Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Heat at Jazz Cat Café

I am lucky enough to have friends who introduce me to new and wonderful fooding excursions; one of the more unique outings I've taken this summer was to Jazz Cat Café, a stylin' modern Taiwanese hotpot restaurant. As with other hotpot places, a meal at Jazz Cat is one you get to cook yourself, but the food provided in the meals is a plentiful spread of all manner of good things, and each person has her own personal pot.

At a table of ten, those of us in the middle of the table were sweating up a storm before long, as each of us had a boiling pot of soup directly in front of us. This would be a wonderful choice for a cold winter day! As it was, the food was worth enduring the heat: broth was picked from a wide selection of soup flavors, meat or seafood could be chosen to go with the broth, and then all meals came with a heap of leafy vegetables, fresh fish ball paste, a raw egg, several kinds of squash, a ball of fish eggs, tofu, and more (all hidden under the meat in the photo below). Even if one was not attracted to some of the items on the platter, there was more than enough food to satisfy any eater.

I ordered the basic miso/creamy broth, which was good but simple; next time I would order a spicy or thai broth to add more flavor to the plain veggies and meat.

To top off the enjoyable eating, the fire under the pot is provided by a lump of what one fellow diner called "pink kryptonite"* - how often do you get to have a meal heated by gelatinous flourescent pink clumps? Just too fun. Here's a blurry pic of the kryptonite before it gets lit on fire:

It gets packed at dinner time, even in the heat of the summer, so get there early if you can! Thanks foodie friends.

Jazz Cat Café
640 W. Valley Blvd. Ste. A
Alhambra, CA 91803

*By pink kryptonite, I did not mean to make reference to this Supergirl storyline, but it's kinda funny!

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