Friday, February 8, 2008

Shabu in Mission Viejo

Hot Mama! ^_^ That is what they call the nice lady who owns the shop. I have never had Shabu, and I thought I should try it somewhere that sounds fun. She is not as extreme as everyone says, but she definitely takes pride in everything she makes and she should! The sauces that she makes are delicious. You start off with the basic Ponzu that you get to spice up with green onions, garlic, traditional red radish, and the red homemade chili paste. She pointed out that the red radish is the correct type to use and not the white radish. I really wouldn't know since I have never had Shabu before, but it was interesting to know. You also get the Sesame sauce that is unique to her restaurant, as my sister told me. Both sauces were delicious, especially since you flavor it to your own liking! I loaded mine with garlic! She also has a special yummy jalapeño soy sauce for your rice.
Prices here are a little bit high for the amount of meat you get. I got the Deluxe Combo, which includes the meat, vegetables, udon noodles, rice, and a choice between California roll or Gyoza. She brought us a huge plate of vegetables and noodles as the pot of water is boiling in front of us. Then she runs behind the counter to cut the meat on the spot. I am a huge meat eater and it was definitely not enough to make me full. If you eat all the vegetables and noodles, then I can see why people would get full. I was very tempted to get more meat but I didn't feel like spending $30+ for lunch.
There was nothing special about the California rolls. I thought they Gyoza was good, but I don't quite see what everyone is raving about on the internet. They should try the frozen ones sold in supermarkets. Ajinomoto brand is actually extremely delicious and very easy to make at home. Overall, the add-ons were not bad but nothing I'd crave all the time.
All in all the food was delicious, it left me wanting more but that was because I didn't get my meat fill. Price wise, it is kind of high and my sister kept saying that she will take me to this place in San Francisco where it is all you can eat! The sauces might not be as good, but you get all the meat you want. I would still come back to this place because the service is friendly and the food is good, also to see Hot Mama again.

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