Tasty Pot, a restaurant chain that specializes in individual Taiwanese-style hot pots, softly opened in San Diego last week. The chain is originally from the Bay Area and being a huge fan of Taiwanese-style hot pot, I have been impatiently waiting for this restaurant to open.
While there are other restaurants in San Diego that offer Taiwanese hot pot, I’ve found them to be disappointing. But the Tasty Pot chain has done really well, so I had high hopes.
This is the cute mascot right outside the door. I wanted to take him home with me. They have an enlarged image of the wings on one of the walls inside, but there were too many people standing in front of it to get a good photo.
The place was completely full when we arrived. We only waited about 10 minutes for a table but by the time we left, the line was out the door. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person excited for this new restaurant opening.
The menu includes 12 hot pot choices, along with drinks, desserts and add-ons. Lunch is $1 cheaper than dinner and also includes a complimentary green or black tea drink.
Each pot comes with a choice of rice or glass noodles.
Cheesy Milk Hot Pot
This was Mr. K’s pot. We’ve always been a fan of the “milk” pots. When made right, the soup tastes like a thin chowder. This pot was brimming with different ingredients, which I really loved seeing. Most of the ones in San Diego are either not as full or stuffed mainly with napa cabbage to look full. But here, there was a good amount of everything described on the menu: pork slices, soft tofu, fish fillet, quail eggs, fish cake, mushrooms, imitation crabmeat and more.
I was impressed at how tender the pork slices were. Usually the meat slices are my least favorite part of hot pot as they tend to overcook quickly in the broth, but these didn’t.
I thought the milk broth wasn’t quite as flavorful as other versions I’ve had, with a little too strong of a milk flavor, but Mr. K really enjoyed it.
I also loved seeing the cheese melt as the pot starting boiling.
Stinky Tofu Hot Pot
I can never resist ordering this one as it contains quite a few of my favorite Taiwanese ingredients. It’s not the prettiest to look at but if you grew up enjoying fermented tofu, it can be quite satisfying. I did find the portion to be a little small compared to the milk hot pot.
I really like the design for these hot pots. Not only is it attractive, but it also encloses the flame better.
The tofu pieces actually didn’t have that strong of a flavor and without much of a smell either. Most of the fermented taste was in the broth which made it quite bold and hearty. As a personal preference, I think I would have preferred the ingredients in the Seafood pot more, so next time I will probably get that one and then perhaps to a few add-ons.
They also have dipping sauces for your hot pot, but we didn’t need or use any since everything was so flavorful.
Overall, we had a really good visit here. I am very eager to come back and work my way through the other hot pots and am thrilled that there is finally a Taiwanese hot pot place like the ones I remember from Taiwan. Since it is soft opening, there were a few hiccups with the servers, but things were generally smooth. During soft opening they also have a 15% off promotion. Tasty Pot also has a second location planned for San Diego to open soon in Mira Mesa.
4698 Convoy St c107, San Diego, CA 92111