Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Help Wanted...Again

Welllllllll, we're looking at picking up someone to join our cult...errr family. So if you're interested in slinging meat and vegetables alongside yours truly, you can check out the craigslist post here:


or you here you go:

California Shabu Shabu in Costa Mesa is looking for an energetic and friendly server that can work well in a fast paced environment. Our application can be found online @ www.californiashabushabu.com/application.pdf.

We are looking for:
- Minimum 1 year serving experience.
- Able to work quickly under pressure, as we do get busy and our customers expect and are accustomed to a high level of service
- Energetic and ambitious attitude with constant sense of urgency while working.
- Motivated team player.
- Flexible work schedule is preferred but not required.
- Fluency in Japanese is a BIG plus.

Please fill out the application and email them to the address listed above (leonard@californiashabushabu.com) or drop them off @ 801 Baker Street #A in Costa Mesa. Ask for Leonard between 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM or 2:45 PM to 4:30 PM on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, or Fridays.

Thank you!

Please pass the message on to anyone you know who may be interested.


Monday, November 8, 2010

There is No Escaping the Ogre

Do you see that? That's more money flying out of our bank account because of more things failing us from our original contractor/ogre. So, this time, our sealed concrete floors were rippling and bubbling up. On top of that, the original layer wasn't as strong as we were promised, so there were scuff marks and all around ugliness on the floors.

Luckily for us, our concrete guy, Carlos was able to salvage some of the headache. Sorry for all of you that came in and ate while we were grinding away the old floors. It was so loud, my brain was shaking in my skull. All-in-all, we have nice shiny concrete floors again in our bathrooms. Now we just have to get our footprints back in there!

Oooohhh Pretty


Do you think that was going to be it? Of course not! Tune in soon to see what else has fallen apart, yay!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again

I promised these would be up about three (3) months ago, and like most promises I make about blogging, it was left unfulfilled...until NOW!

Our friends below happened to stroll in on day one - June 18th, 2009 AD and exactly again on our one (1) year anniversary.

Bao and Tim, Our First Customers

Tim Dug Out the Same Shirt Haha

Dynamaria and Mike

And here they are on our Anniversary:

Thanks for coming in and celebrating that day with us, guys!


Monday, October 25, 2010

You Can't Escape Beef

Yowzas, has it really been almost four (4) months since our last entry? Well...we're back! This time, hopefully more frequently *ahem*.

Anyhoo, I caught this image that shows that eating beef isn't so bad and that vegans and vegetarians may find it difficult to dodge using some product in their life that has some cow in it. Cheers to you, bovine, for you are supplying us with a plethora of goodness (**we still have our vegetarian offerings**, love you). Hit this link to check out the full article at Streakr.

I know I have said this before, but check back soon with us, we'll be posting up some new stuff soon!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I am a genetically enhanced superhuman, well, at least a certain marketing/ad company thinks so. But, honestly, could you even trust a company that claims to have our best interests and can't even get my name right?

For those of you who are either too young or just not a complete geek/nerd/dork like I am, the Star Trek reference completely escaped you, please accept my apology. For those of you who want to relive that great scene of Captain Kirk screaming "KHANNNN!!!" and having it echo into outer space, take the leap of faith here. Regardless, even if you don't know what the heck I'm rambling about, you need to check out that scene. Shatner is a deity.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

One Year Anni Part 1

Yikes, that was us at 7:30 PM PST on our anniversary (click on the picture to hop to the album. Make sure to check back here soon for some more pictures, too). Needless to say, it got progressively worse from here on out.

A big thanks goes out to every one who has supported us through our first year of infancy. It's been full of bumps and brusises, but along with those, a ton of laughs, fun, and drinks...many, many, many drinks.

We hope everyone had a great time on Friday! Sorry for anybody who came around not knowing how crammed in there it turned out to be, we had no idea it would turn into such a mad house. We are truly appreciative of all the great friends and people we have met in our first year. Here's hoping there will be many more years for us to celebrate.

All of us @ Cal Shabu

Huge Ups for all the DJ's, Pinky Taylor, and "Sheric" for helping us with the first round of pictures.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Come Celebrate Our Baby Turning 1!

The year has flown by for us, so much so that we almost forgot about our one (1) year anniversary! Ash and I had been talking since March about what to do and then *WHAMMY*, it all of a sudden is a week and a half away. Fortunately we have some pretty rad friends, and we've pulled together an event for Friday - June 18th, 2010 AD!

