A Taiwanese hot pot chain that already has multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, including in Arcadia, Monterey Park, and the City of Industry, has arrived in San Diego where it’s the latest addition to the vast array of dining options in the Convoy District. Yintang Spicy Hot Pot specializes in “mala” hot spot, seasoned with a mix of hot chilies and Szechuan peppercorns that creates an addictive numbing sensation.
Landing in the plaza that also houses Bonchon and Spicy City, the restaurant debuts with two main menu items: a signature soup or the Spicy Mix, a dry, non-soupy version. The more popular soup-based option features a rich, long-simmered beef bone broth but garlic and tomato flavored broths will be offered later on.
The experience starts with diners grabbing a bowl and a set of tongs, selecting ingredients from a cold buffet station that includes a wide selection of raw proteins, like beef, lamb, tail-on shrimp, and swai fish fillets. Starchy components include Chinese yam, potato, and noodles, and there’s also a huge variety of vegetarian add-ins such as tofu, Napa cabbage, lotus root, and enoki mushrooms.
Customers then bring their bowls to the cashier, where the price of the meal is based on the weight of the ingredients. Yintang’s chefs then prepare the entrees in the kitchen, cooking the meat, seafood, and vegetables in separate vessels before returning the steaming hot pots to each table.
Owner Vicky Hua told Eater that she opened the San Diego restaurant because she needed to seek medical treatment in the area for her twin girls; one of which will require surgery for her cleft lip. Hua had been commuting here from Palm Springs, where she and her husband run a boba tea shop. If all goes well, she hopes to open a second Yintang location in Mira Mesa.