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In Irvine, a city with no shortage of soondubu joints, Koba Tofu Grill is close to being one of the best. This is the second Koba in town; the first, on Culver, started as a soldier of the BCD franchise a few years ago. It soon defected to become Koba Tofu House, and from there, it slowly built an empire of its own. There are now Koba outlets in Diamond Bar and Fullerton. But this newest Irvine location—within walking distance of UC Irvine and its ready population of Korean stomachs—is already better than its sister location. The best way to enjoy Koba's soondubu is to opt for the combinations, which pair the soup with a protein, a searing stone bowl of bibimbap or a salad. If you want a protein, the raw crab should be your first choice; the Korean barbecue beef rib called kalbi should be second; and bulgogi, the boneless mound of thinly sliced, marinated barbecue beef third. In the latter two, the best bites come from the crisped pieces in direct contact with the scorching cast-iron platforms on which they're served.