Remember the scene in 'Lost In Translation' where Charlotte and Bob are at an intriguing restaurant with boiling pots of water and a huge menu they were unable to differentiate between photos of red circles? When the waitress comes to take the order, Charlotte in total exasperation says "I can't tell the difference" while Bob helplessly points to two random circles on the menu. If you don't remember this scene or haven't seen the movie - rent it this weekend, it's brilliant and funny! I mean it - drop all your plans and watch this movie! Anyway, back to the red circles... What they were ordering were razor thin slices of marbled beef delicately placed on huge plates. It's called Shabu Shabu which means "swish swish" - the technique required to cook the beef.
Last night we decided to try this for ourselves at Shabu Shabu House in Little Tokyo. We each had our own pot of boiling water to cook the beef, noodles, and assorted vegetables in. Let me warn you - twenty four pots of boiling water creates a lot of moisture in the air (despite measures to suck up the air in a huge contraption above the bar). If you usually curl your hair, don't bother! My sister left with two flat plaits at either side of her face! On the positive side - free facials while you eat! Anyway, back to the food. Cook your beef for one second if you like your meat rare, two if you like it medium, and three if you like it well done. Then dip it in one of two sauces provided and eat over rice with your choice of veggies and condiments. Shabu Shabu = Yum Yum!
Artfully arranged vegetables, noodles, and tofu
The beef is black angus ribeye and sliced to order, available in small (ten slices) or large (fifteen slices).
Japanese food can be pretty healthy so if you're feeling guilty about that there's a bakery across the way!
Amy and Cindy (check out Cindy's gorgeous Coach boots!)
Amy's doing her best to look like a little girl. She's wearing a vintage dress that looks very similar to what we used to wear as children...
After Shabu Shabu we stopped by the Alcove for some take-out dessert. Red Velvet Cheesecake hit the spot - 'tis the season!
The owl on the tree was smaller than the owl around my neck! I enjoy being adorned like a Christmas tree year round!