I was running off of two days of no sleep and hadn’t eaten a thing all day. On the verge of 7 p.m I said enough is enough and broke my fast, walking into the first restaurant near by my stomping grounds of Fillmore and Ellis, entering into Happy Shabu Shabu.
My ignorance immediately show itself after hastily ordering the chicken shabu shabu. After 10 mouth watering minutes, the waitress came back with this head scratching presentation of a meal I hadn’t intended testing out.
All of which was unknown to me until this very puzzling moment, faced to face with my blank stare at what the waitress had left for me. A plate filled with raw chicken slivers and a garden variety of produce to accentuate the 3 mystery sauces intended customize your palate. (When I blindly waltzed into Happy Shabu Shabu, I assumed shabu-shabu was going to be reminiscent of teriyaki or yakisoba styled dishes.)
After staring down the movements of fellow dinners in the low lit Benihana-esque Japanese restaurant, I noticed everyone dipping the raw materials into the murky, boiling water then proceeded to eat it.
A d.i.y mentality came over myself as I threw my own remix to the boiling stew in front of me. A handful of meat, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, tofu rested before me as I poured in a little-bit-of-everything variety of the sauces available.
After waiting enough seconds to confirm I had boiled the salmonella of raw meat away, I leaned into sip out the concoction I had made myself with one big gulp.
Simultaneously as the once boiling broth hit tip of my tongue, I had felt my taste buds singe into a spongy roughness as the entirety of my mouth and throat had been severely burned, quickly coming to my senses as to the hunger driven mistake I had made. I dove for my cup of hot tea, hoping that the time between sitting down and confirming my death wish would be enough to settle the tea, but no. Instantly I rushed for the bathroom as I held in the molten lava I was carrying in my mouth.
As I dunked my head under the bathroom sink, trying my best to cool the tendered tissues, I had lost all my appetite and succumbed to the present punishment I signed up for when playing russian roulette with San Francisco’s eateries.