My sister informed me about this new Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot in Mira Mesa. She saw it many months ago when we were eating nearby when she, um, was searching for Pokemon characters (or whatever players search for). She came back and tried to google for information about the opening but nothing came up. So we’ve been waiting patiently for this location to open. We were elated when we found out they offered lunch specials here at their new location in Mira Mesa. So sis, V, and I recently visited to try out lunch.
I was over Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot as the food started to taste the same with each visit. Not that this is a bad thing as consistency is a great trait but the soup base started to taste monotonous. Plus, the lunch special price was no longer $9.95. Sis wanted to treat V and her son for lunch. We know the two of them like Little Sheep. It had been awhile since all of us had a meal together so we decided on an adventure to Little Sheep.
Why an adventure you ask. Well, because my sister is a freak and wanted to collect more Pokemon Go crap. I don’t even know how that works. I just know terms like fuel stop, gym fights, pokemon balls, picachu. She refuses to buy more balls to feed or fight the creatures (or whatever) so she has to do pit stops (or whatever) to search for more balls. Cheapness never hurt so much.
I used to visit QT Pot all the time. The owners had gotten to know me quite well that they’d invite me to share a table with them when I was there eating alone. Then life got busy and QT Pot got pushed aside in the back of my mind for whatever reason. They now offer a hot stone rice pot that one of the owners, Jimmy, told me about some time ago. The dish takes a while to prepare in the clay pot so that stirred up childhood memories of watching grams or aunts prepare a similar dish. Continue reading QT POT revisit (& Hot Stone Rice Pot)
LITTLE SHEEP MONGOLIAN HOT POT – SAN DIEGO
I got burnt out on Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot some time ago. It’s a fantastic place to visit when 1) the weather is cold; 2) it’s during lunch & affordable; and 3) you’re craving soup. The only time to really visit, in my opinion, is during lunch when they have a revised $9.95 lunch special. Dinners here are too expensive as you have to order most items a la carte AND you have to pay for the soup base. So the $9.95 deal includes the soup, protein, veggies, and noodles. Not bad right. So sis, V, and I decided to go there for lunch the other day. Continue reading LITTLE SHEEP MONGOLIAN HOT POT ($9.95 LUNCH SPECIAL)
A few things to be happy dancing about: 1) new iPhone6; 2) QT Pot; and 3) cooler weather. You’d think the new iPhone6 would be the highlight of my life right now but it ain’t. I honestly would have to say it’s the cooler weather that’s making this particular blogger the happiest right now.
V told me recently that a new restaurant took over Best Taste of China (or China Chef II) in Mira Mesa. We used to go to Best Taste of China for their AYCE hot pot. So I was curious what possibly took over this Mira Mesa restaurant. V had no idea so I felt it was up to *me*, this slick snooping food blogger, to investigate.
Mom and sis were in town last week. They felt bad that they made me go to Pala Casino the night before to try out the casino’s buffet. So to make up for it, they let me choose a place to eat for dinner the next day.
I honestly didn’t eat the entire next day because the buffet wrecked me (from over stuffing my face). So, I was starving by dinner time. And well, sometimes a girl just craves hot pot. A nice, boiling cauldron of spicy, herby, broth.
Why I craved an AYCE hot pot though is beyond comprehension.
Sticking to my homage to Mira Mesa, I (ironically) totally forgot to blog about this place. I was obsessed w/ this Chinese restaurant b/c they had crazy good lunch deals (kinda like Dede’s in Convoy). And it’s awesome to find a Schezwan restaurant that’s NOT located in Convoy.
Best Taste of China is confusing b/c they are also called China Chef II. What’s the difference?
China Chef II is the more Americanized version of their food and what they call New York Style Chinese Food on their website. They offer combo plates for $4.99 or so. I think it’s mostly served Sam Woo style – in a heat lamp based buffet section (I’ve never tried it so I’m not sure).
Best Taste of China is their more authentic menu. They have a special lunch menu with items ranging from $4.99/$5.99/$6.99.
– Lunch menu $4.99 / $5.99 / $6.99
11am-3p, Mon-Fri, CASH ONLY, free jasmine rice and soup, Buy 3 get 1 free
As you can see, the $6.99 has the seafood and lamb items (which tend to be more expensive). I’ve tried a few things from this menu but these are the only pics I have:
– Boiled fish filet $6.99 (visit 1)
– Boiled fish filet (visit 2)
The white fish filet they use is tender and they give you a decent portion for $6.99. They use lots of chili, garlic, green onions and oil to make this dish. It’s served on top of cabbage. I’m not sure if my sense of spice has been off the last few years but it’s hard for me to find anything numb-crushingly hot. This dish looks spicy but it didn’t really taste it to me.
– Eggplant with jalapeno $4.99
Again, decent portion but nothing special here. Lots of gooey, sweet brown sauce and that’s about it. The eggplant tasted ok but I mostly just tasted the sauce.
