Sunday, February 28, 2010

the hot pot formally known as little fat sheep...baaaa

a cold rainy day is the perfect setting for bubbly hot pot! and how serendipitious it was that marie suggested a foodie outing and i counter-suggested with a lunch visit to little fat sheep....that is, until i found out that little fat sheep turned into hot pot, hot pot! which made me do a double take in the rain. when one does a double take as heaven pours down its cats and dogs, it meant getting face whipped with wet hair. *ouch*

the dining area was rather empty since only a few brave souls ventured out to eat during such a tempermentally rainy day. one minute, the skies would open up and a ray of light would touch your face, and the next minute, you get doused with cold water like a cat in heat. man, how happy was i to finally run for cover and settle myself in little mongolia, as the atmosphere suggested with the sheep and yurt wall pictures.

a "yurt" (mongolian shelter).

some "sheeps" (those fluffy things that go baaaa).

the "complimentary appetizer" (cuz you're damn hungry).

while i waited for marie to make her grand entrance, i eavesdropped on a cantonese conversation that was occurring at the next table. it went something like this:

woman: "wasn't this place called little fat sheep?"
man: "yeah it was. now it's called four seasons hot pot."
very old woman: "i think it sounds a lot better now."
woman: "yeah, little fat sheep, little fat sounds like you're eating a baby sheep. that's not good."
very old woman: "besides, who wants to be fat by eating a fat sheep? hahahaha...."

so yes, little fat sheep has renamed itself as "hot pot, hot pot!," but the literal translation of the chinese characters is four seasons hot pot. anyways, everything is still the same, but different.

once marie arrived, we massively ordered more than our bellies could hold. big eyes, small stomaches, fat ass (mine that is)...there's always some over-ordering i suppose. we started off with a ying yang pot that held a regular broth base (for wimps like me) while marie got the "medium" spicy one. i advise you to go moderate with the spice level of your broth. although there's 10 levels to choose from, marie's broth, which was a medium, was quite red with all the dried red chillis floating in it. besides, for a korean gal, she mentioned that her lips stung a bit at the end of the meal. so imagine if you're not thanks. hot cheetos be my spice limit.

if you look closely, both broth bases have herbs floating in it which flavored it deliciously well. there's also a medicinal quality that's emmitted, a smell most familiar to those that grew up drinking eastern style medicine. though traumatic to my nose because of all those icky medicinal brews that i was forced to drink during my childhood, i found the broth to be quite flavorful and pleasant.

we ordered the scallion pancake appetizer which was done quite well here. flakey and crispy rather than soft and soggy. i really liked it a lot...mmm....

we also ordered a ton of things: squid, hand cut noodles, shitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, fish balls, bamboo shoots, beef, and pork kidneys. the massive amount of food we ordered meant it was placed on a push cart which was then set to the side of your table. marie pointed out to me that they reminded her of the carts you see at morgues. ewwww.....

the kidneys were good, but like most delicate innards to be consumed, overcooking them makes them tough/hard/elasticky to eat so you have to be vigilant while cooking them. alas, i was not too vigilant since there was so much going on. it's like korean bbq but with a lot of water and these poor kidneys turned into kidney stones on my side. aigh.

remember, you dump in as much or as little of the items as you can manage cooking because anything boiling in broth too long becomes overcooked or disintegrates to mush. the slow paced nature of this meal allowed the gorge fest to last for two hours. we were done when our hair smelled like broth and our bellies were bursting from overeating.

anyways, whether you're called "prince" or "the artist formally known as prince," or "little fat sheep" or "hot pot, hot pot!" (with the exclamation point), it is still a wonderfully delicious place to stay warm inside and out while you stuff face. thank you marie for your lovely company!

Hot Pot, Hot Pot!
120 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-1089

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Hot Pot, Hot Pot! in Los Angeles


  1. Thank you for being there for my first Chinese hotpot. And then also, introducing me to cheeky pastries. :) I also got Vietnamese coffee at Lee's Sandwiches after and it was flippin' GOOD (I got my first banh mi, too!).

  2. Hot pot is definitely good during rainy days! I'm soooo sick of it, though. I hang out with a lot of Chinese people, and they seem to have hot pot in their brains!

  3. What's in a name?! This place looks bloody fantastic. I'd be all over the hand cut noodles. Mmm!

  4. marie- yay! glad you liked the coffee and whoo hoo, your banh mi cherry was popped! thanks for being such great company and for giving me a good excuse to try this place out...finally!

    sophia- are these chinese folks from hong kong? i know when i used to study there that it's a social eating preference. any restaurant recommendations from your hot pot overkill?

    gastronomer- the noodles were pretty yummy. gotta watch out for them though because they turned mushy quick.

  5. Dude, i just had this last week with some friends! They will let you take the broth home and it makes an awesome base for instant ramen.

  6. am i crazy? i prefer little fat sheep as the name. hehe. looks delish - except for the kidney stones!

  7. afro- good idea with taking the broth home! i'll remember that the next time i hot pot.

    yjs- i liked the name little fat sheep too. it sounds cute doesn't it? it's a little "different" like "demi" with a long "e" sound at the end.

  8. haha, no, we do home-style hot pots! Every Chinese people I know have a hot pot of their own. They go to the Chinese markets and get beef, vegetables, pork, fish balls, dumplings, noodles, etc and cook it together as a social thing. I just dunk mine in LOTS of chili oil!


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