Over the weekend we tried this new shabu shabu place in lower QA. I'm always on the lookout for better options in that neighborhood—Masonry is a good addition, and I like Toulouse Petit, but in general it's a far weaker restaurant zone than I think it should be! (Or wish it were...)
Among the six of us we had four broths, dumplings, most of the meat varieties, and most of the robata skewers. The chicken skewer was very good, and the short rib skewer was good too, though no better than the ones you can buy marinated from Met Market or A&J. Pork belly skewer was bland. I liked the broths, though the one person in our group who is Japanese said that they could have been more flavorful. The dipping sauces were good; the mango dessert was not. I would recommended getting the single broth pot rather than the divided one, because it gets too crowded in the pot!
The service needs work, unsurprising since the place had only been open a few days. We were brought the wrong food, the server seemed put out that we each wanted our own dipping sauce bowls (as is typical, yes?), and one part of our order went forgotten. They asked if we wanted a dessert in compensation, which was gracious. We said the mango one, then they brought us six of them—if we knew they were going to bring us six desserts instead of one we would have tried a variety, but hey, it was free.
I will cut them slack on all the service-related glitches for the time being. They were super-busy, which I like to see for the sake of the business and the neighborhood. This place isn't good for a party of more than six, it's not good for kids, it's a loud group of 20somethings .... just so you know. Even though shabu shabu isn't hard to pull off at home, I thought it was fun and will go back when the service has a chance to settle in.