We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

What is this? It looks like a frozen brown beetle, with its legs tucked away, sitting atop a pile of saffron rice, julienne vegetables, and sake-mushroom-soy glaze. The more you stare at it, the more it starts to resemble miniature flan or a small, crusty hockey puck. You want to thwack it with a fork. Its exterior is hard and crackly like a shell. Inside, it is sometimes firm, sometimes loose. Turns out that the brown disc is a mound of shredded tofu seasoned with what tastes like bits of onion, cilantro, and parsley. Bravely, you stick your fork into all of it and, to your surprise, find that one perfect bite: salty, crusty, zesty, creamy, savory, and mushroomy. You will never think of tofu as bland white cubes again.