A popular spot for Japanese hot pot in Orange County is expanding to San Diego with a first restaurant slated for North Park. Tabu Shabu, which has locations in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach, is taking over Paesano’s 50-year-old, 2,250-square-foot site on 30th Street and will bring a new style of cuisine and an interactive dining experience to the neighborhood; founder and CEO Jeff Chon says the foundation of the concept is trying to bring authentic Japanese shabu-shabu to different demographics. The North Park eatery is being thoroughly remodeled and should open Fall 2019.
Literally meaning “swish-swish,” shabu-shabu features meat, seafood, and vegetables swirled and cooked in boiling broth and eaten with a dipping sauce. At Tabu Shabu, diners choose from four broth bases: seaweed dashi, spicy miso, tonkotsu pork, and sukiyaki. Proteins, ranging from prime rib eye to wagyu short rib, Jidori chicken, Kurobuta pork, and wild Mexican shrimp, are priced in four ounce, eight ounce, or half-pound portions and come with a veggie plate that includes shiitake mushrooms and napa cabbage plus noodles, rice, and goma (sesame) and ponzu (citrus soy) dipping sauces.
Chon, who also runs Costa Mesa yakitori spot Oak & Coal and The Alley in Newport Beach, says he is actively looking to put another Tabu Shabu location in North County.
Mike Spiky of Location Matters, who represented both the landlord and the tenant said, “I’m pumped to be able to bring such a different concept like Tabu to North Park. Jeff has an incredible passion for the business and no doubt will be bringing something very special to the neighborhood. I’m really happy for the longtime owners of Paesano as well, initiating them as first time landlords and giving them a well deserved break from the restaurant business after an incredible run.”