Best Food that Makes You Feel Like a Bold Foodie San Francisco 2012 - STiNKY! Tofu at Spices!
Few foods or restaurants can pull off creative capitalization and punctuation without seeming desperate, but the STiNKY! Tofu at the original Spices! earns the gimmick. A staple of night markets in Asia, STiNKY! Tofu is exactly what the name suggests: fermented tofu with an odor that many find repugnant at best. It's similar to the legendarily odoriferous durian fruit in that regard, but at least durian fruit was born that way, while someone did this to the poor, defenseless tofu. The owners of Spices! have modified the recipe so the smell isn't quite so powerful, but their STiNKY! Tofu with Mixed Chili — our recommended gateway dish — still smells like a cow pasture. Or a petting zoo. Manure, in other words. And the first bite doesn't taste much different than it smells, but it's probably also unlike anything you've ever experienced. To call STiNKY! Tofu an acquired taste is an understatement, but once it's acquired, the cravings can be powerful. Do keep in mind that Spices! is called that for a reason — though Oils! would also be accurate name, if a bit Upton Sinclair-ish — and on their zero-to-four red-dot scale of hotness, most STiNKY! Tofu dishes rate two dots, and it will creep up on you. We suggest the rice and Cold Sesame Noodle to cut the hotness. Go on, live a little.