Hot Pot Hot Pot | 99 Essential Restaurants 2015

Hot Pot Hot Pot

photo by Danny Liao

For a city that rarely sees temperatures drop below 60 degrees, Angelenos have a surprising appreciation for hot pot, the communal meal that involves dunking various proteins, noodles and vegetables into scalding broth. At Monterey Park’s ever-popular Hot Pot Hot Pot, Mongolian-style hot pot has evolved into a sort of hyperefficient dance. Carts whisk by, filled with everything from sliced squid to beef tendon, flanked by cauldrons of potent bubbling soup at each table’s center, seasoned with scalding amounts of red chile and peppercorns, or a more soothing assortment of medicinal herbs and roots. At the heart of any hot-pot meal is choice, and the best testament to Hot Pot Hot Pot, perhaps, is that here it is hard to make a wrong choice.—Garrett Snyder