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best shabu shabu in LA?

my girlfriends dad wants shabu shabu for his bday dinner this saturday, any reccommendations? so far, I hear that the Shabu Shabu house in lil tokoyo is the spot for the best shabu shabu in LA?

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  1. Love the shabu shabu house in Little tokyo, get there early and put your names down AND if there's a wait you can have a few beers and Sake across the way in the outside patio. They'll come and get you when your table is ready.

    1. I like KaGaYa. I asked Chef Hiro (at Urasawa) if he liked KaGaya, his answer absolutely cracked me up:" Yes, but it is a bit pricey!" He should know!

      1. Kagaya is supposed to be the highest quality (they have Kobe I think), but also quite expensive. Shabu Shabu House is supposed to be good and inexpensive. Doesn't seem like a dad's birthday joint though.

        1. I do not know if it is the best -- I doubt it is -- but I enjoy shabu shabu at Mizu 212 on Sawtelle. It's a nice setting, the service is good, and the ingredients are high quality. I'm a fan.

          2 Replies
            1. re: glutton

              Mizu 212 has a good balance between price and quality, especially if you want something on the Westside with nicer decor and service. Shabu Shabu house is cheap and tasty but service and decor is lacking and the wait is long. I haven't been to Kagaya but I have heard very good things.

            2. I have to second the Shabu Shabu House in Little Tokyo. Would never have known it existed until a friend suggested it. It lived up to the billing and is not over-priced.

              1. Kagaya is the best. Around $45 per person to $100 per person for Wagyu and Kobe.

                Shabu Shabu House is the best quality for the price $10 (Medium) $12 (Large) for lunch and $2-3 more for dinner. It is underpriced. Normally Shabu Shabu is around $20-25 at restaurants even back in the 70's and 80s where they share a big pot.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eiji

                  Yes, I totally agree that Kagaya is the best for Shabu Shabu, particularly for a nice celebratory dinner.

                  The meal starts with a delicious appetizer. It's different every time, but it's always a delectable morsel of food rich in flavor and texture. Then comes a little soup while the water is heating up.

                  When the food comes, it's incredibly fresh. The cabbage is crunchy, the tofu is silky but firm, the mushrooms don't look like they've been sitting around for a few days, etc. It's just top class fresh and tasty.

                  The sauces are fresh, not pulled from a refrigerator where you still see the plastic wrap marks.

                  At the end, they make a noodle soup or rice soup from your broth.

                  Then, you get dessert. They have a great creme brulee where they use a hod branding iron to melt the sugar on top (instead of a torch). They also have green tea mousse, apple pie and a few other things that I forget right now.

                  But despite the quality of the food, there is actually something better: the service. If you sit at the bar, you can watch all the preparations, including the grating of fresh wasabi from the root and the grating of genuine Andean salt from pinkish rocks.

                  And at the tables, the servers are extremely attentive, to the point where they actually clear the foam from the top of your broth for you.

                  Yes, this is a class act, and worth every penny.

                2. so whats this place with the patio across from shabu shabu to drink saki at while you wait for your table called?

                  1. OMG I friggin love Shabu Shabu!!

                    There is a great date place that serves Shabu Shabu. I think it's called Kushi Shabu, in the Omni Plaza at the New Otani Hotel Downtown. It's on the second floor, you'll see it.

                    Last time I was there they actually had an all you can eat special. I ate three plates of meat, and 2 plates of veggies.

                    It is very authentic interior, validated/security parking, and price is reasonable.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Fat Billie

                      How much was it for the all you can eat special? Was this inside the New Otani hotel?

                      1. re: WHills

                        This place is in the New Otani Plaza. The name is Kushi Shabu, it has alot of wood inside. It's above that crappy spagethii place.

                        They no longer have that special, but it is dead on. As is Shabu Shabu House on the Little Tokyo Plaza, but this place is much faster in service. There is also a ramen house in the New Otani Plaza 3rd Fl. that is wonderful (expect to wait to eat), your choices are spicy, very spicy and hot....major yums!!

                    2. The place for beers and sake is another Japanese rest. and I forget the name but it's the only place near the Shabu house that has an outdoor patio it's also across from the yogurt place fiore.

                      1. Best place for me is Shaab in Pasadena. They will take reservations for the bar, so no waiting. In addition to the beef, they also offer King Crab, mixed seafood, and Prime beef. Since I started going there, I've never gone back to Shabu Shabu House. Couldn't deal with the wait, the parking, or the godawful country music. Don't miss it at all.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          One experience doesn't always paint an accurate picture, but I had a really, really lousy meal at Shaab. Sub-par ingredients and they were skimpy on the vegetables.

                          1. re: glutton

                            Must have been an abberation They are usually as consistant as anyplace, and give more veggies than the average shabu rest.

                        2. so it looks like were going to shabu shabu garden (Yoshi's Restaurant) in sherman oaks (Not my choice)

                          Any opnions about this place??

                          1. I also need a recommendation. Some place where a group can go - we'll be about 8, and three of that 8 are kids. As near to Burbank/Hollywood as possible, but NOT that awful place at Hollywood/Highland. Help!
                            Also, it's for this Saturday, as in tomorrow...

                            1. Shabu Shabu House in Little Tokyo - nobody compares!!!
                              I just wish the wait wasn't so long ....