the tofu cake fried up and offered cafeteria style in the store. The tofu pudding, served with fresh ginger syrup or coconut milk, is especially alluring.