1945 E. 17th Street, Ste. 108
Santa Ana, CA 92705
So I have been telling my wife for weeks that I wanted to try shabu shabu. This was something that I had heard was good, fun and tasty. I had also heard that the Shabu Shabu Bar in Santa Ana was the restaurant for shabu shabu. My family had a good week so we decided to splurge, try a new restaurant and a new style of food we have never had before.
From the outside the Shabu Shabu Bar looks small and when you walk it is small. There are two U shaped bars that are lined with chairs. At each chair is your own bowl that is used to cook the meat and veggies. There is also a place setting for each customer. I was hoping for a sit down but figured we would still give it a try. Once seated we got the menu and my eyes about popped out of my head looking at the prices. Oh damn this was gonna be expensive. I order the three meat combo, my wife ordered the two meat combo, my son got the seafood combo and my daughter got a side of chicken. With drinks and tip the whole meal cost me $92.
My son got mussels and salmon for his meat and a plate of the fresh vegetables that comes with each plate of meat. My son had never tried mussels before and he said that they tasted good. My daughter even had a couple of his mussels and she gobbled them down. My son also said the salmon tasted fresh and that is was very good. Since I pretty much hate anything that comes from the ocean I let my son enjoy that plate all to himself. My daughters side of chicken was devoured by her since was really hungry that night. She even enjoyed a lot of the veggies that I did not think she would have eaten at all.
My wife's combo plate had rib eye beef and chicken. My wife enjoyed her plate of meat and the fresh veggies. She was sharing some of meat with our daughter and veggies too. My wife said she liked the chicken but really though the beef was tender and delicious. She also said the veggies were crisp and that they good. Her favorite was the fresh cabbage dipped in the hot water to cook it quickly then dipped in the one of sauces the Shabu Shabu Bar gives you with your meal.
My plate has thinly sliced beef, chicken and pork. All the meat on my plate was was good and when briefly cooked in the hot water came out tender. I enjoyed the beef the most of all three meats. This beef was rib eye with some nice fat marbled throughout. The chicken was, well it tasted like chicken. I did not think there was anything special about this chicken. The pork was my second favorite meat on the plate. After being cook it too tender and went very well wit the sauces offered with the meal. I thought the best thing to do was cook a bit cabbage, a piece of meat and roll them together.
At the end of the meal the staff will make you a bowl of soup using the cooking liquid from your meal. I am not sure what they used for the soup base but this soup was amazing. I asked what the base was made of and all I was told is that it is made fresh every day. I could gone in and just had a bowl of this soup but unfortunately this soup can only be had at the end of your meal. The best thing about this soup is it will be different for every person. It depends on how you use the cooking water for your meal.
All in all I did enjoy my food at the Shabu Shabu Bar. However I must admit I have had better meals for the price I paid for this meal. The meat was good, the veggies were fresh and I did walk out full. If you have some extra cash and don't mind spending it on food I would suggest you give the Shabu Shabu Bar a try.