Shabu-ya, a fusion Japanese/Korean restaurant that specializes in Shabu Shabu, is somewhat notorious among Harvard students as a place to get sake shots. One casual Saturday afternoon, I went to Shabu-ya with a friend in Eliot, not for a shot of sake (I'm not 21!), but for some delicious non-dining hall food.
We ordered two servings of Shabu Shabu, while my friend also added an order of Red Sox Maki (tuna, avocado, spicy mayo with tobiko on top).
I had one piece of the roll just to get an idea of what it tastes like. There was a pretty big piece of sushi in each roll. I am not a huge fan of mayo, so I avoided the sauce at the bottom. Luckily the sushi roll itself was very simple without any artificial non-seafood flavors (think excessive mayo & fried stuff). Instead I could taste the fresh sushi itself, along with the savory avocado and crunchy (?) tobiko.
The lighting was great so I couldn't stop taking pictures of the sushi roll!
While we enjoyed the sushi roll as an appetizer, the waiter came by with a platter of vegetables (lettuce, cabbage, corn in the cob, tofu, mushroom) and raw meat (boneless beef short rib) to be dunked in a pot of boiling broth, special shabu sauce (similar to soy sauce but less salty) for dipping the meat and the vegetables, and a bowl of udon noodles.
Eating shabu is a fun experience if you have never tried it. You get to "indirectly" cook the food by dunking it in the boiling broth and dipping it in the sauce. It is also a course meal that involves vegetables and meat as the first course and noodles as the second course. I have definitely had a much tasiter shabu shabu in Korea, but it was nice to get a little taste of "home" in Cambridge. Nonetheless, I think I would rather stick to sushi rolls or Korean food at Shabu Ya because the vegetables weren't very fresh and the broth itself wasn't very flavorful.