No. 48: Mongolian Hot Pot at The Red Pot

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Edwin Goei

Welcome to the Weekly's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2011! Tune in every day until we get to número uno! Now, on to the latest entry. . . .

The Red Pot is an all-you-can-eat for $19.99 Mongolian hot pot joint. AYCE here, more than at any other place, is a license to explore. And there's a lot for the itinerant explorer to discover beyond just chicken, which includes but not limited to pork blood cubes, tripe, intestines, even tendon.

Key to the experience is the broths. Those who would pooh-pooh shabu shabu for plainness will be forced to reevaluate their positions here. Mongolian hot pot is anything but plain. The cooking liquid is often spicier than most ready-made soups, some with a red oil slick that finds and clings to meat like pieces of metal to a magnet. And then there's the sauce station, where a virtual painter's palette of chili paste, oil, and soy begs to be blended into unique dipping concoctions.

The beef isn't as meltingly tender, but the lamb is immaculate. Squid balls puff up in the heat to the fluffiness of cotton. Inside the springy spheres hides a chewy cube of real squid. Ton ho, the snappy green that looks like a common garden weed, bites with a refreshing peppery note, swabbing the decks so that the palate is cleansed for the next mouthful. And since this is an AYCE, you will have many more mouthfuls. Budget at least two hours worth of time in this steamy, sweet-and-spicy smelling sauna. And oh yeah, save the shower for after your dinner. You'll smell of the wonderful food you boil.

The Red Pot, 12119 Brookhurst St., Garden Grove, (714) 636-7168.


Click here for our 100 faves from 2010!

The list so far this time around:

No. 49: Beef Rolls at 101 Noodle Express
No. 50: Tlacoyo at El Borrego Sagrado
No. 51: Hard-Shelled Taco at Avanti Cafe
No. 52: Special-Events Grilled Cheese Sandwich at Old Vine Cafe
No. 53: A Big Ol' Plate of Rice With Must-o-Musir at Wholesome Choice
No. 54: Pork Souvlaki at Kentro's Greek Cuisine
No. 55: Toum at Sasoon Chicken
No. 56: Bacon Hash Dog at Berkeley Dog
No. 57: Blueberry Donut at M & M Donuts
No. 58: Tempura Fried Poached Egg at Break of Dawn
No. 59: Mulitas from Tacos Y Mulitas Ruben Truck
No. 60: Pho Ga from Pho Quang Trung
No. 61: Panuchos from Conde Cakes
No. 62: Sandwich and Egg Cream from Benjie's
No. 63: Margherita from TJ's Woodfire Pizza
No. 64: Macaroon at Disneyland
No. 65: The Sputnik at Rick's Atomic Cafe
No. 66: Corn Dog from Disney California Adventure's Corn Dog Palace
No. 67: Bacon Fried Rice at The Loft Hawaiian
No. 68: Charcuterie and Cheese at SideDoor
No. 69: Burger (With Duck Confit) at Watermarc
No. 70: Korokke Pan at Cream Pan
No. 71: Chorizo and Quail Egg on Toast at Sol del Sur
No. 72: Fried Brussels Sprouts at 320 Main
No. 73: G-Style Fries at G Burger
No. 74: Fried Cuttlefish at Benley
No. 75: Roti at Bangok Taste
No. 76: Wet Burrito at 301 Cafe
No. 77: Pork Curry at Miyabi-Tei
No. 78: Bánh Tieu at Bánh Mì So 1
No. 79: Any Sandwich at the Crosby
No. 80: Fish Pho at Pho Vinh Ky II
No. 81: Quesadilla Chilanga at Alebrije's Grill
No. 82: Lobster Roll at Lobsta Truck
No. 83: Nem Nuong Cuon at Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
No. 84: Wild Boar Balinese Sausage at Valhalla Table
No. 85: Comida Corrida at Taquería La Raza
No. 86: Breakfast Burrito at Troy's Drive-In
No. 87: Mandoo at L&M Liquor and Deli
No. 88: Chicago Dog at Chicago Harv's
No. 89: Sweet Potato Tater Tots at Pee Wee's Famous
No. 90: Kaya-Stuffed French Toast at Chomp Chomp
No. 91: Egg Breakfast at Rick's Atomic Kitchen
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl

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Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

Lamb at an AYCE? I'm there. Looks like it'll be a nice change-up from the AYCE K-BBQ I'm used to gorging myself with.

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