I agree with you about VALUE of a meal. My suggestion for Shabu Shabu is a new gem I found in Santa Ana called Shabu Shabu Bar. It's like no other Shabu Shabu place I have tried and you get large portions for competitive prices. Check out my review of Shabu Shabu Bar:
***An Edgy new Shabu Shabu place hidden between a Chipotle on their right and a L&L Hawaiian BBQ on their left.***
As you walk in, you're shocked by the beautiful decor and hip music. The attractive staff and upbeat atmosphere makes this definitely the "IT" place to eat!
1st time Shabu Shabu guests are forever ruined by the fresh handmade spicy cheese gyoza's, the high quality meats, large plates of organic vegetables, and delicious healthy sauces. Even their water is Bionic; filtered and pH-balanced to the water within our bodies.
Experienced Shabu addicts would be surprised by their goma (sesame) sauce and may even confuse their sauce for watered down peanut sauce. On the contrary, guests are invited to grind their freshly roasted sesame seeds before goma sauce is added to the sauce bowl. Unlike most other Shabu places, they do NOT add any peanut butter to thicken their sauce. Their goma sauce really is strictly sesame sauce and their ponzu is truly a fresh citrus based soy sauce.
In addition to their sauces, their vegetable plates are beautifully arranged and incredibly large! These vegetable plates include napa cabbage, bok choy, enoki and shitake mushrooms, tofu, spinach, sweet white corn, carrots, along with udon and clear rice noodles.
Vegetarians would easily be happy with just that veggie plate, but there are special vegetarian plates that include even more... such as Japanese pumpkin slices, snow peas, and vegetable gyoza's in addition to the standard veggie plates.
Now for carnivores like myself, the ribeye is fantastic! However, I've tried their Kurobuta - Berkshire pork which is equally tasty. Poultry and seafood lovers will enjoy the Jidori - free range chicken slices, white tiger shrimp, jumbo sea scallops, large mussels, and yummy catch of the day.
For those high-end carnivores, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy some Prime, Japanese Kobe, and the exclusive Japanese Wagyu flown in from Japan!
What makes this place even more unique is their RARE Sake Library that is hand-selected by their Sexy Owner who serves only the best sake's from Japan. Unlike most house sakes, Shabu Shabu "Bar" House Sake is smooth and delicious!
On the rare occasion when a guest has a chance to speak with the Sexy Owner, you'll find out that the name of this place is actually Shabu Shabu "Bar." Although their sign may appear with a large S and Habu Habu twice, the right half of the S symbol holds the subtle black bar where it gets their name.
If you did not save any room for dessert, then you will miss out on their Green Tea and rare Kuro Goma (Black Sesame) ice cream. Mochi fans should not miss out on the assortment of Strawberry, Mango, Vanilla, Chocolate, Green Tea, and Kona Coffee mochi ice cream!!!
What more could a guest want from a Shabu Shabu place? Whether your dining alone, as a couple, or in a party, the Shabu Shabu "Bar" team makes you feel welcome and special. For us average joe's, it's especially nice to get served by their extremely attractive servers! Unfortunately, I am unable to remember all their names, but Kat, Vivien, Sara, and Anne come to mind. The guys are good looking too; Geamore is simply hilarious!
Before I forget, for those who love hot and spicy, you must try a "Hot Shot!" Apparently, it was created during their Grand Opening After Hours Party! Wish I was lucky enough to have received an invite to that party... Maybe I'll get invited to their next one... Until then, I'll just party with them during regular business hours.
It's okay to disagree and I'm sure you're more of a Boston/NY thin style pizza fan, but Sicilia's does a great job with their sauce and stuff crust pizza. I have to respectfully disagree with all your "sucks" and say that they are pretty good for imitation Chicago Style pizza.
I second that review! The combo of Central Kitchen and the Enormous Room is a winning combination! Steak frites are delicious with a good red wine.. Relax, eat, and converse! Afterwards, go upstairs to the Enormous Room to dance off those calories and laugh the night away!
Phillipe's Original is simply it! They focus on the food in hand and flavor in your mouth. The price is right and making it over a 100 years says it enough! Houston's is good, but cannot be considered great in comparison!
Lahaina Grill is simply delicious! The Chef's Seafood Tasting dinner paired with their wines is a must have! You will not be disappointed if you love fresh seafood prepared eloquently both visually and delectably. The appetizer sampling excites your taste buds for more while the main course sampling satisfies them. But it's not over yet... The dessert sampler is sinfully delightful especially the triple berry pie! Trust me, it's ALL THAT and THEN SOME!