Contrary to the title of this article, the restaurant that Mylene and I tried out three days ago, had nothing to do with baby lambs in a hot pot. It was in fact one of the most amazing food experiences ever!
Mylene has done a great job in expanding my food palette by taking me to places all over San Diego and even San Francisco that have some great food. Not to say that I never use food reviews / Yelp / Zagat or the like but I’d rather hear it from a person who has been to the particular establishment.
Anyhow, Little Sheep Hot Pot, established in 1999 in China has only been stateside for 7 years (first restaurant in LA in 2003). Although a relatively young restaurant, their concept of a DIY (do-it-yourself) hot pot is simply amazing. Now, I understand that several other places have done this as well, but can you confidently say that the ingredients used were fresh? That was the main part of my meal that I enjoyed.
When we arrived, Mylene and I really looked liked 2 lost sheep (pun intended). Thankfully, a waiter happily greeted us and seated us. Without even asking, he brought out 2 glasses of water and tea to get us started. While looking at the menu, we were both very overwhelmed and did not know where to start. However, we were aware of the $9.95 Lunch special that they had going on so naturally the both of us inquired about it. It turned out that we had to do the following:
1. Pick our soup (regular, spicy, half and half)
2. Pick out meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb)
The vegetables and other sides were already taken care of! FREAKING AMAZING!
When the food arrived, it was up to us on how we wanted to cook the food. Mylene took her time and put in things that she wanted to whereas I immediately put everything in (meat, potatoes, fish balls, mushrooms, tofu, bok choy) and let the soup do its cooking magic. Overall the taste was GODLY! I could not stop eating even after I got full. After experiencing this, Mylene and I will definitely be taking more trips out here. Definitely a place I would recommend!
Location: A little farther than where I usually go when I’m in the Clairemont area. And the parking lot looks very deserted that it may confuse first timers. (3/5)
Customer Attention: Upon entering, there is a waiter ready to seat you and once seated, the waiters / waitresses are always smiling and do everything they can to make you enjoy your visit. Unlike many other asian restaurants, one thing I really loved was the fact that I felt very welcomed in their establishment and not awkward to eat their for the first time (5/5)
Food Preparation: Not only is the pot where the soup is large but it is even designed to have to different soups in the same pot (the pot was split in half with no leaking noticeable- it was amazing to me!)! On top of that, the meat / sides where artistically arranged on a plate which allowed the attendee to recognize their ingredients for their soup. AND ON TOP OF THAT, the stove on which the soup boils, it not gas-powered like it is at typical asian restaurants,it is an actual digital stove! (5/5)
Taste: I really can’t review this section considering that I was the one in charge of the cooking. However I can say that the marinade for the meats were perfect and I enjoyed every part of the soup including the herbs and vegetables that I would not usually eat! (5/5)
Overall: Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot is definitely a place that I would bring folks you enjoy great customer service and great food. Not only is everyone very friendly but you feel very welcomed upon arrival. The food is marinated perfectly and is really up to you on how you want it cooked. I am going to give this place an A because of all these reasons. For more information head over to:
4718 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117
As a quick note, this review was done based on the $9.95 Lunch special. Dinner time is known to get busy and pricing may be subject to change.