We had eaten at Mon Land Hot Pot City in San Gabiel in a former life, but I'd have to say my memories of Mon Land was that the food was good, but that it was quite dark inside. So when I stepped inside Little Sheep, I was surprised at how well lit the place was, and how clean it was. The staff was extremely friendly and immediately sat us and got us served.
OK, I'll have to admit that I might be biased towards Little Sheep because as soon as we stepped inside the restaurant, the staff buzzed around my four month old son. Not to brag or anything, but if there ever was an asian Gerber baby, it'd be R, my baby. Case in point, he gets comments everywhere we go, and here, he captivated the staff and the surrounding patrons. My brother kindly asked if he could borrow R for a day to use as a chick magnet when he noticed all the waitresses coming by to pinch R's fat cheeks.
I digress, but yes the staff was friendly. As we sat at one of the large round tables, I noticed we were smiled down upon by the larger than life Mongolian ladies decorating one of the walls. On another wall was a painting of a pasture full of sheep, of course. Each table has a hot pot that sits into a recess in the center. Once seated, three appetizers came out: boiled peanuts, pickled radish, and asian buns. Nothing too special there, but a nice gesture nevertheless. And then a waitress came to ask which two broths we wanted. We picked the half and half broth: one side was medium spicy, the other not spicy. First impressions after taking a sip was: wow, this is spicy. I think next time we will choose one step lower than medium because their medium was way too spicy. Trust me, I like my spices, but this was too much. There were tons of herbs and peppers in the broth, and yes, it tastes like herbal medicine, but was still good. Definitely cured my dad's cold.
Then we started ordering our plates from the check-off menu. Each plate ran anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars. The meat and seafood were the priciest. We got lamb, pork, beef, and chicken, and they all ended up being really good. I thought the clam and scallop were ordinary, but fresh. everything else was quite fresh too. Meatballs were a little dry, but the shrimp ball was large and yummy. Of course, we had veggies and mushrooms too, and we also got this green noodle (can't recall the name) that was delicious and which soaked up the broth nicely. The icy tofu, not so well.
There was a good variety of side dishes too. We ordered the jellyfish which was seasoned perfectly and tossed with goji berries. The manager insisted we get the scallion pancakes too, but we opted out this time. For about $118, we fed our group of 6 adults and 2 kids nicely.
I'm salivating at the memory of all the flavors we tasted that night, and I'm looking forward to coming back again soon. I haven't been back to Mon Land for so long. Are the two still comparable? I guess I'll have to go and see for myself.
Little Fat Sheep is located at 120 S Atlantic Blvd Monterey Park, CA 91754 (626) 282-1089