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The First Shabu-Shabu Restaurant in the U.S. Closed in Little Tokyo After 32 Years

Plus, hot chicken for Drake’s birthday, a fundraising brunch at Griddle Cafe, and more

A well-dressed woman steps out of Shabu-Shabu House in Los Angeles.
Outside Shabu-Shabu House in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
Nick Solares
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Shabu-Shabu House, Little Tokyo’s 32-year-old mainstay in the Japanese Village Plaza Mall, closed last week. The news is a huge loss for the Los Angeles restaurant community, as it was considered the country’s first shabu-shabu restaurant.

Owners Masako and Yoshinobu Maruyama made the announcement on Instagram and thanked regulars for their patronage. Though it’s now a popular aspect of Southern Californian culture, shabu-shabu, or Japanese hot pot, is a fairly recent import. Shabu-shabu restaurants utilize thin slices of beef and vegetables where diners submerge the ingredients in a pot of hot broth attached to the table. Food writer Nick Solares extolled the restaurant in an excellent 2009 article: “Shabu-Shabu House was not always the thriving, bustling business it is today. Maruyama recalls the beginning when things were slow and the clientele was exclusively Japanese. Now it is as diverse as the city of Los Angeles.”

In recent years, Little Tokyo’s historic restaurants have been disappearing rapidly. Suehiro Cafe was evicted after 51 years (though it reopened elsewhere in Downtown), as well as the decades-old Ebisu Japanese Izakaya, Oreno Yakiniku Japanese Bar-B-Cue, and SKD Tofu House.

Patrons sit around the counter at Shabu-Shabu House.
Patrons sit around the counter at Shabu-Shabu House.
Nick Solares
A plate of thinly shaved ribeye meat from Shabu-Shabu House with sauces, vegetables, noodles, and rice.
A plate of thinly shaved ribeye meat from Shabu-Shabu House with sauces, vegetables, noodles, and rice.
Nick Solares

The status of Thrify Ice Cream availability as 10 LA County stores close

Last week, Eater LA published a story on the inner workings of the Thrifty Ice Cream plant, one day after Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy and announced store closures. The Los Angeles Times reports that 29 of the 31 California Rite Aid locations to shutter also have a Thrifty Ice Cream counter, reducing the number of places to get a fresh scoop.

Free hot chicken on Drake’s birthday at Dave’s Hot Chicken

For the second year in a row, Dave’s Hot Chicken is giving out free chicken sliders and tenders to celebrate its most famous investor, recording artist Drake. Get to one of Dave’s many SoCal locations on Tuesday, October 24 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

A six-course Parisian dinner at Juliet

Juliet is pulling out all the stops with a six-course dinner and wine pairing on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Everything is classic, with a canape selection paired with Agrapart & Fils Champagne, pate with a 2018 Bourgogne Rouge, and more. Tickets are $295, book a seat through Resy.

A nighttime disco brunch for a cause at Griddle Cafe

On Thursday, October 26, Hollywood’s Griddle Cafe is hosting a fundraiser with the proceeds going towards the Giving Kitchen. The James Beard Award-winning nonprofit provides emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and resources. They’ve got some notable partners on board, including chef Nyesha Arrington, actress Jamie Gray Hyder, and chef Andrew Zimmern, who will be donating a Zoom cooking class. The food consists of favorites from the Griddle’s dinner menu, selections from the 1849 Wine Company, other drinks, a raffle, and a pure disco playlist. Tickets are $100 and available here, full details are below.

Shabu-Shabu House

127 Japanese Village Plaza Mall, , CA 90012 (213) 680-3890 Visit Website