Is it Thai, or is it Taiwanese? It's both. We're talking about the Thai Flavor Hot Soup at Boiling Point, a Taiwanese soup chain with several Southern California locations, including a new one in San Gabriel.

You might think you're in Hollywood's Thai Town when you taste this sweet, sour, spicy, salty concoction. But the flavorings were blended for Boiling Point in Taiwan. They go into a stock based on beef bones and vegetables.

There's a little pork in the soup, but mostly you get a bowl full of calamari, clams, shrimp, crab and Foochow-style fish balls stuffed with minced squid and pork, as if you were eating by the beach in Thailand. It's not all meat and seafood, though; mushrooms go into the pot too.

Boiling Point soups stay bubbling hot until you finish, because they come on individual burner units that can be reignited as needed. As for hot, as in chiles, you get to choose. “No spicy” is for wimps. “Mild spicy” is pretty spicy, which means “flaming spicy” must be so fiery there may be nothing to rival it this side of Thailand.

the new Boiling Point location in San Gabriel; Credit: Barbara Hansen

the new Boiling Point location in San Gabriel; Credit: Barbara Hansen

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