They have a cold appetizer selection in the back. You can pick and choose from the 6 or so items that they have prepared that day. I think it’s 3 items for $6.00.
– chili oil garlic chicken and husband/wife appetizer
The chicken has no flavor. It LOOKS amazing but once you take a bite, it was flavorless. The husband/wife appetizer is beef brisket and tendon marinated in spicy oil and Schezwan spices. Their version tastes ok but nothing memorable
– cold cucumber, husband/wife appetizer, and chili oil chicken
The cold cucumber is fantastic: crispy, well seasoned, and refreshing. Not sure why I got the husband/wife and chicken : I think I was hoping it would taste better this time around but it didn’t.
Another thing I discovered about Best of China is their AYCE hot pot! After 9p, they offer this AYCE hot pot for $13.99/pp. It’s similar to Little Sheep but just really really basic. Youngest sis was in town so after a late night of window shopping at Fashion Valley, we both decided to try the AYCE at BOC…
– left: AYCE menu; right: half/half: original and spicy soup base
Late Hour Hot Pot Buffet Special: $13.99 each person. No extra charge for any of four soup bases. Lamb, beef, pork, fish, shrimp, fish balls, and fresh vegetables.
We chose the original and spicy soup base. It’s probably not as authentic as Little Sheep but who cares at this late hour when you’re eating it and it’s AYCE.
The original broth didn’t taste as herbal and medicinal as we had hoped (but at least they added goji berries!). And the spicy half was just ‘ok’ – a decent amount of heat but that was about it.
– fish filet, fish balls, mushrooms, shrimp, pork, beef, and enoki mushrooms
The fish filet was incredible. Not fishy and it cooked beautifully. We really enjoyed how the beef and pork were more chunks/strips vs the thinly sliced version at Little Sheep.
– raw shrimp (head on)
It looked fresh but sis and I both agreed that it tasted ‘meh’. The shells were hard to take off and the actual shrimp just tasted ‘not great’. We ended up only eating 1 shrimp per person which sucks b/c usually I try to order the most expensive items during the AYCE
– fish ball
We loved these! It’s stuffed w/ a pork mixture that reminds me of the stuffed fish balls I used to eat as a kid in Taiwan.
– bean thread noodles, tong hao vegetables and cabbage
They really give you A LOT of food. Look at the pics of the plates of vegetables and meat/seafood.
I’m a huge fan of tong hao/ho vegetable. I believe it’s chrysanthemum leaves. Some people find it bitter and strange to eat but I personally love it.
The cabbage was fresh and again, they give you a ton.
Overall, we enjoyed the hot pot. We never ordered more food b/c the first serving was sooo much (and TRUST me when I say I always over eat on any AYCE venture b/c I want to get my money’s worth so if I don’t order a 2nd serving of anything…well…that means something).
Would we come back – heck yeah. I’m hoping youngest sis will be here next week so we can revisit this place. But it’s completely worth the $13.99. The AYCE hot pot is priced at $16.99 before 9pm.
(Note: I just called to confirm the time of the discounted AYCE and the lady told me it starts at 10p b/c they close at 11p). I may be wrong but I thought my visit was at 9p that night. But maybe it makes sense now… that they give you so much food b/c they’re trying to clean out everything from that day. Their website says they close at 12a but the lady said they close at 11p so not sure what’s going on.
So if you have the time (and patience to wait until 10p), this AYCE is totally worth it. I would even pay the $16.99 if I couldn’t wait that late 🙂
(between Rickert Rd & Black Mountain Rd)
San Diego, CA 92126
Neighborhood: Mira Mesa
Who doesn’t know Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot. Their famous Mongolian hot pot has become so popular. Did you know they use 36 spices in their broth? And supposedly MSG is NOT one of those spices. They opened up their first restaurant in 1999 in China and have restaurants all over the world. I believe the SD location opened in 2007.
I don’t think there’s anything more comforting or satisfying than have hot pot on a cold rainy day. And apparently everyone shares the same sentiment because this place is packed on cold days. (Case in point, we came here last week when the weather was hot and it was pretty much empty for lunch).
Anyhow, this post, spoken mostly with pictures, will be about their $9.95 lunch special. It’s only valid Mon-Fri from 11:30a-3p. They now have an upgraded option for $14.95 that is offered Mon-Fri all day and Sat/Sun for lunch only. Continue reading Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot ($9.95 lunch special) – San Diego, CA
E & Drink
I love Hot Pot (Little Sheep, Shabu, etc.). But I tend to poop out on these places b/c they tend to taste the same after awhile.
I heard about this restaurant from Kirbie awhile back. This was her most recent post about E & Drink.
It’s located inside 99 Ranch (San Diego), across from Sam Woo. I’ve never seen the place packed. I’ve been here a few times for lunch already. Continue reading E & Drink – 99 Ranch Market, San Diego, CA