Ka Ga Ya , Shabu-Shabu
The only Shabu Shabu that competes with this in LA is Urasawa. We went to KGY tonight for a little snack $38 to 120(kobe,the real stuff) per person depending on your selection of Proteins.
Unfortunately Kar was advised they were sold out!
So we walked next door to SUSHI GEN and enjoyed "perfect" Omakase Sushi. I planned it that way!
With standard shabu shabu being $20-25. These were the standard prices for over 20 years. It's worth the $38. The appetizer and the amazing zosui (rice porridge) they make for you at the end of your meal plus dessert.
If you want wagyu or kobe it's going to be more.
I wouldn't think $38 is close to mortgaging the house. Kagaya is the best Shabu Shabu restaurant in LA. If you haven't tried it, then it's worth trying once to form your own opinion. That's what a chowhound is, isn't it?
If you are comparing it to the fast food $9-12 shabu shabu places, then it's like comparing why would I spend $8-10 on a hamburger at a restaurant when I can go get one for under $2 at IN-N-Out. People have different value systems for food.
the meal is expensive, but worth it. you also get three other dishes, in my experience a soup and two dishes that change frequently depending on what the chef wants to make. you also get one of their housemade desserts, which are all excellent.
you CAN drop a little change on the kobe, oysters, crab and other sides. in my opinion, though, the upgrade in beef isn't worth it.
overall, a great restaurant and a really enjoyable experience.