Where: 738 State St., 560-8777, kaisushishabushabu.com.
What: Japanese cuisine specializing in sushi and culinary interactive shabu-shabu.
How Much: Lunch specials $8.95-$14.95, beef/chicken/seafood shabu-shabu $12.95-$34.95.
The Dish: Santa Barbara’s only shabu-shabu destination is located on foot traffic-filled State Street. Shabu-shabu, or “swish swish,” is named for the sound that is made when cooking slices of meat or chicken in the simmering kombu (kelp) broth. Raw beef or chicken is cooked at the table, as the paper-thin marbled slices are dipped into the hot pot full of cooking liquid and an assortment of tofu and vegetables. Traditional ponzu or tare (sesame flavored) sauces are served to accompany the freshly cooked meats. Owner and Chef Kaz Sato has a history on the Santa Barbara dining scene, having owned and operated Sati’s Kitchen and Montecito’s Restaurant Kai before opening Kai Sushi in 2000. Lunch and dinner are served, and include a wide variety of sushi rolls, noodle dishes, shabu-shabu, teriyaki bento boxes, zesty stir fry, and combination meals.
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