Hai Di Lao, the popular Chinese-based hot pot chain, has run into delays and won’t be opening in downtown Seattle this fall as previously planned. Instead, the restaurant — which Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold described as “the Ferrari of Chinese hot pot restaurants” — is now aiming for an early 2020 opening.
The restaurant is setting up shop inside Pacific Place as part of the shopping center’s redevelopment. Hai Di Lao is also planning a restaurant for Bellevue Pacific Center. The two new locations will be the chain’s first U.S. expansion outside of California.
Hai Di Lao — which earned its place on Eater LA’s Essential Chinese Restaurants — is known for its rich broths, sauce bar, and entertaining table-side service, which includes staffers dancing as they stretch noodles into waiting bowls of soup.
When the two Hai Di Lao locations open, they’ll compete with a growing number of hot pot restaurants that have opened in the past year or so. There are two regularly-packed restaurants right in the heart of Bellevue, Liuyishou and The Dolar Shop. Green Lake is also home to China-based hot pot chain Da Long Yi, and a restaurant called Chengdu Memory opened in the Chinatown-International District earlier this summer.