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.
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.