A Look Inside Yoshi Shabu Shabu

Hello, hello!  Happy July!  Since I haven’t done a food review since November (we haven’t really been anywhere new), I thought I would take the chance to do one now.  A couple of weeks ago, Dad and I made the trip to Richardson to pick out some stained glass for a project he’s working on.  Richardson has a decent selection of restaurants, so I looked around and found a shabu shabu (Japanese hotpot) place.  We’ve never had it, so we decided to give Yoshi Shabu Shabu a shot.  They’re located in the Shops at Eastside, right off 75 at the corner of Greenville and Campbell.  You can visit their website (linked above) for the address.  There’s also one in Plano.  Now for the review!

First, a reminder of my rating system:

MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.

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Forgot to take pics, so all images are borrowed from Google.

Accessibility: not bad, but not the best.  There seems to be one handicap parking spot at each building (maybe more on the other sides), so there’s only one near the restaurant.  Luckily, it was empty.  There’s also a parking garage we didn’t look at.  Getting into the restaurant is fairly easy, but the tables are tightly packed, so maneuvering can definitely be tricky if the place gets busy.  The tables themselves have the little knee bangers (the part that hangs down a couple of inches), so I couldn’t get close.  It’s probably there to protect people from the heating device under the table, though.  All in all, the accessibility is the usual standard for Texas (I say Texas because other states I’ve been to vary from great to shitty when it comes to wheelchair friendliness and Texas tends to lean mostly toward the really good end of things).

Service: great!  Our server was nice and attentive and showed us how to do everything.  She also acknowledged my existence and treated me like a normal human being from the very beginning.  You know that earned her some bonus points.  There were a couple of mistakes along the way, like a plate of edamame we didn’t order and everything coming out at once, but overall she provided a great experience.

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Karaage.

Appetizers: tasty, but they came out after the food.  We got the karaage and the garlic noodles with shrimp.  And for some reason, edamame ended up on our table, but Dad and I aren’t fans of it in general.  Karaage is fried chicken and it was nice and crunchy.  The garlic noodles were pretty good too.  BUT!  If you’re going to order apps, make sure they’re on the table before you order the shabu shabu stuff, otherwise it all comes out at once and no one wants that.  It crowds an already small table and it’s just plain inconvenient.  Things get cold before you can eat them.

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One of many possible combinations.

Shabu shabu: delicious and fun.  Shabu shabu is a Japanese hotpot.  When you sit down, there’s a pot of water on the table which has a burner under it.  You pick a base (we went with tonkotsu) to create a broth, then you pick meats (they have different combo options and we went with the five meat combo with Wagyu ribeye, pork belly, Berkshire pork, scallops, and mussels), then they have a bunch of veggies and you can pick and choose what you want or just let them bring a little of everything, then you choose your noodle (udon, ramen, or their gluten free option).  There are also a few dipping sauces for the meats.  Basically, you cook the veggies and swish pieces of the meat in the broth until it’s cooked to your preference and eat as you go, then cook the noodles in the leftover liquid and veggies to make a nice soup.  In all honesty, the whole cook-it-yourself thing isn’t really a great option for cripples with limited motion in their arms (like me), but it’s still a really fun experience if you have someone to do it for you (like Dad).  A word of advice: add the veggies in small increments as you go along, otherwise they get super mushy.

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Coconut pandan waffles.

Dessert: weird, but the good kind of weird.  Of course they have mochi, but they also have ice cream popsicle things (which we didn’t get) and waffles.  Yup, I said waffles.  Dad got mochi and I got coconut pandan waffles.  It’s a matcha and coconut waffle and it’s the weirdest thing ever.  There was also caramel drizzled on it.  I want to go back just to try this again.

Price: fair.  It’s expensive because meat is expensive, but it was actually cheaper than we were expecting.  They tell you right on the menu which meats cost extra, so if you keep an eye on that and order combos, you can fill up for a decent price.

My rating:
MMMM

They lost an M mostly because of the appetizer thing and a little because the accessibility could be better.  Otherwise, I totally recommend going at least once for the experience.

A Look Inside Big Shucks Oyster Bar

Hello again!  I haven’t done a food review in a while, so here you go.  Yes, it’s another seafood place (I’ll think of something different for next month).  Big Shucks is a place we’ve been to a fair amount and we always have a good experience food-wise.  Here’s a reminder of the rating system:

MMMMM = Everything is magnificent!
MMMM = Great, but something is off.
MMM = Pretty good, but a couple of things could be better.
MM = The bad’s starting to outweigh the good.
M = Definitely more cons than pros.
… = I couldn’t find anything nice to say.

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Borrowed from their Facebook.

Normally, we go to Big Shucks in Dallas, but this last time we went to the one in Richardson.  Locations can be found at their website, linked above.

Let’s start off with accessibility as usual.  The very first time we were going to try this place, we actually wanted to go to Aw Shucks (they’re sister store) in Dallas.  At the time, Aw Shucks was inaccessible (they may have upgraded by now, but I have no idea), so they sent us a couple of blocks over to Big Shucks after explaining that it was the same thing, only accessible.  Since, we’ve been multiple times, plus twice that I remember to the Richardson location.  The tables at the Dallas store are a mish mash, so some are perfect and some are knee bangers.  The Richardson tables aren’t as eclectic, and they’re pretty nice height-wise with legs that don’t get in the way.  Both locations have outdoor seating as well.  I didn’t check out Richardson’s patio, but Dallas’s has picnic style tables.  The ends are usually long enough for me to get under them, so it’s pretty nice.

A brief mention of service.  It’s basically self serve.  You go to the counter and give your order, sometimes they bring it to you and sometimes they just call your name and you go to the pick up area, then you go back and forth if you need things.

Onto the food!  We always get oysters as a start.  They also have shrimp cocktails and ceviche, which are delicious.

Oysters at Big Shucks
Yup, I ate half of them. Be jealous.

It’s one of those places where the food comes out as it’s ready, but I’ve never felt rushed.  Their pacing is pretty nice.  So, we were able to savor the yummy oysters before our entrees arrived.  Now, I admit Big Shucks has a fairly limited selection, but what they do have, they do well.  I almost always get the scallops.  They’re grilled with a little seasoning.  No fuss, no muss.  None of this fancy bacon-wrapped special sauce crap.  You get pure scallop goodness.  Dad usually rotates through a few selections, but this time he got the salmon.  Again, there’s nothing fancy to it.  Just lovely, cooked to perfection fish.  That’s the great thing about this place.  You get to taste the seafood instead of a bunch of sauce and toppings.

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Dad’s Salmon and veggies, and my scallops with rice and veggies.

Dessert… It’s less than spectacular.  All they have is “homemade” key lime pie that is almost certainly from a box.  It’s not bad, it’s just not great.  Luckily, Dallas’s Big Shucks is just down the street from TCBY and a few streets over from Pinkberry, so if key lime pie doesn’t blow your skirt up, you can go get yogurt!

That brings us to the price.  It’s actually really reasonable considering it’s seafood in North Texas.  Also, remember that they use the honor system.  It’s your job to keep track of what you ordered.  So, I suggest bringing a pen and paper if you order a lot.

Overall Rating:
MMMM

Back to answering questions next week!  See you then!