Happy Shabu Shabu (San Francisco, CA)

9:00:00 AM

Hot Pot Weather means CRANK UP The Burners


Let me start off by saying that how I discovered this hot pot place was by sheer accident-- or was it in desperation?

Whichever it was, let it be known that this wasn’t the first choice on the list.

Before I start, let me lay down the foundation so that you have a better idea of what I mean.

A couple friends and I went to San Francisco for the day and it was nearing dinner time by the time we finished walking around Japantown.

So there we were, sitting inside one of the plaza and browsing through-- yup, you got it-- Yelp.

After some deliberation (because we’re indecisive like that), we settled for Yakiniq and made our way over to put our names down on the waitlist.

Wait Time: 1 hour. So they said.

So we waited. And waited… and waited.

It was past 8:30 by this point and we decided that we were done with waiting outside.

Plan B: Happy Shabu Shabu

We switched gears and  picked up the pace and made our way to the other side of the plazas and over to Happy Shabu Shabu. After a brisk walk in the “cool,” but bearable San Francisco winter, we made it to Happy Shabu Shabu.

They had a full house that night with a large party that seemed to be celebrating a birthday or something. We settled for the counter and split the group up into three groups of two, so that it was easier to share a hot pot.

Happy Shabu Shabu has an AYCE hot pot option, but YL and I weren’t feeling all that hungry after the waiting stint in front of Yakiniq.


Lamb slices
Beef slices
We ordered a serving of beef and a serving of lamb to share.


A good variety of napa, tofu, noodles and mushroom
Both came with a platter of veggie. We decided not to order rice because the amount of food was enough without rice for filler.

They offer you three type of sauces: peanut, chili, and soy/sesame mixture.


(left to right) peanut, chili & soy/sesame
We chose the house broth, which is a mild broth (perfect for some quality shabu shabu action), but it boils down to something quite potent and salty after prolonged hot potting.

The waitress did add more broth when she noticed that our soup has depleted though.

Throw everything into the pot. Veggies, that is. 
I don't know if it's normally that loud around dinner or whether if it's just that party, but we had some difficulties hearing each other talk over the noise. Even as we were leaving, there were a handful of people waiting to be seated.

Interesting to Note: they have a large meat slicing machine in the front that they use to slice frozen blocks of meat. So if you sit on the counter, you can check out the "slicing" action.
What do you eat when it’s cold out? I’m all for hot pot OR a big bowl of pho. And can we finally get on with it and BRING on the autumn? Can I actually pull out tights and long sleeves again?

Happy Shabu Shabu
1401 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

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