Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shabu House (San Francisco)

If you are hungry and love meat, then you need to check out Shabu House. "Shabu shabu" is basically the Japanese version of fondue where you cook meats and vegetables in some sort of broth. Shabu House offers an All-You-Can-Eat option after 8PM everyday. I don't believe they take reservations for parties under 4 so be sure to show up early before it gets busy. There is usually a line on weekends, but it's definitely worth the wait. Besides, the longer you wait, the hungrier you get and you can eat to your heart's content! Prices have changed but it's still around $30 per person and there is also an All-You-Can-Eat & Drink option for a little bit more.

There is 3 broths to choose from. You can have either the traditional shabu of plain water, a ginger chicken soup, or spicy miso base. For me, I always pick spicy miso because it gives the meat and vegetables the most flavor! Once I have had the spicy miso broth here, it has spoiled me for other shabu places. This is one of the main reasons that makes Shabu House stand out. There are containers of garlic, daikon, and green onion on the table for you to mix with the sauces. Traditionally they give you a ponzu sauce and a sesame sauce. You can season, taste, or create the sauce to your own liking with the 3 accompaniments. With your meal, you get the traditional vegetable plates and udon noodles to add into the shabu. Of course this is unlimited as well, so feel free to ask for any particular vegetable but don't forget to save room for the meat!

The best part of the whole deal is the meat that they offer. You can choose either lamb or American Kobe beef or a combination of both! Personally I get both to start so I can see what meat is good that night. Most of the time I prefer the lamb. All the meat is freshly shaved to order so it may take some time for it to come out if they are busy. It might be a good idea to order the next plate of meat a little early if it's busy. The meat is usually pretty good and goes great with the spicy miso broth. To top things off, they serve you a scoop of ice cream at the end, which is a great way to cool off after a hot meal.