Because they had opened a new location in San Gabriel.
The grand opening was in late October. I tipped off Tony of SinoSoul so he could be my guinea pig since he likes to be first. Ha! He complained about the long wait and disproportionately high counter to chair difference at the bar.
But for lunch time with Gourmet Pigs, we only had a slight wait and were seated in a booth. That makes all the difference in my enjoyment of Jazz Cat.
I was so excited that I went out the door without my camera. Oh noes! Luckily, Gourmet Pigs had hers and shared, so her camera, but I took the photos. :P
The new interior is a little swankier. Jazz Cat now uses induction cookers instead of the flaming gels. The induction cooker's controls are on the side so you can adjust the heat. On the down side, they're set about a foot from the edge of the table so you have to lean in to cook.
Also gone is the extensive drinks menu with just a few soft drinks and iced tea. They've added beer and wine in its place. I wanted milk tea! But settled for a $3 iced green tea. Free refills though!
The low price point is now $13.95 for a hot pot, up from $10.95 at the old location. You still have a choice of thinly sliced beef, chicken, or pork. And the hot pots still come with a generous side of vegetables, rice, and dipping sauce.
I almost always choose beef.
My favorite broth - Thai spicy. A little bit of chili sauce, buttery notes, with a hint of lemongrass maybe? I asked the waiter once at the old location and he said it was the chef's secret recipe.
Gourmet Pigs ordered the Chinese herbal broth. The herbs were kept in a little packet so they didn't float all over the broth. That packet soaked up so much liquid that the waiter came back and refilled her pot with more water.
The scary cat pictures have been moved to the new location too.
See my original Jazz Cat Cafe - Alhambra post for the other broths. I like original, Thai spicy, and Japanese curry. Sukiyaki is too sweet and Korean kimchi is nothing unusual. They've kept all the flavors, just the location has changed. The parking in the new strip mall is just as bad and the waits are just as long. Plan on waiting at least an hour during peak times. Ideally, go with three or four people so you can get a booth.
Who else ate at Jazz Cat?
Tony of SinoSoul visited shortly after the grand opening.
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
Monland Hot Pot City - San Gabriel
Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori-Shabu Shabu - Monterey Park
Jazz Cat Restaurant
121 E. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to midnight
Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
1 year ago today, nuoc mam cham (Vietnamese fish dipping sauce).
2 years ago today, kimchee pajeon (Korean pickled napa cabbage pancake).