I’m often skeptical when I see a restaurant open in a South Bay mini mall. I’m even more doubtful when the restaurant is located on the 2nd floor. I’ve seen too many good concepts fail because stairs often ward off potential customers.
I invited my wife out for dinner and we decided to give IShabu Shabu a try. I was amused because my wife didn’t take the obvious route to get there; instead she took the back roads and parked in a lot that I didn’t know existed. Further, due to the slope of the street, the lot was level with the 2nd floor restaurant and we only had to walk a few steps to get to their front door.
I was impressed by the interior of the restaurant. It was extremely clean, nicely decorated, and well lit. Looking around, I was amazed and impressed that each seat in the restaurant had its own individual induction stove.
Shabu shabu is Japanese hot pot cuisine. If you’re unfamiliar with shabu shabu, the staff is great about explaining everything to you and providing as much help as you need. Ordering is easy, pick a broth, pick one to three proteins and if you’d like, you can order some “add ons”. Included is a nice assortment of beautifully arranged vegetables.
Looking at the menu, quality seemed to be paramount: Angus Ribeye Prime, Jidori Chicken, Kurobuta Pork were a few of the items listed in the protein section. Salmon, shrimp, mussels and scallops were the available seafood items. A vegetarian option is also available.
My wife ordered the seaweed broth. This came with two dipping sauces, sesame peanut and a ponzu, My wife grounded the sesame seeds with the supplied mortar and pestle and then they added the peanut sauce and thoroughly stirred it. She selected Angus beef and shrimp as her protein choices.
Everything is served uncooked. Since veggies take longer to prepare, it’s recommended that you begin with them. Conversely, meat takes seconds to cook because it is sliced razor thin. Once you pull the item from the sauce, you drop it into a dipping sauce.
I had the sukiyaki broth with lamb and kurobuta pork as my protein selections. The sukiyaki broth had a sweet citrus soy flavor. It reminded me of my mom’s cooking. My dipping sauce was a raw egg. I added daikon oroshi, green onions and minced garlic and mixed everything together.
IShabu Shabu has a full link of beverages: sake, sochu, beer and cocktails. They also have a Happy Hour and feature $2 Kirin beer and $7 pitchers.
It was definitely a healthier way to eat, but the best part of the experience was that we could cook exactly what we wanted and in the pace that we desired to eat it. That way we had piping hot food throughout the time that we were there.
- 1212 S Pacific Coast Hwy Suite 200, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; (310) 540-5846
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IShabuShabuCA