I'm not saying that Boiling Point's opening of their second Irvine restaurant mere steps away from the first one was planned to coincide with the coldest week we've had all year, but boy is it good timing. This kind of weather is made for their hot pots.
If you missed my review of the first Irvine store (which is still there), here's a summary:
Boiling Point's hot pots are shabu shabu for the lazy. Everything you want and need--veggies, protein and a freshly cracked egg--is there already cooked to be picked off one-by-one in a simmering vessel heated by Sterno. All that needs to be done is to dip the still-steaming pieces into chile oil, garlic soy or a garlic chile paste more salty than spicy, then pair it with rice. And then there's the broth, a liquid to be sipped by a shallow ladle. The brew gets more complex the more the liquid reduces. The thinly sliced lamb melts into it, adding its own unique gamy stink; the egg poaches into amoeba-shaped ovals; and the Chinese pickled greens perk up the in-between bites.
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The beef hot pot has complex spicing and corn on the cob; and the seafood hot pot comes with peel-and-eat shrimp. A kimchi hot pot has sliced pork. Curry-heads should flock to a fish ball soup so potent with curry power it'd make an Indian wince. When the air is particularly chilly, the pots billow as though they were equipped with dry-ice machines.
The second store, which is next door to Kaya, apparently take reservations two hours in advance.
14120 Culver Dr Ste A, Irvine, CA 92604, (949) 651-6207, bpgroupusa.com