I made my first visit for lunch this week to ShabaShabu. We had three courses, and it took forever.
First, there were misspellings throughout the menu. This usually reflects a lack of attention to detail. Second, our waiter took quite some time to get to us even though the place did not look busy. We ordered the Thai house salad and the Japanese house salad. One was delivered at least 5 minutes prior to the other by our server, who said the second salad would be right out. Eventually the second salad was delivered. By then the ginger dressing on my Japanese salad had separated into a thick paste on top of the lettuce, and a watery liquid in the bottom of the bowl. The peanut dressing on my friends salad was tasty, but sweet, and could have used some spice.
For our entrees, I had ordered the Pad See Eew Pork, and my friend had a sushi/sashimi combo. After a substantial wait, a different waiter delivered my hot dish 5-10 minutes before her cold dish. Since this split course happened twice with different staffers, I can only assume that it is the norm there, and they make no effort to coordinate courses coming from the Japanese or Thai side, or maybe from the same side. Her combo was beautifully presented, and the pieces I tasted were good. My Pad See Eew had an enjoyable flavor, but two major flaws. It was way too salty and the pork was incredibly tough.
Finally, after another long wait, came the fried bananas. The batter seemed very heavy.
Some other things I did not like Fork without a knife with salads. Fork rather than chopsticks with my Thai noodles. Waiter kept leaving with my coke and her tea to refill them in the back rather than bringing pitchers or fresh glasses.
What I did like The space is cool, the entrée presentations looked lovely, the server was friendly.