We're going to be be throwing $1 beer, $4 pitchers, $1 sake, and free ice cream to kiddies (or those acting like kiddies who don't want to drink with us) at you all day long. Starting at 7 PM PST we will also be hosting live art exhibitions with Pinky Taylor, Karafuru, and Kimo. Spinning some sets for us that night will be DJ's: Flashpoint Grafix, Mike Ill, Wendy City, Pretty Boy Paul, and noMSG.

Ash and I have staffed up some extra people throughout the day, so feel free to cheers us! We may have to take a quick nap between shifts to recharge our livers, though. The party stops, well...when it stops! We hope to see you guys there.


Monday, May 31, 2010

A Mini Bit of Perspective

Doesn't the vegetable plate above look delicious and fresh? Now...can you figure out what's wrong with the plate?

If you can't, the picture below will spill the beans:

Johnny, our resident multi-tasker and one of the original vegetable platers from Cal Shabu Fountain Valley, decided it would be fun to miniaturize a plate of vegetables. To give you some kind of perspective on just how small this is, it's sitting on one of the tiny pickle plates. Which are about half the size of our ice cream plates! Sometimes, people just have too much time on their hands ha ha.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fridges Aren't Supposed to be Frozen

That, my friends, is what happens when empty plastic bags get too close to the condenser. Ash and I were drinking a beer when we looked at each other in disgust as the beer was pretty darn warm. Ash said he cranked the refrigerator down because it wasn't getting cold enough, so I strolled back to check it out. After scratching my head in confusion, I poked my head behind the condenser and what did I see? A frozen mess.

Ash and I started filling up spray bottles with warm water and began squirting and chiseling away at the ice block. As customers started filing away, we asked Jorge to finish up the job. We poked our heads back later and saw Jorge had grabbed a hose and melted away all the ice in a couple of minutes...much more efficient than spray bottles that cramped up our hands ha ha. Needless to say, plastic bags are not allowed on the top rack anymore. Our apologies go out to a few customers who had to have their beers put in ice buckets that day. Sowwie!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me Julies!

One of our own, Julie, celebrated breaking out of her 21 years on this little green and blue planet and into her 22nd year at where? Yup, her place of employment.

Things got a little sloppy, but it was definitely a ton of fun. Well, besides me making her cry by telling her that people already left her party when I knew darn well they were just outside grabbing a smoke (sorry, my luv, you know I can't refrain sometimes). Thanks to everyone who came in to drink, laugh, and eat.

Next time you guys see Julie in here, you guys owe her 22 spankings!

On a side note, what kind of face is Yuka making over there on the right? I have no idea.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy (Lucky) 13th!

Ooooopsies, This is a little bit late, but we just wanted to scream a big "CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 13TH YEAR IN FOUNTAIN VALLEY!!!" The original shabu shabu location in Orange County just rolled into their 14th year on March 10th, 2010 AD.

The next time you guys stop by in there, give them all a round of high fives. Especially Kenny and his only-guy-since-1992-to-still-have-a-fade haircut.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Resident Hair Stylist

Meet Tim. Tim cuts my hair. Tim drinks a lot of Sake.

Tim likes to help clean after drinking a lot of Sake. By cleaning I mean just pushing around the dirty stuff on the table.

Happy birthday, Tim!

You can see Tim here or make an appointment to see him at the Richard Michael Aveda Salon in South Coast Plaza on the Crystal Court side.


Monday, March 15, 2010

110 Roses

This is a just a quickie...we had a bucket of 110 roses that we handed out to the ladies on Valentine's day. By the end of both shifts, we gave out our last one to our last customer. Perfectomundo!

For the best flower arrangements on the planet, visit Panage @ http://www.panage.com/ and ask for Mr. or Mrs. Yang and tell them Leonard sent ya.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Paranormal Activity in our Kitchen

I walked in this morning to find our kitchen looking like it was possessed, but deduced shortly after that it was just more silliness at the hands of our kitchen staff. The decided to dump all the dry ice that came in with our shipments in every possible place where water would run, making the entire back area look like a scene from a really terrible horror movie (which is one of my vices, bad horror movies are soooo good). In addition to this, the floor was like an oil slick causing Ami to almost eat it a few times as she was prepping for the lunch shift. Nice to know that our insurance plan may get put to use for something not so much restaurant related.

Here's another look


Monday, February 22, 2010

People Love Us on Yelp!

