I was in the West Side on Tuesday for a meeting and afterwards I stopped to grab a bite to eat at Shabu Hachi on Olympic. I have had plenty of Shabu Shabu in my life so I opted to try a Japanese dish I hadn’t ever had before, Nabe. Nabe is an assortment of meat and veggies in a hot pot of water. There are several varieties of broth available, miso, soy and chanko which is a spicy bean paste, similar to what is often served with Korean BBQ. I opted for the seafood chanko nabe and along with an order of beef wrapped enoki mushrooms.
The beef wrapped mushroom appetizer came first and was delicious. The beef was hot and wrapped tightly around a large bouquet of enoki mushrooms and the sauce was a sweet teriyaki sauce that complimented the subtle taste of the mushrooms and the salty beef. I washed down the first course with a glass of Calpis, or as it is called in the states, Calpico. Calpis/co is a citrus beverage with milk solids added and despite sounding like “cow piss” it tastes quite good.
My giant pot of raw oysters, scallops, salmon, shrimp, mussels, cabbage, sprouts, noodles, greens, kimchi and broth arrived soon after I finished my appetizer. Alongside my nabe came a bowl of steamed rice and some soba noodles. The waitress turned on the hot plate built into the table and soon the broth began to boil and cook the seafood. I stirred it up nicely and watched it cook, although a couple times the burner turned off and I had to jiggle the power cord and then push the Japanese labeled buttons to turn it back on.
Soon the seafood was cooked through and I began eating the delicious morsels, starting with some tender salmon then moving on to the plump shrimp. The sea scallops looked more like bay scallops, but they were good nonetheless as were the oysters. I don’t particularly like mussels so I actually skipped these.
Once I ate most of the seafood I scooped out a large bowl of the broth with the provided bowl. The broth was savory and spicy and really hit the spot. I took a second full bowl of the broth and after finishing it combined the soba noodles with a bit more broth and ate those as well. My only complaint is that it was too much food for one person and I felt bad for not finishing it. I will definitely go back if I find myself in the area.