The Dining Divas: Cho Dang Tofu House

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Guests: Carole Koblik, the owner of Arareity Jewelers and member of Soroptimist International of Metropolitan Sacramento; her guest, Rosemary Stewart, an analyst at Vision Service Plan; Robin Vernon and Camille Laskey of River City Bank, beneficiaries of the top bid placed by River City’s Jeanne Reaves at the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Red Shoe Ball; and Jay Cohen, chief development officer with Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Where: Cho Dang Tofu House, 9243 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 362-2190

Benefiting organizations: Soroptimist International and Ronald McDonald House

1-second review: Sensual exploration of textures and flavors, according to Jay Cohen

Ambiance: Clean and bright, modern, kitschy—take your pick.

The food: Fresh and fast appears to be the standard at Cho Dang, a casual Korean restaurant that offers more than tofu, in spite of the name over the door. Jay Cohen provided expertise in the ordering department, selecting a variety of items. We especially enjoyed the Korean pancake with seafood and green onions, the steamed dumplings and Korean barbecued short ribs.

Wine time: While Cho Dang offers four Korean wines and several beers, Diva Peg Tomlinson-Poswall treated us to Valle de la Orotava Tajinaste Tradicional 2007, Domaine Astruc (d’A) Carignan 2007, Robert Hall Blanc de Robles 2007 and Domaine Maby La Fermade Lirac Rose 2007—all chosen by Rick Minderman of Corti Brothers. We also had sake: Masumi Arabashiri “First Run” Junmai Ginjo, which we enjoyed for its mild flavor and light bite.

Quote of the day
: “Put your money in pearls before diamonds,” said Carole Koblik.

Chatter: Carole Koblik and Rosemary Stewart met 38 years ago, when Koblik was a teacher and Stewart one of her students. Years later, Stewart went into Arareity Jewelers “and there was Carole,” said Stewart. They went from teacher/student to friends.

The Dining Divas—Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall—have been wining and dining together since 1993. Every month, they lunch at an area restaurant, taking as their guests people who placed winning bids at charity events. To date, they have raised more than $290,000 for local charities and nonprofits.