Hai Di Lao is a ridiculously popular recent transplant from Sichuan. They've made a killing by offering nice, sleek dining rooms that look much more expensive than they are, an extensive bar of ingredients from which to make your dipping sauce, and over-the-top service -- you can have your shoes shined, glasses or cell phone cleaned, nails done, neck massaged, etc., while you wait for a table. (And at busy times, you'll have to wait.) Ingredients themselves are as good as anywhere, but it's the whole production, including a track-suited young kid twirling noodles like streamers and dropping them in your pot -- the gongfu mian -- that makes it one of Shanghai's best choices for hot pot.
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