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CIMA "East Meets West Buffet" Major Disappointment

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I'd heard so much about this buffet in the Pacific Palms Hotel in the City of Industry that I was very excited to try it.

It actually turned out to be one of the most disappointing seafood buffets ever. I would have been okay if it were $15-20 less and not billed as a "seafood buffet," but at $50 and with their press release promises, I was extremely disappointed.

1 kind of raw oyster, 1 out of 4 could be considered very fresh
shrimp cocktail shrimp smaller than what you see at Vons
good pork, decent lobster
2 kinds of sashimi, 1 kind of nigiri, 3 maki rolls
gummy risotto
lukewarm soup
lukewarm prime rib, a little tough
very tough lamb chops and steaks

Ironically, the new year's rice cakes (nien gao) and daikon cakes (luo buo gao) were extremely good. Better than most dim sum places.

3 small cakes for dessert, each 9" round. They weren't replenished all night and by the time I ate dessert there was a mess and 2 slices of each left.

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  1. Thanks for taking one for the team. I think I am going to cash in my 401K and give the Four Season's Sunday brunch a try soon. Will write it up if I actually do decide to dine in lieu of retirement.

    1. The Universal Hilton buffet is 10 times better and cheaper at under $40 than Cima. I've always been disappointed with Cima, but Universal is awesome.

      1. I was just told recently that CIMA is a popular destination stop for those Chinese Vegas tours from LA or San Diego.

        1. I went there once for a wedding buffet. It was all show, no substance. The food was quite forgettable. At that price, one would get a better deal ordering from a fixed-price menu at a Cantonese seafood restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: raytamsgv

            That's sort of how I feel about the buffet at the Universal Hilton.

          2. Thanks for the report/warning. I am always suspicious of buffet and hotel food, so it seems to be the worst combo possible. I am surprised that given the price they don't do a better job.

            Always wondered - when I went to visit relatives in NYC they had a very tasty Asian buffet place with raw oysters, sushi, king crab legs, deep fried squab and peking duck and it's only $30. Anything like that around in LA?

            1 Reply
            1. re: notmartha

              It used to be Cima. Then they raised the price and dropped the quality.