Though the Great Wall of China may win the accolades of history, the Great Backscratcher of Japan, built to reach any itchy corner across the vast, narrow expanse of the nation, saved more lives than can be counted on a single hand. Feast upon equally ingenious cuisine with today's Groupon: for $12, you get $25 worth of Japanese shabu shabu and sukiyaki dining at Tokyo Shabu Shabu, a hot-pot eatery with locations in Rowland Heights and Monterey Park.
Shabu shabu and sukiyaki dining is a savory, entertaining eating experience centered around a pot of hot, savory broth. Peruse the menu and draft the most appealing building blocks of flavor—each pot comes with a choice of broth, meat or seafood, steamed rice, sauces, mixed vegetables, and glass noodles (shabu $9.99–$19.99; sukiyaki $10.99–$20.99; fusion $11.99–$21.99). Start with the traditional shabu shabu broth or one of the new fusion flavors such as spicy kimchi, pork miso, or sacha satay, before adding your choice of veggies, Angus beef, Kurobuta Berkshire pork, free-range chicken, or mixed seafood (shrimp, salmon, mussels, scallops, and Japanese fish cake). Premium Kobe Wagyu beef is also available ($34.99–$59.99). Once the selections have been made, a steaming, delectable pot of broth will materialize out of thick air, as will accompanying thin-sliced meats or heaping helpings of vegetables.
The casual atmosphere allows diners to boil up and devour at any pace, from tortoise to hare. Likewise, the dining experience is highly interactive, making it ideal for getting to know a long-lost sibling or heightening the silent tension during a “farewell, I hate you” dinner.
Tokyo Shabu Shabu
The traditional Japanese dish shabu-shabu translates to “swish-swish” after the sound of thinly sliced meat or seafood cooking in a pot of broth populated with cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and other vegetables. Tokyo Shabu Shabu specializes in this edible onomatopoeia, giving diners the opportunity to customize every part of their meals as they cook each bite themselves. Beginning with the broth, guests can build their pot around a savory miso, spicy kimchi, or 12 other liquid bases. Certified-Angus beef, delicately marbled Kurobuta Berkshire pork, or unique Japanese seafood selections such as fish cake cook swiftly in the flavorful broths. Patrons can pair their bowls with eight different styles of sake and Japanese bottled drinks such as Kirin tea or melon soda.