Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori-Shabu Shabu - Monterey Park

For cousin Q's birthday we opted for a quick late dinner at Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori-Shabu Shabu in Monterey Park. We're not really big on birthdays in my family. We usually just take each other out to eat. This particular location is in the same strip mall and downstairs from Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant.

Ah! Whoa! What big man-boobs do I see inside the entrance?


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It's sumo wrestler Musashimaru Koyo, 6 feet 4 inches, 517 lbs! Sumo wrestler? Sure he's not a food blogger because ummm... that's kinda what my body looks like these days. :P


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I'm used to the loud shouts of greeting at the Shin-Sen-Gumi restaurants, but this particular location also has a drum. Be prepared if you're not used to raucous Japanese restaurants.

We were seated at the bar. Here's cousin Q looking over the menu. I liked seeing the couple drinking and the barbecue guy fanning the grill in the background.


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Here's the backside of the room. The restaurant has lots of little alcoves. Actually, this photo was taken when cousin Q and I were here in December for their shabu shabu special. Funny, we were seated in the same area both times.


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Here's our yakitori selections. No beef flap meat that night. :(


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Condiment tray. My favorite part is that tiny jar you see in the front of the picture.


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Anyone know what kind of chili pepper they use? Are they shisitos? I asked but can't remember. It's not terribly spicy, just very flavorful.


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While waiting for our order, I scooted on down to take a photo of our meats on the barbecue.


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On the left is beef tongue, the right skewer is bacon wrapped around shiso leaves. Add a little vinegar and the green chili sauce for dipping.


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Chicken thigh with green onion and special sauce. This is a better angle of the shiso inside the bacon.


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Grilled rice ball.


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Bacon-wrapped asparagus. The asparagus were a bit too chewy and fibrous.


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Chicken meatballs. Is my memory bad? I used to remember these meatballs as gigantic.


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Grilled shisito peppers. The bamboo canister is for your discarded skewers.


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And that was it. We weren't terribly hungry that night. What else do you want me to say about the yakitori? It's grilled meat! Can't go wrong with grilled meat! But at $2 to $3 per skewer, I don't really go here to stuff myself. Too expensive. Also, is it just this location or they don't do this anymore? I used to go to the Fountain Valley location pretty often when I worked in Orange County and they gave free cabbage salad. Cheap filler but it stretched out the yakitori into a meal for me.

Back in December when the restaurant had just opened, we were here for half-off lunchtime shabu shabu specials. We both ordered the large beef shabu shabu, which only cost $5.88. Not bad huh? Each portion had a bowl of water, beef, ponzu sauce, special sauce, a plate of veggies, and rice.


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Good quality beef.


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Napa cabbage, chrysanthemum leaves, carrots, green onions, tofu, and noodles.


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It's a good deal for that price, but not for full price. For $10, my hot pot restaurant of choice is Jazz Cat Cafe - Alhambra for the variety of broths and lots more veggies.

This is also where I learned about the scum skimming spoon that I use in making Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth). A waiter came and carefully skimmed each of our hot pots. Pretty nice attention to detail.

Also, we got a flyer, which of course I forgot, but I remember that it said Happy Hour specials of $1 draft beers from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, from July to September. $1 beers and meat on skewers! Don't stampede all at once!

Other hot pot and shabu shabu restaurants:
Cocary Shabu Shabu BBQ - Monterey Park
Happy Sheep Cafe - Rowland Heights
Happy Sheep Cafe Shabu & Grill - San Gabriel
Jazz Cat Restaurant - San Gabriel
Monland Hot Pot City - San Gabriel

Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori Shabu Shabu
Atlantic Place Shopping Center
111 N. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park CA 91754-1592
626-943-7956
Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

*****
1 year ago today, green tea tiramisu and fruit-filled cream puffs at Japanese bakery Italian Tomato - Costa Mesa.

4 comments:

  1. i think the green pepper paste is yuzu kosho - citron pepper. a little zing, very salty?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nom3,
    Yes! That's it! I vaguely remember the yuzu part but couldn't understand what else the waiter said. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey WC - At first I thought that photo of Musashimaru was of me.......whew....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kirk,
    Ha! Food blogging makes us fat! The photo is me! ;)

    ReplyDelete

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