A few weeks ago I had to take care of some wedding things in LA, which gave me an excuse to partake in some delicious eats with some fellow LA food bloggers. We paid a visit to Flaming Spice, an all you can eat hot pot place.
Danny of Kung Food Panda suggested the place, and since I love trying out new hot pot spots, I readily agreed. Also in our group were Rosa of The Catty Critic, her husband, her new adorable baby, Limer35, FH and my baby brother.
Flaming Spice is located in a fairly new plaza that I haven’t been to before. I liked the water fountain and the hanging lights.
I didn’t take as many pictures as usual and the photos I did take were quick and I didn’t really check the quality of the shots. I was too busy eating and chatting. Plus it was a little hard to maneuver around to take pictures of everything.
There’s quite a few things that make this restaurant stand out from other hot pot places I’ve tried in the past:
Ingredients Arrive in a Dim Sum Cart
I’ve seen AYCE hot pots that are displayed buffet style, and ones where you order and they bring the food to you. I’ve never seen the ingredients being pushed around in dim sum style carts. The servers walk around and when they get to your table, you point to what you want. I was worried that they might not come over frequently enough, but we had no problems getting all our ingredients.
Unique Soup Bases
It’s become a lot more common to see multiple soup base flavors offered, but the ones here were some of the most unique I’ve come across, and with a great depth of flavor. There were around 10 different offerings including oxtail, spicy boiling fish, beer duck, just to name a few.
For each pot, you can choose two bases. For our first pot, we chose spicy fish and oxtail. We were surprised when the pot arrived. Usually you’ll see the pot split down the middle, but here, the oxtail was in a compartment in the center of the pot.
We loved the oxtail broth, which had a great flavor and quite a few pieces of oxtail mixed in. The spicy fish was pretty spicy and I could only handle it in small doses.
We soon learned that you could have the conventional split down the middle if you requested it, so for the second pot, we asked for an even split. This second pot was spicy chicken and oxtail.
Tasty Cold Appetizers and Cooked Dishes
In addition to offering raw hot pot ingredients, there was also a selection of cold appetizers and some hot cooked foods like spicy wontons, steamed egg, scallion pancake, fried buns, and spicy wings.
I was really impressed with the cold appetizers. I’ve seen them at buffets before and they are never very good. But all the ones I tried were well made, much like the offerings you find at chinese restaurants where you choose a few items for around $5-6 to make a plate of cold appetizers.I especially liked the seaweed salad and the spicy beef.
The steamed egg was okay, a little too much soup base. I wasn’t very fond of the chicken wings. The green onion pancakes were pretty good, with lots of thick layers. Since they were sitting out on heated trays though, they weren’t ideal. I didn’t sample the spicy wontons but I heard they were just alright.
Some negatives: I do wish there was a bigger selection of hot pot items. They had all the standard ones, but not much beyond that. Some of the more unique items included clams and oysters. But all the other ingredients were pretty generic. Another odd thing is that they don’t serve beer. Taiwanese style hot pot is usually accompanied with a beer, so I found this surprising. In addition, this place fills up fast. We were able to make a reservation but if you’re entire party is not there within 10 minutes, you lose your reservation.
Overall though, we had a good time. It cost $20 per person for a weekend dinner, which was reasonable. This was definitely one of the better AYCE hot pot places I’ve been to, and definitely the best one I’ve tried in Southern California.
18518 Gale Ave
Industry, CA 91744