People love us on Yelp! Ok, not everyone, but most people. We've had some random hate reviews that were downright ludicrous, especially if you guys know how we are and how we treat every one that comes in to Shabu. Otherwise, we love the feedback, whether it be positive or negative. It lets us know what we're doing right and what we can do to make everyone's exprience here a bit better.

Let us know how you feel about our restaurant and throw up a review on us, yeah?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pole Pullers

Ha ha, that's all there is to say about that picture. It looks much worse than what was really going on, which was stripping lessons, I mean ummm...yeah.

So, as most of you guys have noticed, our front parking lot has been recently adorned with beautiful new signs that boldly state "NO RESTAURANT PARKING". We've received some comments that our neighbors aren't giving us much love, but in all fairness to them, we actually called the property management company to have them put up those signs. When the weather started cooling down and water started dropping down from the fluffy grey clouds, our business began to pick up a bit. There were a couple of shifts where the front lot was packed up with our customers, making it difficult for people visiting the other shops to find spaces to put their cars into "P". Anyhoo, sorry if you guys have to walk a little bit further than usual to put your butts into "P" at Shabu, but we promise you we appreciate it (plus you're working up a little bit of an appetite, right? RIGHT?).

We asked them to put some signs up that said something to the effect of "More Parking in Rear" at the entrances of the lot, but they screwed up and plopped them into the ground right in front of our restaurant. Besides being terrible on the feng shui front, they were also terrible eye sores. We had some help from Angel and RJ on the second pole while Ash and I were able to wrangle the first pole out of the ground.

It never ends.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Ogre Patches - The Grease Trap Edition

For those who are following us a bit (ahem, I know it's not many so you can just shut it), you guys may remember the grease trap fiasco we were enduring back in August of 2009. For those that don't take the leap and read up on it.

Anyhoo, we've finally got that giant hole all filled in and the big farkin' truck below brought the concrete that smoothed out our gravel and our hearts.

Big Farkin' Truck

The Finishing Touches

Please keep your fingers crossed that this will be the end of the story on our grease trap and closing in on the last of the patches from the sub-par Ogre contractor, thanks!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Invest in Shabu Bonds

OK, so it's not like this will go up in value, but after promising people we'd have gift cards for about five (5) months, we finally have them in. If the design looks familiar, it's because we were too lazy to come up with a new design and all the photos we took didn't come out right, so I just took our street sign and made some minor adjustments, woo hoooo!

Ask any of us if you wanna buy one (1) or seventy-three (73). I'm just sayin'.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vivian's a Spicy Mango

Can any guess what the picture above is? Yeppers, that's our mango sherbert with five (5) hot drops on it. I tried making it look like a sad bear, not so much. Anyhoo, the person behind this you ask?

Vivian "Bui Bui En" Peng

Since then, we've been mixing in hot drops with beer, sake, mochi...pretty much anything. I'm not sure what's going on here, but we've also been mixing mango sherbert with sake and Calpico with sake (which, by the way, is around to stay!).

The Scene of the Crime

Viv, hope school's going good for ya! See you on your next trip back down.


P.S. Visit 85 degrees for some ridiculously good pastries and cafe goodness.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Case of the Mondays?

Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays (please tell me you've seen Office Space). That someone is ME. For some reason, after Ash started taking off Mondays, I've had some horrific luck on Mondays at Shabu as shown from this previous post. I thought I had maybe possibly sort of kinda perhaps left that bad juju behind me, but noooOOOOOOooooo. On December 21st, 2009 AD around 10:00 AM PST, yes on the Winter Solstice, I strolled in to the restaurant to find out that our water was shut down. About fifteen (15) minutes later, we had flowing water again. Catastrophe averted!

End blog entry? HA! I wish!

Another five (5) minutes goes by and the water dries up like Jim Carrey's improvisations (oh where oh where have you gone great Jim of yesteryear?). I jog outside and and find an employee that was sent over from the Mesa Consolidated Water District. We talk it over for a bit and he explains to me that the backflow device was turned off initially (if you guys remember, it's the pipe we spent over $2000 to install before we opened). The employee turned it back on and thought that the sprinklers came on, too. So we falsely thought the water pipes were ok, until he realized that it wasn't the sprinklers, but rather a pipe that looked like it had been rammed and bent. Due to the damage, water was squirting out of the concrete like a Slip 'N Slide. He went on to explain that he couldn't allow water waste like that to continue on just so we had running water to our building. Of course we agreed and sent him on his way.

