Private Kitchens recently opened in San Diego, replacing Zisu Indian Market. The restaurant specializes in a Chengdu-style hot pot with skewers (Chuanchuan Xiang). The Indian Market signage is still on the building, with a smaller “Private Kitchens” sign in the window.
I’m not very familiar with this style of hot pot, but wanted to check it out after reading some of Kirk’s posts. With all the rain we’ve been having, it’s been perfect weather for hot pot.
When you enter the restaurant, you grab a basket and fill it with the skewers you want. The prices range between $.50 to $1.50 per skewer. When you’re done choosing, you hand your basket over to one of the servers at the front. You get to choose a spiciness level for the broth and either regular or glass noodles. A small pot of broth costs $3.99 and a large one costs $4.99.
They prepare your broth, noodles, skewers and then bring it out to you.
The broth is a numbing spicy broth. We chose a mild level of spice since Mr. K can’t eat very spicy. It was still a little too spicy for him but I thought it was a good level and I enjoyed the slight numbing sensation on my lips after.
The skewers were pretty standard. My favorite was the beef, which had been marinated in spices and was quite tender.
Overall, we had a decent meal here. I don’t know how this compares to the ones in Chengdu and I can’t see us coming here too often, but if I’m in the mood for a spicy hot pot, it’s a nice option.
5440 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117