San Gabriel: Hot Pot at Lu Gi
A few weeks ago we had record breaking low temperatures driving people seeking warm and comforting food. I opted for hot pot. Lu Gi is one of the popular spots in the San Gabriel Valley with two locations. We went to the original one on Valley Boulevard. You have a choice of broths. We decided to do a split pot with spicy and a plainer Napa cabbage broths. Our server had recommended the pickled Napa cabbage broth but we thought it’d be nice to have a mellow broth since we knew the spicy one would get even spicier.
We opted to do all-you-can-eat versus a la carte ordering. There are two levels of AYCE. We stuck with the moderate $19.99 per person. The premium one was $2 more but didn’t have any items we really wanted.
My favorite things for hot pot are tofu and mushrooms so I ticked off all the variations. Friends chose the meats, corn and other vegetables.
At this location, you can pick out your sauces from the sauce station. I chose sesame, chive and garlic sauces. We also got a dish of satay for the table.
The best things turned out to be the shrimp and tendon. I liked the pork but sadly the thin slices were stuck to bits of plastic that we had to fight to get off before dunking the meats in the broths. The beef and lamb went in more smoothly.
We saved our noodles for last though I admittedly have to eat hot pot with rice along the way breaking one of those unspoken hot pot rules. Some believe you shouldn’t have any fillers so you can eat more. We tallied the dishes a la carte with the a la cart pricing versus the all-you-can-eat price and I think we came out winners at the end. I was so full that the only way to combat it was a shot of Fernet-Branca right away– available at the nearest craft bar a few miles away.
With so many hot pot places in the SGV, most likely I would not return to this location. Parking was difficult in the tiny lot and I’d like to try a hot pot place that does a combination pot and sizzling pan to BBQ meats.
Lu Gi Restaurant539 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776 — (626) 457-5111 © The Minty 2013