I just got back from S. California, the mecca of Asian food. I had a really good deal on a hot pot buffet at about $13.00-$14.00 a person on a Saturday afternoon. Besides a selection of prepared hot and cold food (including the ever popular sushi), there was all sorts of raw seafood (crab, squid, sliced raw fish, fish backbone, etc), meat (chicken to lamb), innards, variety of fish balls, veggies, tofu products, etc. for hot pot. Everything was immpecable fresh. My family chose white (plain chicken) and red (laced with chile oil and chiles) in a yin yang pot setup sunk into the table. We were impressed that both broths had medicinal herbs floating in them. I hear it is all the rage in California. Anyway, we made our own dipping sauces. It was yummy. And of course there were fresh noodles at the end to make a sort of soup noodle to slurp up all the broth that all that stuff had been cookinng in. Definitely worth every penny. Especially free refills on our drinks at the tune of $1.85 per. I had pink lemonade. Even my hard-to-please mother was impressed.
I'm back in NYC (including buroughs) and I want to find a good hot pot place. Of course, I expect it to be more expensive. Can anyone recommend some place. I prefer variety so a buffet would be bang for my buck especially since I do love all sorts of offal, pig skin, pig blood, chrysanthanem leaves, shitake mushroom, green fish balls (have no idea why it's green) etc that usually doesn't show up on a combination plate. I'll settle for non-buffet if the buffet option is not possible. I'm resigned to the fact that its going to be hard to find a a NY restaurant that can compete with that place in California. If someone can prove me wrong, I'll be most grateful.