Mada-Sao is a Sichuan skewers-style hot pot (malatang) restaurant that recently opened in San Diego. We’ve really enjoyed our visits here and it’s become part of our regular rotation.
The restaurant is an extension of Private Kitchens, taking over the spot that formerly housed Liang’s Kitchen. The restaurant specializes in malatang, a Sichuan-style of hot pot where the food is placed on skewers and cooked in a spicy, numbing broth.
The restaurant is equipped with tablets to take your order. In addition to the hot pot, they have many other dishes available, but we mostly come here for the hot pot. A small combo ($16.99) is 25 skewers. A large combo ($26.99) is 40 skewers.
Once you place your order, you go to the front and choose your skewers. When you are done, you hand them off to one of the staff. The kitchen then cooks your food and brings it out when it’s ready.
You also choose the spice level. It can get quite spicy and since Mr. K has a fairly low spice tolerance, we always order the mild. The spicy broth uses a blend of peppers including Sichuan peppercorns, which produces a numbing like sensation.
There is quite a lot to choose from. We usually get a lot of the meat skewers, especially the beef. All the meat has been marinated and the beef is very tender with hints of cumin and other spices.
We find that the small combo, along with an extra order of rice (for the husband) and noodles (for me), is just the right amount for 2 people.
During another visit, we were feeling ambitious and went for the large combination. It ended up being a little too much food for just the two of us.
Overall, we’ve really enjoyed our visits here. The staff is extremely friendly and will happily explain and introduce new customers to the concept. The ingredients offered are fresh and good quality and the price is very reasonable. We usually spend around $20 (before tip) and leave happy and full.
Tip: They currently offer an additional discount if you pay with cash instead of credit card.
4681 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111