SGV: Sichuan Hot Pot at Chengdu Pot
Sichuan-style hot pot is trending heavily in the San Gabriel Valley these days. I hit up Chengdu Pot recently to explore all the delightful broths and filled up on lots of veggies and appetizers.
What I liked about Chengdu Pot is they have their own parking lot which makes it a breeze. Some of the frustrations I have with all the yummy spots in the SGV is the lack of easy parking. We went on the later side on a Sunday afternoon and were immediately seated. Service was very friendly. They offer an all-you-can-eat deal on Sundays but we opted for a la carte.
First you should decide what kind of hot pot broth(s) you want. The five of us decided to get one big half and half — that is one of the broths is spicy, Sichuan soup. You can determine how spicy that gets but we decided to go with just spicy enough. I assume my mouth would still be on fire two weeks later if we had gone with the full blown spice level.
We also opted for two smaller pots; one for tomato broth and one called pickles. We loved the pickles which turned out to be Chinese preserved vegetables.
After ticking off all the necessary things- lamb and other meats, we got down to chowing on appetizers.
Some tips- get all the mushrooms and tofu. These absorb the broths really well. If you don’t want to lose your noodles, put the dried ones in a bowl and pour the broth in. Sometimes I like fishing for mine though which often comes up with more choice bits.
Have fun with the sauce bar. I got a couple of different sauce bowls with a myriad of things like preserved turnips. Others went with chicken essence which I though may have been ground up chicken bouillon (or MSG for the non-squeamish).
The peanuts were very plentiful for an appetizer. Bonus if you take them home!
My favorite appetizer was the seaweed salad which was light and springy. Really wonderful dressing as well.
But if you don’t want to do hotpot (?!?!), you can always get the cooked stuff like spicy wontons. I saw a table eating just cooked noodles from the kitchen.
I enjoyed Chengdu Pot but the quest for more Sichuan-style hot pot continues.(626) 280-7688 © The Minty 2016