Tabu Shabu: a new restaurant where playing with your food is a good thing

Tabu Shabu: a new restaurant where playing with your food is a good thing

May 23, 2012, OCRegister.com

Tabu Shabu, the modern hot-pot lunch and dinner spot is making waves with locals who were reportedly willing to wait two hours to be the first to dine during Grand Opening weekend in mid-April. Premium thin meats like Kobe short rib and pork shoulder along with fresh local produce offered in three savory broth choices, topped with homemade sauces make this a fun, interactive experience for patrons. An array of cold sakes and 100 oz. “Beertubes” await guests.

More than five years ago, Jeff Chon took ownership of a declining Newport Beach establishment known by locals as, “The Alley” Restaurant and Bar. He has since restored the establishment as a local hotspot while keeping its historic charm. Ready to put his own stamp on a new place, Chon decided on the Shabu concept so he could bring something new to the Eastside of Costa Mesa. Together with fellow partners Christian Fernandez and Sol An, the team delivers a fun-filled dining experience, teaching even the most novice Shabu diners to become Shabu chefs by the time they leave. When asked about his newest venture, Chon remarked: “Tabu Shabu represents a new trend in healthy dining with a truly unique interactive experience. We just want people to have fun with their food, hence our tagline.”

Located on 17th Street (in the Pancakes R Us Shopping Center), this 33-seat space was designed by French architect, Luc Peltier, and focuses on eco-friendly modern finishes and smooth curvature built into the ceiling and the polished concrete bar. Local Costa Mesa, surf-street artist Dean Bradley, stamped his signature on the establishment with his first chalk installation reflecting the influence of contemporary art and hip surf culture rooted in the area.