A few weeks ago, SD blogger Kirbie Cravings came up to LA. She, along with her future husband and her brother, Kung Food Panda, Limer35 and I (Husband and Baby as well) got together for some hot pot. Kung Food Panda picked Flaming Spice in Industry. We had a reservation for our large group but thanks to Hell-A traffic, I and the fam were late which caused us to lose it. Fortunately, we did get a table but take this as a lesson; check traffic and leave with plenty of time to spare.
I have never had hot pot before. If you’re familiar with shabu shabu, the Japanese meal of boiling meat and vegetables in broth at the table, this is the Chinese version, basically. I found hot pot to be better than shabu shabu, which can be bland to me. Also, at least at Flaming Spice, hot pot is cheaper. Flaming Spice does all-you-can-eat for $20/pp.
First, you pick your broths. On a Kindle. Sort of. You can browse the list and then you tell the server what you want. Because the pots can be divided in half, you can select two different flavors. We went with the spicy chicken/oxtail and spicy fish/oxtail. As you can see, the spicy chicken broth was quite red and quite spicy, even at medium level. I didn’t try the spicy fish but it was just as red which makes me think it was just as hot. The oxtail was really flavorful and had a few oxtail bones with meat still on it. Reminded me of the soup my mom would make….so good! Also, the server would come around on occasion with a tea kettle and refill the oxtail section with more broth.
The vegetables and proteins were pushed around the restaurant on dim sum carts. The servers would stop at your table and you would point to whatever you wanted. There was quite a selection – lamb, tofu, beef, pork, oysters, clams, Spam, spinach, various types of mushrooms… We selected a lot and ended up having to pile the dishes on each other. You throw the stuff in the pot, let it cook and then ladle some into your bowl. You can also create a dipping sauce out of various ingredients like soy sauce, Chinese bbq sauce, sesame oil, scallions and garlic.
There was also an appetizer buffet that had both hot and cold entrees. Spicy chicken wings, noodles, pot stickers, fried bread and green onion pancakes were just some of the selections. The green onion pancakes were pretty good as were the buns. The rest was just okay; the chicken wings were really spicy given the amount of pepper flakes coating them. The kitchen seemed to like taking the heat level to 11 here.
I can’t compare Flaming Spice to the other hot pot places in LA but seasoned hot pot eaters Kirbie, Kung Food Panda and Limer35 all liked it and thought it was one of the better joints to eat at. I thought it was delicious and even Husband was satisfied (well, with what he could eat since he was on baby duty). I’d make the drive again to eat there.
4 NOMs for Flaming Spice!
Some photos provided by Kirbie Cravings. You can read her review here.
18518 Gale Ave
Industry, CA 91744