Our good friend "Xiāng Jiāo" first noticed Tasty Pot was coming to Plaza del Sol on Convoy. And a few weeks later, I noticed a Tasty Pot location was opening on Mira Mesa Boulevard. I did some quick research and found that Tasty Pot was a chain based in NorCal. After a rather long wait, I noticed back in January that TP was ready to open. Since this is Taiwanese style hot pot, I wasn't surprised that Kirbie made it a point to visit right away.
I waited a couple of weeks.....but if there was any month that was just perfect for hot pot, it was this past February. On a rather chilly day, I headed over to Tasty Pot. And was surprised to see one of the "guys" from Village North! We saw each other and cracked up....apparently, he is a good friend of VN's owner and will help out when necessary. The young lady serving me on this day was really very nice as well.
And they also had one of my favorite hot pot condiments....fermented bean curd.
The menu boasts "combos" for lunch and dinner. Numbers 1-8 is $11.99 for lunch and $12.99 for dinner. Number 9 - 12 is $14.99 for lunch and $15.99 for dinner. And comes with rice or glass noodles and iced tea (unfortunately only sweetened) for lunch.
I went with the Taiwanese Supreme Spicy ($14.99) at medium spicy. These hot pots come loaded with stuff.
As you would imagine, this is more about quantity, but you can't say you're not getting variety. Which ranged from "meh", the clams were hard as rock and kind of messy, surimi, cuttlefish rings like rubber, to decent, the fried tofu puffs, the pork, which was sliced nicely thin, but had no flavor. I enjoyed the bean curd, the blood cake, and the tendon the most.
And I must say, even at medium, this was a lot more spicy than I thought it would be. But not much numbing tones or the thicker, richer hot pot broth that is more to our taste.
Overall, you couldn't complain about the portion size, there was no way I could finish all of this. I ended up taking leftovers home, but not until the really nice young woman partially refilled my broth! How nice. I do think the overall flavor while decent, didn't have a good a "ma-la" as what I had at Boiling Passion....though it's hard to argue with the portion size and variety at Tasty Pot.
On one rather rainy day, Calvin and I headed back to Tasty Pot.
Calvin decided to get the Stinky Tofu version ($11.99). Man, that intestine was delicious.
And I got some broth, which was pretty weak and a slice (one of only two) of chou doufu (stinky tofu), and while I didn't expect it to be anything like what we had in China (to my relief), but it was pretty bland, not even close to say, what you'd get at random places in our old neighborhood. The preserved vegetables were also appreciated.
I got the Lamb Hot Pot ($11.99).
This was scaldingly hot, though not too spicy, and mild in flavor....until I dumped a good amount of fermented bean curd into it. The very thinly sliced lamb was very tender, but didn't have the gameyness associated with good lamb that I enjoy. As with most hot pots, it's those bean curd products I enjoy, along with mushroom and this was no exception.
Again, really generous portions....it's nice and warming on a cold day, the service was very nice. Like Boiling Passion, I'm not sure if I'll be a regular customer, but this wasn't bad at all.
4698 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111