I love Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot. So, during a visit to Southern California, I was quite excited to try the Los Angeles Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot. Sometimes, Chinese businesses confuse me. I’m wary of bootleg CDs, DVDs and handbags. But, bootleg restaurants?
So, as I approach the restaurant, I see 小肥羊, the cute little lamb, and 中国内蒙火锅; however, in 繁体 instead of 简体. However, when we were presented the menu, the restaurant suddenly became 喜羊羊.
Basically, Happy Sheep worked the same way as Little Sheep. Order a broth and a selection of meat, seafood and vegetables for your hot pot. The Happy Sheep broth was very close in flavor to the Little Sheep broth with that distinct Chinese herbal aroma. I could taste the difference between the meats though. The lamb and beef from Little Sheep were much more tender. Also, because the meat slices from Little Sheep curled into rolls, they didn’t clump together like the Happy Sheep ones. Also, I would give points to Little Sheep for presentation. The way they served their raw vegetables, meats and noodles looked more appetizing. Little Sheep is also a LOT cleaner.
Happy Sheep did offer some complimentary appetizers, including sweet rolls that were delicious. They also had an outrageously tasty 鸡肉炒面, which was very popular at my table.
Out of curiosity, I looked up Little Sheep at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website. Both Little Sheep and 小肥羊 are registered trademarks of Inner Mongolia Little Sheep Catering Chain Co., Ltd. Corporation. Was this the reason why the Los Angeles Little Sheep became a Happy Sheep instead?