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Hot Pot at Hot Pot Hot Pot

Rolls of meat.

The world of hot pot is a divided place. I am not simply referring to the fact that most hot pot spots support the idea of dividing the pot into two broths, but also to the fact that some offer all-you-can-eat and some go a la carte. Hot Pot Hot Pot, a ridiculously named restaurant in Monterey Park, is on the a la carte side of the pot, but I did not let this get in the way of checking the place out.

We split our pot, as all good lovers do. She went with the rejuvenation broth and I chose spicy. Then it came time to order the meats. We went with sliced beef and sliced lamb, as well of a slew of other random ingredients that are made for hot pot, like taro, lotus root and a bunch of vegetables I had no need for.

Meat in the front, meat in the back.

The spicy broth was as delicious as expected, and went perfectly well with the meat. Then, of course, there was the make-your-own dipping sauce, which had all of the usual ingredients (sesame paste, garlic, etc.), but nothing especially unique. At this point, Hot Pot Hot Pot did a good job of meeting my hot pot expectations, but nothing beyond that. Yet, what surprised me was when I had myself a taste of the rejuvenation broth. Unlike the usual plain and empty non-spicy broths, this was rich in flavor and yet refreshing at the same time. If there was any differentiator here, the rejuvenation broth was it.

Hot Pot Hot Pot is a solid place to cook your own meats in a broth, but didn’t offer much that felt special to me. Nonetheless, if you’re in the neighborhood you won’t be disappointed.