Diners won’t find it down an alley, and the inflatable maneki-neko, beckoning cat, sitting outside makes it easy to find, but the low-key debut of Alleyway Hot Pot in the southwest hasn’t stopped a steady stream of diners from discovering the new restaurant’s individual hot pot menu and a soon-to-be-famous giant squid appetizer.
Located in a Sprouts-anchored retail center close to the intersection of Rainbow Boulevard and Warm Springs Road, Alleyway Hot Pot’s menu is based on the theory that customers don’t always need to order a huge shareable hot pot bowl.
The bright, industrial interior features modern art pieces, two full–size Street Fighter arcade games, and both booths and stand-alone seating.
Individual heaters brought to the table keep soups warm. The broth can be prepared with heat levels varying from mild to flaming hot, and include menu choices of tonkatsu, sukiyaki, Thai tom yum, stinky tofu, Korean kimchi, coconut curry, and a sea salt cream tomato creation with beef and fish balls.
Add-on options include pork intestine, mussels, crab, seaweed, quail egg, and fried tofu skin. Customers have also been quick to notice the appetizers, featuring scallion pork gravy rice, pork belly, honey chicken wings, and the ready for social media “cracken,” a fried giant squid on a skewer, priced at $11 and larger in size than two human hands.
Alleyway Hot Pot, 7385 S. Rainbow Boulevard, Suite 120, 725-205-3661. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.