Sipping savory soups at Mokkoji
Found in Arcadia, Mokkoji places a different spin on the conventional hotpot concept. This hole-in-the-wall proudly showcases its unique soup base flavors and abundant meat choices, choices ranging from a spicy firecracker crab broth to meat choices such as freshly cut torro and miyachiku wagyu end rib.
Upon entering , I was pleasantly surprised by the rustic design and the savory aromas of the steaming pots yet shocked by the long-waiting queue. Since it was my first time visiting Mokkoji and I was unsure of what to expect, I decided to order the seemingly safe spicy miso and a plate of torro, a selection of beef belly which was a little too fatty for me. The water-based broth tasted quite bland at first, but the side of ponzu dipping sauce really enhanced the flavor of the base and the beef cuts. The complementary vegetables were very fresh and the greens provided an extremely satisfying crisp with each bite I took.
Nearing the end of my meal, I slowly began to realize the reason for all of the positive feedbacks on this place: the initial watery base now turned into a meaty (rich), miso broth after cooking and swishing around all of the pieces of torro. The soup was just right, like in a state of equilibrium – the flavors from the miso paste, cooked fatty meat and fresh vegetables harmoniously blended into a unifying taste. No ingredient was too overpowering, and that’s something very hard to come across.
By Jonathan Liu, Staff writer