"You guys must eat sushi every night!"
Don't get me wrong, sushi is great. But it is the tip of the iceberg; saying you love Japanese food and only knowing sushi is like claiming to love French food and only knowing their pastries. I've heard plenty of people claim to hate Japanese food because it's all cold and raw. I usually challenge them to try some yakitori or kare, but tonight I challenge you to some shabu shabu!
|Busy boiling hot pot|
If you live in Southern California, there are many fine shabu shabu establishments for you to try. One such establishment I ate at recently is California Shabu-Shabu.
Once I perfect my gomadare sauce, I will have a tasty at-home shabu shabu recipe for you to try. While this proceeds, I prefer to to dine at shabu shabu restaurants. Purely for research, you see.
|Don't eat these raw!|
|Ponzu (Left) and Goma (Right)|
Mr. Mochi and I tried the "large" 12 piece choice beef ($14). Their choice grade was supposed to be leaner than their prime cuts, and priced accordingly, but I found their choice beef to be nicely marbled with fat and I don't see needing to try the prime grade any time soon.
|My udon at the end|
|I liked this a lot|
Or at least what we thought would be the end: our server gave us free scoops of sherbert and ice cream! I tried the azuki bean and mango, and I would definitely pay for the mango again. The bright flavor was the perfect palate cleansing dessert, and for $1.95 would be a reasonable addition.
|I wanted to play this!|
The decor lived up to the restaurant's name, and was very youthful Californian Asian-American: artsy and edgy, which can look a little too hipster but I assure you the shabu-shabu is just as authentic as the restaurants that have tatami mat rooms, in much more casual an atmosphere.
|An example of the art displays|
801 Baker St. Suite A
Costa Mesa, CA 92626