SGV: Sichuan Hot Pot at YuTianXia
For Lunar New Year this year, I tried a newish hot pot place in the San Gabriel Valley with friends. The following photos is only a small sampling of what we ate.
After spotting the mini beer barrels in the back, we discovered the Sapporo is only $5.98 per liter. The barrel fits three liters so that’s what we got to start. With 8 people, that’s roughly a glass each. I loved that the keg was wheeled over to our table and we self-served ourselves.
I ordered a few appetizers as we waited for our raw food to come out so we can start cooking. We started with the Sichuan pickles (spicy cucumber salad), Chong Qing noodles and pea noodles. The noodles were identical except the pea noodles had beans. The CQ noodles were also spicier and the table’s favorite.
This hot pot eatery was very fancy. They had chargers to lend to tables, several lucky kitties, even a Pokemon stuffie in the corner of the waiting room. But I was most impressed by the dragon handles of the hot pot. We had two burners at our table so we got four different broths in our two divided pots (yin yang pots). We tried the mild, mild mild spicy, medium spicy and tomato. We were very curious about the difference between mild and mild mild spicy. Since I was at the end of the table with the medium and tomato broths, I mostly ate out of the medium broth which I really enjoyed the depth of its flavor.
It was interesting all the non-meat stuff I ordered came out first. Although we did have spam cut in cutesy hearts, tripe, tendon, shrimp and squid first.
My friends later discovered the joy (and pain) of how spicy the plain tofu can get after a dip in the hot pot. The frozen tofu can especially be deadly if you’re not careful. I loved that the seaweed knots cooked up quickly. Leave the daikon, king oyster mushrooms and lotus root in a bit longer than you would meats.
Besides rice and the prepared noodles, we got rice cakes, the mushroom sampler, bamboo pith (which I described to friends as the inner part of the bamboo and they nicknamed it the bamboo’s soul) and bean curd sheets.
Sadly I wouldn’t get the squid again as it was very fishy smelling. It tasted okay though. Perhaps because I made sure it cooked a little longer in the deadly spicy broths. When the tentacles floated up, we did have a fun “Shape of Water” moment.
The greens came in the shopping cart was so freakin’ adorable. I should have ordered more veggies but we were ready for the meat!
There’s no chicken on the menu.
There are however duck gizzards if you really want poultry.
Instead we had lamb, beef and pork belly. These except the pork belly cooked up very quickly and although we were quite full, that addicting Sichuan spice lured me back to the table.
I do suggest splurging for the sauce station which is an extra $1.50. Although I really liked the broths, the sauces would be helpful with the mild broths like tomato. Plus it’s fun to check out what concoction you could create from the diced up garlic, green onions, chicken broth and more.
I did also get a watermelon juice but regretted it instantly when I saw people got a watermelon pitcher which was actually a hollowed out watermelon with a lone paper umbrella stuck to the top. Aw, how cute.
This entire place is super cute and I can’t wait to bring more friends here. It’s also next to Shanghai No. 1 Seafood so if you’re really into it, you could have dim sum there earlier in the day, wander around the plaza to the dessert shop and then pop back to YuTianXia for hot pot. But no one’s that crazy, right?
YuTianXia Hot Pot250 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776 — (626) 782-7683 © 2018 The Minty