I recently had dinner with my son at Tabu Shabu. I’ll have to admit, it has been a very long time since my last visit, but it’s good to see that they are still busy, and that people are enjoying shabu even when the weather is warm.
The best part of Tabu Shabu is how cool they keep the temperature inside. I love it because you’re not sweating up a storm even when the pot comes to a rolling boil and continues to steam in front of you.
We start with some Crunchy Garlic Edamame ($5) while we peruse the menu. It is very flavorful with perfect umami from the soy and garlic. This is a perfect item to nibble on while enjoying a glass of beer.
Sometimes, shabu places make things confusing for the diner, but here, it is really easy to maneuver through the menu. Start by picking a soup base: I choose kombu (traditional seaweed flavor) while my son picks spicy miso.
Then, choose your protein. We decided to go with Certified Angus Ribeye ($18 regular/$24 large/$28 extra large) …
… Colorado Lamb Shoulder ($18/$24/$28) and share this between us.
Of course, you’ll receive a plate of vegetables which includes: Napa cabbage, spinach, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, baby bok choy, broccoli, tofu, and udon noodles.
You get a pick of brown or white rice as well.
Dipping sauces include the traditional goma (sesame) and ponzu, and like other shabu spots, the condiments such as scallions, garlic and grated daikon are brought to the table for you to add at your pleasure. I always go for the hot drops (four drops in my goma sauce), but if you’re a spice weakling, I suggest staying away from it.
When the broth comes to a boil, you can start! I throw my veggies into the pot to cook, and pick up a thin slice of meat and dip it into the boiling broth for a few seconds. You don’t want to overcook it. I like to then place the meat onto my rice so it can “drain” a little before dipping it into the sauce.
At the end of the meal, the staff will make a porridge with the remaining broth.
We like it spicy! Of course, we are too full to eat this, but it is even better the next day, so take it home and enjoy.
If you haven’t been to Tabu Shabu, why not enter this week’s giveaway to WIN a $50 giftcard to try it yourself? Entries close on Friday, October 5th, 2018.
333 E 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627