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Swish Swishin’ at Orange County’s Newest Shabu Restaurant [ADVENTURE]

Tabu Shabu Shabu Costa Mesa

Last week Rudeluv and I had the opportunity to finally eat for FOODBEAST without the pesky and annoying company of our publisher Elie. Good thing this opportunity came up on his bowling night. Seriously, the guy has a bowling night.

We were happy to make the measly 5 minute drive from our HQ offices to Tabu Shabu — a new Shabu Shabu restaurant that just opened in Costa Mesa, CA. Rudy had the opportunity to try Shabu for the first time and I was excited to compare this establishment with the many others that have popped up in recent years, as well as compare it my mother’s home rendition of Shabu Shabu.

Never heard of Shabu Shabu? That’s okay, we don’t judge here at FOODBEAST. If you do know, just skip onto the next paragraph. Shabu Shabu is a Japanese meal similar to Sukiyaki or Chinese Hot Pot. You’re given raw meats and vegetables and you cook them in a personal pan of boiling water. Sounds a bit bland at first, but the beauty behind the preparation is the speed at which items are cooked, the fresh ingredients and the sauces to pair with it. Typically, customers are given a ponzu (can be a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and citrus juice) and a mustard sauce. But for me, I can’t get enough of the ponzu, FOR EVERYTHING.

Outside of the nondescript shopping center (boasts Pancakes R US as the anchor) – Tabu Shabu gets it done from the brand perspective. Great interior, over-staffed (which is nice for a new restaurant working out the kinks) and clean branding. When we got asked what we wanted to try, obviously we pushed for a sampling of everything and from the picture above you can tell that the spread was a plentiful.

Tabu Shabu Beef Cuts

Beef, beef and more beef. We got to try all 3 types of beef available at Tabu including the certified angus ribeye (rudy’s favorite), washimi kobe short rib (the american style kobe beef) and the prime marbled rib eye (my favorite). It was definitely nice to have a sampling of different types of beef to compare in one sitting, since most of the time you pick one and immediately scarf it down.

We also got to try the kurobuta pork shoulder, brown Mexican shrimp, jumbo scallops and vegetarian options. Its hard to steer me away from the beef (get it?), but these other options won’t disappoint. Typically, I’m still hungry after devouring the meat/veggie portion of most shabu meals, which allows boosts my excitement for the noodle soup at the end of the meal. Using the broth from which you have just cooked all your meat/veggies, throw some noodles into the boiling water and BAM, insta-meal ender. Pictured below:

Tabu Shabu Noodle Soup

So for our Orange County readers, try to make it out to Costa Mesa for Tabu Shabu. Lunch and Dinner will run you $15-$30 depending on your order. Eat on:

Tabu Shabu
333 E. 17th St. Unit 19
Costa Mesa, CA

By Geoff Kutnick

Geoffrey Kutnick is the King of Soft Serve. Been placing ice cream in soup bowls at the buffet since '87.

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