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Friday, February 1, 2008

Shabu Shabu USA Mission Viejo

28201 Marguerite Parkway #9
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Lunch 11:00-2:30
Dinner 5:30-9:30
Closed for Lunch on Saturday and Sunday

I visited Shabu Shabu U.S.A. during lunch today for the first time, in a long time. After I began my meal, I kicked myself for letting so much time pass since I last visited. I have been to many Shabu-shabu places, but Shabu Shabu USA has got to be my favorite.

Shabu-Shabu USA is located in a small strip mall behind Mission Viejo Mall. It's a little hard to find, but this little gem is worth it. For those of you not familiar with Shabu-shabu, it is a Japanese style of cooking that loosely translates to "swish-swish". Shabu-shabu is an interactive dining experience where you cook your own food in a pot of steaming, seasoned water and "swish-swish" it around.

Plates of meats and vegetables are placed before you accompanied by two sauces and steamed rice. The first of the two sauces is ponzu. Ponzu is a soy sauce based broth with a citrusy flavor. This sauce is my favorite of the two. The other sauce is a sesame sauce. This sauce reminds me of a watered down peanut butter. I enjoy dipping my cold tofu in it. Delicious! You can also season your broth with garlic, green onions, hot sauce and soy sauce.

My friend and I both ordered the regular size beef lunch. ($10.95) I'm not a big fan of cabbage and other vegetables, so I requested "no veggies, all tofu and udon noodles." My friend wanted vegetables.

We were both served plates of thinly sliced, bright red rib-eye beef.

You take the beef, veggies, tofu and noodles and put them in your own individual pot of boiling liquid. Since the meat is sliced so thin, it only takes a few seconds to fully cook. After removing your food from the liquid, you can choose to dip it in one of the two sauce before you eat it. I like to soak my meat in the ponzu for a few seconds and then eat it with a big mouthful of white rice.

Shabu-shabu is a perfect meal for the cold days we have been having recently. Shabu-Shabu USA is in my opinion, the best shabu-shabu joint in OC. Not only is the food fresh and delicious, but the service can't be beat. The owners and servers are very friendly and willing to help out first-timers. When you are done eating, they will even be happy to turn your leftover broth into a nice soup to finish off your meal. This is a definite favorite of mine and one that you should not miss.

Shabu Shabu Usa on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Do they have forks? Because sometimes the udon is slippery after you put it in the water. =)

Griffin said...

I'm sure that forks are available upon request, but it was really fun watching my friend try and fish his udon noodles out with chopsticks. He said that he had only used chopsticks about 4 or 5 times before that day. He finally gave up. The server then came over and got his noodles out for him.