March 03, 2009

Boiling Point: Steaming Individual Hot Pots

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I've recently discovered many new delicious eateries in San Gabriel Valley with the help of our trusty Taiwanese friend, Danny C. One of the first places that we met a few months ago was Boiling Point, a simple shop that serves individual style hot pots filled with vegetables, meats, and sometimes culinary surprises. We came here on a bright Saturday noon anticipating the $8.99 bowls of piping hot all-in-one meals. It all stays hot with a powerful sterno can that keeps a healthy flame beneath the bowl. If you're sensitive to hot things, you may want to eat very slowly, or take pieces of food out and cool them on your rice. As a Korean who needs soups and broths to be boiling hot, I can take this, but the average person may not. You can pluck ingredients out with your chopsticks and dip them in a number of savory sauces: garlic, spicy oil, and a soy base.

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Oh boy, isn't that a beauty? I actually haven't had the larger hot pot varieties like Mon Land, Lugi, Little Sheep, and Cocary, but I find that Boiling Point is an easy entry into the hot pot genre.
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I wasn't really feeling the intestines and stinky tofu that afternoon, so I settled on the more approachable Seafood hot pot, which came with whole shrimp, imitation crab, vegetables, and a whole egg. I had it spiced at a medium because I didn't want to be overwhelmed with chili. However, I found that even the "spicy" level isn't too hard to eat if you're used to it.
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It was great slurping on the boiling broth while dipping the ingredients in the various sauces. The fire kept the soup hot and slowly started to form a delicious stock with all of the ingredients continuing to cook. We also added in some noodles, which got soft and stringy while soaking up more broth.
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Christine and Danny ordered the House Special hot pot, which comes with thin beef slices, pig intestines, and a load of stinky tofu. The earthy stinky tofu flavor pervaded the broth, but it wasn't as harsh as I thought it would be. A stinky tofu newbie like myself would find this is a pretty approachable start to the adventurous Taiwanese favorite. Also, if you want to add in a few more items, they're usually a reasonable couple dollars each, like the pork blood rice cake we had on one occasion.

Later you can request to turn off the heat so you can enjoy the last few spoonfuls without getting scorched. The whole meal is quite filling and you'll be satisfied for hours, especially if it's cold out. Unfortunately, with the spring approaching and the weather heating up, you may not have the desire to come here and eat boiling hot food. However, if the thermometer ever dips, you couldn't do much worse than a bowl of hot pot at Boiling Point. Dinner prices are $9.99.

Since my first visit, I've had the House Special hot pot and while the stinky tofu and intestines make me eat hesitantly, it was still delicious. I recommend either that one or the Seafood one I had on the previous visit.

Boiling Point
153 Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 288-9876

15 comments:

MyLastBite said...

These look so good... especially since I'm trying to get a head cold!

burumun said...

Mm that does look good. I should go before this LA weather starts getting hotter!

This could also be MY intro to stinky tofu :)

choisauce said...

I think I dreamt about this AGAIN last night after eating it. lol. so good!!! and that dduk-like pork blood. yummy!!

Susan said...

yummmmmm! i've heard of this place. i wish i could teleport to the 626, i HATEHATEHATE the 10.

Marie said...

Ummm as a fellow Korean, I say YES! I need to try this place asap. I've always wanted to try Chinese hot pots, but didn't really have a specific place in mind. Thanks for the FYI!

Eileen said...

Ohhhh I love this place! Stinky tofu... yum! The stinkier the better haha....

Danny said...

You make me want to have some RIGHT now! =P

Now, to see if you REALLY enjoy stinky tofu. We need a stinky tofu crawl!

mattatouille said...

Jo: those hot pots ARE good, you should try them.

Fiona: yeah, go there right now, it's kinda chilly these nights. And don't worry, it's not TOO spicy.

Christine: yeah, that pork blood was very much like a soondae dduk :) Thanks for wanting to come here in the first place, I forgot to give you credit for that.

Susan, after 7 or so the traffic going east isn't that bad. You and albert should check this place out if you're feeling adventurous. Thank you so much for the food tonight. That salad with the Doritos pieces was pretty money.

Marie: yeah, you should try this place! Koreans (like myself and Christine) love it because it's so hearty and brothy. It reminds me a lot of budaejigae but without ghetto meats.

Eileen: I haven't tried REALLY stinky tofu yet..I don't think I'll be able to handle it. Apparently there's a place nearby called Lee's that has the most intense variety.

Danny: read comment above. You need to take us to Lee's. And we need you to eat all those great organ meats at Western Soondae :)

Ezra said...

YES! Amazing.

This looks great.

love ezra

glutster said...

nice food porn, as always :)

Jazz Cat on Valley is my mini hot pot haven, especially their 'chinese medicinal herbs' broth.

Anyways, your roots is where it's at man, slowly discovering that myself. And J. Gold would be a fine guide along with being awkwardly fun, but like you said, let's not fall into total fanaticm with him :D

eatdrinknbmerry said...

Matt, thanks for the review. I've driven by this place many times. And I 'think' it took over this beef noodle soup/stinky tofu place that my family and I used to go to. it was very good and we were bummed to see it go. i'll have to try this place out.

i wonder how tasty a korean/taiwanese fusion like STINKY SOON DOOBOO would be hahaha.

mattatouille said...

EZ: thanks for that bit.

glutster: i always say, one can be better the Gold. Do it.

dylan: stinky soontubu? I wouldn't eat it. haha. I can only take so much stinky.

Danny said...
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Danny said...

I'm down for Lee whenever! It's a total hole in the wall for those that want to check it out. Valley/Atlantic. Next to the Starbucks.

mattatouille said...

I'm scared of Lee's, if I can barely handle the stinky tofu at Indian and even Boiling Point, but I will try it some time.