Wanted to try somewhere new, so we battled the traffic over to Hollywood and Highland. The mall has evolved since I was last there two years ago. On to the food though.
Mom ordered the chicken shabu shabu meal, and I the jumbo tiger shrimp (8 pieces). Each person gets her own person boiling pot of water in the center of the table. Complementary edamame starts the meal. I don't like it, but Mom said they were perfectly cooked. Somewhat airy waiter brings out the citrus soy sauce, essentially soy and lime juice, and a sesame dipping sauce that I didn't care for. Into our citrus soy sauces, the waiter adds a scoop of chopped garlic, scallions, and radish.
It didn't take too long for the food to arrive, although it seemed long to me since they didn't actually have to cook anything. I don't know what I was expecting, but my shrimp were pretty pathetic. The chicken came shaved into extremely thin slices. Vegetables include a PILE of cabbage, one piece of broccoli, two mushrooms, three carrot slices, one scallion, two cubes of tofu, glass and rice noodles. The meal also includes a small bowl of white rice, and they don't serve brown at all, which was very disappointing to me. Waiter then demonstrates the technique of swirling the meat to cook it, dipping it in the sauce and then placing it on the rice, "so you can eat it." I asked for more vegetables, and he quickly returned with a small bowl of broccoli and mushrooms. Later when I asked for plain soy sauce, as the lime was getting tiresome, it took him about five mintues to bring out both the lite and regular versions.
The shrimp was not high quality at all, but like I said, I don't know what I was expecting. I thought I had undercooked my first shrimp, but it turned out, it wasn't my lack of culinary skills so much as the crustacean himself. Mom's chicken was fine. We left still hungry. To quote my mother, "What's for dessert?"
Food was just okay. Service was kind of airy and got worse through the meal, as my mother had to ask twice to get an iced tea refill. Total was 26 dollars for two meals and an iced tea. Cheap eats, and if you like boiled and rather bland food, it's great. Definitely healthy especially for all the low carbers who want to load up on beef, chicken, fish, and veggies. They also serve sushi and sashimi as well as cooked dishes. The mixed drinks looked very attractive, and I was sorry I didn't opt for one, if for nothing else, but filler. I wouldn't rush back, but if I wanted healthy cuisine, it's an option. I'm sure there are better shabu shabu restaurants in Los Angeles. I just don't know where they are...