A note to say thanks for all the postings about Shabu-Zen. Our group of six went on Saturday evening and had a swell time dunking, swishing and slurping.
We ordered three "dinners" - prime rib, short rib, and pork, and then a la carte orders of more meat, tofu, and shrimp. Spicy kim-chee broth is a must! And we also got both vermicelli and udon noodles, both of which had their supporters at our table. Particularly intriguing was the squid paste, which came plain with the vegetables for poaching in the broth and fried as a little appetizer. The teeny dishes of edemame were barely enough for one, so be warned that if you want these as an appetizer, order at least as many orders as there are people at your table, and perhaps a couple of extra if you are big edemame fans. Biggest hits were the beef and the creamy delicious tofu. The prime rib was particularly good if barely cooked and then quickly swished in special peanut sauce brought over by the manager (I think he was concerned that we were overcooking our good beef, and came to show us how to properly do it!).
While the members of our party who had lived in Japan said that Shabu-Zen was more upscale than traditional shabu they had experienced, they nevertheless pronounced it delicious, as well. By the end of our feast (concluded with watery sweet bean and barley soup - an acquired taste, perhaps), there was barely any broth left, and a sea of empty plates. All this, plus beers for most of us, for about $20 a head.
Thanks, chowhounds, for alerting us to this fun and tasty experience!