I’m not really sure what the appeal of hotpot is to kids, but my son sure loves it, and he’s not even fussy what kind it is. Between Chinese, Japanese, and what we do at home, he will even eat it when it is scorchingly hot outside.
This time, I didn’t bring him along, but instead, lunched with my friend Brenda. We had heard that a new place had opened up in Costa Mesa and went to check it out.
Like all the other shabu places, you get your own pot with your choice of cooking broth and there are three types to choose from: traditional, spicy miso, and sukiyaki.
There is a variety of proteins to choose from and we decided to try an array of everything. Certified Angus Ribeye ($14/$18/$24) was of very good quality and I like my meats cooked no more than medium. The best way to do this is to wait for your broth to come to a rolling boil, then swish your meat in there about four to five times, lift it up, dip into sauce, and enjoy!
For a few bucks extra, the Prime Marbled Rib Eye ($16/$20/$26) is even better than the ribeye with even marbling throughout. The same goes with this meat, a quick dip into the water, dip and eat.
Or, if you prefer seafood, I particularly enjoyed the Brown Mexican Shrimp & Jumbo Scallops ($16/$26). Don’t cook the scallops too long as these are so fresh you can practically eat them raw. You don’t want to ruin them by overcooking them.
There are two sauces which come with the meal, a goma (sesame) and ponzu (citrus soy), which you can add the different condiments to, including garlic, grated daikon, and scallions.
If you prefer poultry, Jidori Free Range Organic Chicken ($14/$16/$22), is available…..
….. or Kurobota Pork Shoulder ($14/$16/$22) as another alternate.
I’m usually not a fan of cooked salmon, but the Scottish Loch Durant Salmon ($16/$26/side dish portion pictured) served here is so tender (again, DO NOT overcook) that it melts in your mouth.
Your regular entree comes with a veggie plate comprising udon noodles, napa cabbage, carrots, broccoli, enoki mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, onions, tofu, spinach and bok choy.
After your initial entree, you can order the proteins as a side — if you need to — and trust me when I say this, they are very generous portions. A bowl of white or brown rice accompanies and at the end, with the remaining broth, I like to make a porridge with the rice — I’m not a fan of udon noodles.
If you still have room, try Kakigori ($7) — shaved ice with red bean, condensed milk, syrup and fruit cocktail. It reminds me of Filipino halo halo and is a refreshing finish.
333 E 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
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