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Mar 4, 2009 04:27 PM

cheap shabu-shabu downtown?

I just experienced the wealth of very reasonably priced shabu shabu places in L.A., namely in Gardena and other areas around Manhattan Beach. Are there any places in East Village or nearby that are not posh but serve great shabu shabu? The places I went were Japanese, and I note ones mentioned in a search here were Chinese.

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  1. Shabu Tatsu has cheap shabu shabu, though the quality isn't that great. In downtown, LAN, Matsugen, and Hakata Tonton all have shabu shabut, though not exactly "cheap".

    3 Replies
    1. re: kobetobiko

      Sorry to go off topic, but how is Hakata Tonton in general? Is all of their food extremely greasy or just the pigs feet?

      1. re: ian9139

        hakata tonton is great! and . . . the food is not necessarily greasy, although the braised one is sorta like pork belly ish, and the grilled one is . . . kinda heavy.

        itching to go back. and . . . I probably wouldn't go there for shabu shabu.

        1. re: bigjeff

          thanks your report is certainly making me want to try it.

    2. We enjoy Shabu Tatsu on East 10th Street quite a lot - the price is right, especially the beef shabu shabu dinner for 2, which includes salad and dessert - a scoop of ice cream.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Deenso

        Thanks! The location of Tatsu is perfect and I'm now addicted to the whole leisurely style of having the shabu shabu, then maybe some hibachi followed by ramen or udon. Some of the Japanese diners in L.A. lingered for hours over their meals, which I find extremely civilized, especially when you throw pitchers of Sapporo into the equation.

        1. re: Deenso

          Do you know if Shabu Tatsu offers shabu shabu dinner for 1 person? I would like to try it but it seems like many of my friends, who are mostly non-Asian, are not into Shabu Shabu so I might have to go by myself.

          1. re: bearmi

            Yes, they do offer it for one. They just have a deal where the shabu shabu for 2 is slightly less expensive than 2 separate orders. No worries there.

            1. re: Deenso

              Thanks! I will have to visit soon!

        2. Quicklys in chinatown includes a sauce station.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DarthEater

            While Quicklys called their meal shabu shabu, it is definitely more along the line of Chinese hot pot and not authentic Japanese shabu shabu.

          2. Kamui Den has it similarly priced to Shabu Tatsu. Never had the shabu shabu, but did enjoy my dinners there.

            1. anyone eaten at either Shaburi or Momokawa? both are midtown-ish (20s or 30s) shabu shabu spots.

              6 Replies
              1. re: bigjeff

                I'm also interested if anyone has tried Shaburi or Momokawa.

                Shabu Tatsu is generally my go to spot, but it's a little far in this (frigid) weather.

                1. re: eatfood

                  Out of curiosity, I finally went to Shaburi last weekend. I ordered their "Winter Special" short rib shabu-shabu ($18) and it was fine. Most other shabu-shabu dishes in the regular/main menu are in the $20's and some are much higher if you get the Kobe Beef or Matsuzaka Beef...

                  I wish they gave me more meat and tofu, since the platter I got (items on the platter were to be cooked in the broth by the diner) was full of Napa Cabbage and Regular Cabbage. There was like 1 piece of tofu, 1 wedge of tomato and 1 shitake mushroom and some enoki mushroom and a few slices/ribbons of daikon radishes and carrots... but like 1/3 head of a cabbage!

                  They gave me 2 dipping sauces: 1 sweet sesame dipping sauce and 1 citrus soy sauce (or is it ponzu? I had a hard time identifying the citrus note in the soy dipping sauce...maybe it's lime juice or yuzu.... I am not 100% sure). Both were good. There was also a variety of condiments they gave me: grated ginger, grated garlic, sliced green onions and sliced jalapeno peppers I think the hot pepper and the garlic is more Taiwanese than Japanese (but maybe some of you guys know more about what's served as condiments at a Japanese shabu-shabu and you can correct me..)

                  In my recent trips home to Taiwan, I have been to Shaburi's original location(s) in Taipei many times. I felt that they offer more variety of items on the "shabu shabu platter" for the diner to cook in the pot.... Items such as corn on the cob, taro, fish cake, and ground shrimp (raw, chopped shrimp on a piece of bamboo, to be scooped out and cooked in the pot as "shrimp balls" by the diner) are all part of the "shabu shabu platter" you get when you order the shabu shabu. But I think these extra items are not offered in NYC because they can be too confusing for the locals and they maybe perceived as being not authentic by hard-core shabu shabu diners. Nontheless, it was a good value and I remember seeing other "sides" such as tofu, meats, and vegetables that we can order on top of whatever comes with the shabu-shabu, if interested.

                  Overall the service was very good and the restaurant wasn't too crowded. If I go back again, I will have to order more sides such as meats and tofu, or other veggies because there was way too much cabbage on the platter...

                  1. re: bearmi

                    is the place a taiwanese-style hotpot place like in flushing? your meal description sounds like it except it would be a lot cheaper. I've heard very good things about a new hotpot place in flushing, on prince street, close to northern, around 39th avenue? it is around the corner from the ramen setagaya there, right behind the flushing mall. the place has steam intake apparatus built in to each table plus a video jukebox with the latest chinese movies; the "starter plate" looked very very good when I peeked in, but I haven't had a meal there yet.

                    1. re: bigjeff

                      Hi bigjeff, Udu Cafe used to be my favorite shabu shabu place in Flushing. I heard from my mom that it closed just recently. I don't know why because it was always busy when I went! :(

                      EDIT: Just spoke with my mom and she confirmed that she just went to Udu Cafe last Friday and it is indeed open. They just changed their entrance. Yay!! When I go in there it reminds me of a Taiwanese shabu shabu place. :) I got the ma la (really spicy one) with a medium level of spiciness and I definitely regretted it. When they refilled my pot I only asked for hot water instead of more of the broth because it was so hot! I can't wait to go back now that I found out it's still open.

                      1. re: teresa

                        ya they switched entrance with the pub that they share right? so now the entrance is NOT on Prince Street. I always forget the name. thanks for the reminder.

                      2. re: bigjeff

                        I had a hard time telling myself that Shaburi in NYC is a Taiwanese-style hot pot place because the Taiwanese element of hot pot is really minimal there (other than the minced garlic/hot pepper condiments). There is no Sa-Cha sauce, and there is no dumplings, etc to be added to the hot pot like you would see at at Taiwanese hot pot places like Minnie's in Flushing. The Shaburis in Taipei are also in that camp, although they do offer slightly more Taiwanese sides (such as corn on the cob, the dumplings, etc) but overall it's not as "Taiwanese" as some of the other hot pot places in Taipei (by that I mean all kinds of fish balls, squid balls, pig blood rice cake, fried pork ribs, fried cruellers, dried ramen/"Prince" noodles, etc). I think the owners try to categorize themselves as a Japanese restaurant, even back in Taipei. Their restaurants in Taipei also offers a lot of sushi/sashimi entrees too. I am not saying it's a bad thing, just that it's not as "Taiwanese" as it is "Japanese" that's all.

                        Here is their website in Chinese in case you are interested in viewing... they used to have a website for the NYC location but I can no longer find it.


                        As you will see, they offer different price points in Taipei, depending on the ingredients.

                        The Udu cafe sounds like a fun place to go... next time I am in Flushing I should check it out...