It’s been the wettest winter in recent memory, so gathering with friends and family around a boiling cauldron of broth seems like an ideal way to keep warm. The Chinese diaspora’s rich hot pot tradition varies from region to region, with broth seasonings and proteins flexing and bending to local tastes and ingredients. In the San Gabriel Valley, the unofficial hot pot epicenter of Los Angeles, there are highly specialized restaurants bringing everything from hand-made noodles to lamb-stuffed dumplings to the communal table, with extensive condiment bars for customized sauces. There’s never been a better time to pull up a seat, dial on the flame, and get cooking. Here now, eight essential Chinese-style hot pot restaurants to try in Los Angeles.Read More
Sit Around a Cauldron of Bubbling Broth at These 8 LA Chinese Hot Pot Restaurants
It’s always a good time to dip meat and veggies into hot broth in LA
1. Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot
Pasadena, CA 91105
The reasonably priced lunch specials and do-it-yourself sauce bar has made this Mongolian-style hot pot specialist a favorite among locals. Select the half-and-half pot for the most balanced experience, and choose from a plethora of proteins including prime rib, kurobuta pork, and New Zealand lamb.
2. Chong Qing YaoMei Hotpot
Pasadena, CA 91105
Mouth-numbing, Sichuan-style broths are the specialty at this Old Pasadena spot. Heat levels range from mild to extra spicy, while mix-ins include beef tongue, pork intestines, and tofu.
3. HaiDiLao Hotpot
Whichever set menu one settles on here, be it seafood-focused or squarely land-based, make sure to order the hand-pulled noodles to go with it. Skilled “noodle dancers” flit to each table, whipping and pulling stretchy balls of dough and plopping the finished product into the hot broth to cook.
4. Jazz Cat Restaurant
Arcadia, CA 91007
With over two dozen soup bases on the menu, this beloved hot pot palace brings together pan-Asian flavors including influences from Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and China. Satisfy carnivorous appetites with the T-Rex option, which means more meat and fewer vegetables.
5. Dong Lai Shun
San Gabriel, CA 91776
This Muslim-Chinese hot pot specialist will suit those who appreciate the slightly musty flavor of lamb. In addition to a variety of mutton cuts including shoulder and chuck roll, are things like duck gizzards and beef tripe. Opt for one of the house-made dipping sauces.
6. Shancheng Lameizi Hot Pot
This Beijing-founded restaurant chain serves up Chongqing-style hot pot, which is famous for its mouth-numbing soup. The half-and-half pot brings balance to the table, with spicy and numbing flavors on one side and rich bone broth on the other. The range of mix-ins runs the gamut from fish balls to pig brains.
7. Boiling Point
This Taiwanese-style hot pot chainlet offers a fool-proof dining experience with individual-sized pots brought to the table with ingredients already cooked and ready to eat. All diners have to do is choose a broth flavor, and the bells and whistles that sound best.
8. Hot Pot, Hot Pot
It’s easy to get a carried away at this Monterey Park standby where hot pot mix-ins are checked off a list, a bit like ordering at dim sum, and arrive as soon as the broth is ready. Softly boiled quails eggs, handmade spinach noodles, and lamb-stuffed dumplings are just a few of the accoutrements available.