After that I made some frantic phone calls to our property management, so they called a private plumbing company, who sent Joey (pictured above). Needless to say, Joey broke the news to us...he had to jack hammer the concrete, fix the pipe, install a stop valve, and patch everything back up. That was the bad news, the good news was that they were on the ball and had us up and running in about two and a half (2.5) hours! Unfortuantely, we had to close down for lunch on the first day of Winter, but RJ, Linda, Xiao, Erin, and I ended up popping out for lunch and chowing down on some grilled fish before we headed back to the restaurant to prepare for the dinner rush.

Joey's Clean Up Job (Not a Hitman)

What I learned from all of this? Mondays are the pits.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best Monday EVER

So the above picture depicts our faithful customers who came in on December 7th, 2009 AD right at the beginning of our lunch shift. Why is it so dark you ask? Because the power was out for the second time in our short life at 801 Baker. About fifteen (15) people stuck it out for about thirty (30) minutes (the power was actual out for about double that time, but prior to any one coming in to boil meat) before the power came back on. What made it even more painful was the fact that it was the first rainy and cold day of the season, meaning we had more people who were craving some hot soupy goodness.

Emergency Lights

So if that wasn't bad enough, when we turned on the hood vents, rain water started shooting out of them, splashing on top of some of our customers. UGH. It was probably the worst start we cold have possibly had for the cold season. We found out later on that our retarded sub-contractor from before flipped the panels upside down on our make-up air blowers. Instead of keeping water out of the units, we were collecting water ha ha. Alas, it is behind us now and things are smooth once again.

Collecting Rain Water From the Vents

That being said, a big "Thanks, buddies!" goes out to everyone who waited around in hopes of some boiling pots.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Our First Customers!

Crapola, this is late. I just wanted to introduce you to our first two (2) customers!

They wandered into our restaurant randomly on June 18th, 2009 AD right at 11:30 AM PST and have since crossed our borders many times since. Thanks for stumbling in, guys.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

We Got Lice! We Got B-lown Lice!

Woo hoooo! After flirting and teasing him a little bit, we finally initiated brown rice into our list of offerings at Cal Shabu. We are now serving Nishiki Premium Brown Rice at *no extra charge* for our customers while each batch lasts every day. As of now, there aren't too many people asking for it, but as demand increases, we'll be steaming up more to meet up with everyone's appetites.

Olga and Laila

Olga and Laila were our first two (2) official brown rice lovers after we tested with some customers for a few days to get the water and cooking measurements down pat. Zaal, Jake, Alex, Chris, and Renewal, you guys can finally stop hounding me now. Thanks for blowing up my phone during the last Lakers versus Clippers game. As if it wasn't bad enough we got drummed by the lesser of the Los Angeles professional basketball teams (that's right Mikey, tell Blake I say, "Hi" as he surfs the bench in his Girogio Armani suit the rest of the season).


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kimo's Korner

Yuck, still playing catch up, ha ha. As most of you have proabably already seen in our entrance area, Kimo took over a chunk of our wall and put up a pretty sweet creation that leaked out of his head and through his hands. Coming in every day after work for a week, his mini mural evolved every day. If you guys haven't already peeped it, swing by. Don't worry, we won't force you to eat shabu.

To take a closer look at Kimo and his art (along with the goods he pumps out with IMKing) take the leap here or hop on to the IMKing site aqui.

@Kimo - We may just have to get you back in here to grab another piece of the restaurant. Thanks for all the support, bro!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


To Juliann and Millie, one of the cutest couples we know. Thanks for all the good times, especially all the Jell-o shoooooooooooooooooooooots!!!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Making of a Caffeine Fueled Mural

Holy shnikes! Has it really been four (4) months since our last blog entry? My apologies to anyone who has actually been checking this thing.

Anyhoo, hop on the picture above for a ton of photos from the few days that Pinky (Meeseter Moostashes Kitty Meow) Taylor invaded our restaurant. For those who have seen the mural already and have been wondering, no he was not on drugs ha ha. Pinky was purely on our ridiculously strong iced coffee and coke. At one point, he had imbibed six (6) iced coffees and eight (8) glasses of coke in a two (2) hour period. This was in addition to a few root beer floats. Needless to say he was bouncing around the walls and skipping down the halls.

Through it all we've gained a crazy wall that fits into our persona perfectly as well as a great friend! Thanks to Allison and Kayley for helping us take some photos when we started getting busy =].

Check back with us soon for some photos on Kimo's imagination on one of our other walls.