Lunch at Shabu Pong Dang actually began as a visit to a local meat and three (the Rexall Grill in Duluth) that ended abruptly when I walked in the door and found that the fried chicken was not on the menu board. This led to the crisis question of “now what am I going to eat?”, followed by driving around looking for something interesting. Lured into a strip mall on Pleasant Hill by the hilariously named “What the Pho?”, I saw that Shabu Pong Dang had recently opened and decided to give it a try, instead. They had only been open about two weeks and the restaurant was about half full, as I entered.
In addition to the tables where I was sitting, there were “booths” (which were actually open-roofed rooms) that sat four or six along one wall and, apparently, more tables in the back as people kept walking past where I was. I had a challenge ordering as the menu had very few English words and not enough pictures, but ended up with the chicken and beef combo. As opposed to the table-top hot plate at Splendid Shabu, the broth was heated on an electric hot plate, through a hole in the table top. First to arrive was the “plate full of stuff”:
corn, and egg, crispy tofu skin, half a hot dog, two kinds of mushrooms, greens and two or three things that I did not recognize. I ultimately ate the corn, the hot dog and some of the greens. As best as I could tell, they only offer one type of broth, but they brought me a dish of hot sauce to add to the mix.
You can see by the time all of the meat arrived, I had a table full of food. The broth, itself, was rather tame, but the addition of the chili oil made it as spicy as I wanted. Altogether, a tasty, but pricey lone wolf lunch.