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Tahoe Hot Pot brings new dining experience to the South Shore

The hot pot has an evolving flavor over the course of the meal as new ingredients are added in.
Claire Cudahy / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

The delicious aroma of simmering broth fills the restaurant at Tahoe Hot Pot in Stateline.

The do-it-yourself Asian soup joint opened on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at the corner of U.S. 50 and Kahle Drive — the third restaurant on the South Shore for owner Chirawat “Lift” Mekrakseree.

Mekrakseree opened My Thai Cuisine down near the Y back in 2014, and in 2016, opened a second location, My Thai and Noodle, in Stateline next door to what is now Tahoe Hot Pot.

“Hot pot is Asian-style food — it’s not exactly tied to one country. Every country — Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam — they all have it,” explained Mekrakseree.

Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Mekrakseree moved to the United States seven years ago. After helping a relative establish a restaurant in Big Bear, California, he moved to South Lake Tahoe to open one of his own.

“People know us for our food — for our quality. I saw an opportunity in the market to try something different,” said Mekrakseree.

A meal at Tahoe Hot Pot begins by selecting two broth bases — one for each side of the divided pot that sits on an adjustable burner built into the table. Diners can choose from a selection of soups: tom yum, miso, vegetable or the house special “Tahoe soup” — pork bone broth mixed with Thai herbs and vegetables.

Next, guests choose a variety of vegetables to cook in the bubbling broth, before adding in any combination of thinly sliced cuts of raw beef, chicken, pork or seafood such as scallops, shrimp, mussels, squid and white fish.

“You just have to dip the meat a few times for it to cook,” explained Mekrakseree. From there, it’s on to the dipping sauces — some sweet, some spicy.

Other side items like tofu, shrimp-pork wontons or udon noodles can be tossed in the hot pot, too, which has an evolving flavor over the course of the meal.

It’s a meal meant to be savored. But for those who do manage to save room, all of Mekrakseree’s restaurants offered homemade Thai desserts, baked fresh daily.

Tahoe Hot Pot is located at 177 U.S. 50 in Stateline.


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