Swish Swish! Mizu 212: Amazing Japanese Shabu
By Cheryl Moana Marie
Shabu Shabu here we come. For me, this is the ultimate when it comes to Japanese cuisine. I have butterflies in my tummy just thinking about it. One of my favorite places to indulge in is Mizu 212, located in West Los Angeles. They do Shabu beautifully.
Upon entering you see that the mahogany counters are lined with Chinese hot pots called shuan yang rou, with tall bar stools sandwiched beneath. All while Electronica music fills the air. They even have hooks for your handbags placed below the countertops! Incredibly clean with excellent service. The experience of Shabu, which means to swish is similar to sukiyaki however, is less sweet.
Shuan yang rou’s are filled with water and boiled with a small piece of kombu (kelp) swishing it around for flavor. Plates lined with gorgeously thin slices of fresh meat are served to you. My choice of meat is the Kobe beef but you also have the choice of shrimp, lamb or chicken. A secondary plate to follow filled with baby bok choy, Napa cabbage, Chrysanthemum leaves, tofu, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, enoki & shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts & udon noodles or yam noodles. It comes with dipping sauces that I ask them to prepare for me. Daikon, Thai chilies, garlic, yuzu or chili oil are there on the side for your liking. Two small round dishes are generously filled with citrus ponzu and goma(sesame)sauce. Also, served with a large bowl of gohan(steamed rice), or brown rice if you prefer.
Here comes the fun part, you get to cook it yourself. I usually have a raw egg, which I love to dip my meat in prior to putting it into the pot. Istart off with the udon noodles, one slice of tofu and three slices of meat. Swishing them around, placing them in my dipping sauces for a bit while I work on eating the noodles. Hot oil skimming tools are there to get rid of the fat from the water making my Shabu Shabu even tastier. When finished you can make porridge by putting your rice into the water and cooking it to the texture of risotto. It adds a nice finish & fills you up quite nicely. It goes well with Niigori(unfiltered sake)sweet & smooth taste or Sapporo Beer. Whatever you decide the combination is delicious! Always a fun food adventure anyone will enjoy. Happy swish swish….