Less than a week ago, I mentioned a new hot pot place.....Boiling Passion. It just so happened that one of our coworkers; "Lily" was transferring departments, so we wanted to take her to lunch. And BP seemed just the place.
I like what they've done to the interior; brick and wood paneling...nice job considering how quickly the place got turned around from Pho Paradise's closing.
A quick look at the menu revealed that yes, this is indeed what Eater describes as a "take off" on the very popular Boiling Point. Hot pot for lunch? $12.99, for dinner, $13.99. You can add extras for an additional charge, but I found the portion size to be quite generous.
We each got a different version of hot pot; "PL" got the "House Special Hot Pot", basically stinky tofu.
While the amount of protein in the hot pot isn't substantial; the overall portion size is. In addition, we were asked several times if we wanted our broth topped off. In spite of this being "stinky tofu", this wasn't very pungent, the flavor quite mild overall. But at least it wasn't too salty.
Three sauces are provided, the bean curd based sauce is the best overall.
"YZ" got the Korean Style Hot Pot.
One interesting thing to note.....the heating gel used is pretty potent and very hard to control. "YZ" broth kept bubbling up and she had to hold up a napkin to avoid getting splashed.
I got the Lamb Hot Pot, which, according to Lily should have had suan cai. The stuff in my hot pot tasted like plain napa cabbage, lacking in any fermented flavor and not even close to the suan cai we make at home.
The lamb was very tasty and gamey, the mung bean noodle, which I chose instead of rice wet quite well in this along with the enoki mushrooms and tofu. I'm not a fan of blood cake, but I really like the version served here, nice texture, ever so slightly sweet without a strong metallic flavor. I do wish the broth had a bit more flavor though. Along with one fill up of broth; this was more than I could finish.
So what about Lily? Well, the point of this lunch was to chat and enjoy so I took only one shot of every hot pot. As you can tell, it came out much too blurry. Lily ordered the winner of the bunch the Ma-la Hot Pot, which had a nice spice; not super spicy, but quite flavorful. She gave me a nice taste in one of the bowls provided.
Kind of a bummer that the photo of the best item of the day didn't turn out.
Luckily, John and Candice had some time to grab dinner and with the weather unseasonably cold, hot pot sounded like just the thing.
We started with "Golden Dumplings" - fried bread. I really haven't had a good version of this since we last ate at Kingswood in Rowland Heights nearly a decade ago. This was served with condensed milk.
This was very light and lacking in the nice mild sweetness I enjoy.
Candice ordered the Curry Hot Pot which was decent and John the Sate....which must have been good, because he basically destroyed it. I was having such a great time chatting that I forgot to take a photo of the Ma-la Hop Pot, 'doh, lightning strikes twice. So you'll have to settle for this photo and basically take my word or it that this is pretty much the way to go here.
As an extra bonus, I noticed that this came with some intestine....something I really enjoy. Heck, even the fish balls tasted pretty good here. Wish they had a bit more bean curd skin though.
Well, I'm just going to have to drop by again...probably soon if the weather holds its course. As of this writing, I probably enjoy the hot pot, well at least the hot and spicy version (the rest are on the bland side) here more than QT Pot, though I need to revisit them soon. The folks here are nice and since it's grand opening trying real hard. Candice recognized one of the owners as previously working at Noble Chef. I hope they do well....check them out and let me know what you think!
3904 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111