Winter in L.A. might generally be mild, but when a cold day does come along, there’s no place we would rather be than bent over a steaming, fragrant hot pot. Here are the places where we go to take a dip in boiling broth.
If you’re not the sharing type, try this Taiwanese hot pot chain, which has 11 outlets across greater L.A. Rather than a communal pot, individual bowls arrive, which means you can personalize your spicy broth (above) with anything from fried tofu to clams to quail eggs. Or try special flavor combinations like Japanese Miso or Thai Fusion if you don’t feel like building your own bowl. (Various Locations)
Shabu shabu means “swish swish” in Japanese, which refers to the sound of dipping at this Little Tokyo favorite. Thinly shaved beef and vegetables are flash-cooked in boiling water seasoned with dried kelp before a swipe through house made ponzu or peanut sauce—simple but exquisite. (127 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, Little Tokyo)
Arcadia’s upmarket hot pot restaurant comes straight from mainland China, where it’s known for chile-spiked sauces, flashy décor, and iPad ordering. The selection of ingredients (fish balls, lamb belly, bok choy) is staggering, but be sure to get the fresh noodles hand-pulled table-side by a dancing waiter. (Westfield Santa Anita, 400 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia)
The vegetable-rich broth at this Koreatown-adjacent hot pot specialist is but one element of a multi-course shabu shabu feast. After sliced duck breast and udon noodles, the meal’s finale arrives: a few scoops of rice added to the pot to create a thick, hearty porridge. (1833 W. Olympic Blvd., Westlake)
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