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Zen Buffet in San Gabriel for a family dinner?

I'm hoping you all can help me with this one. I'm trying to plan a family dinner for probably about 20-30 people. I thought a buffet would be good so everyone can find something they may like and the price is reasonable ($12.99/person for dinner). At that price I'm not expecting any phenominal. What should I expect? Are there other buffets I should go to in the area?

Thanks so much!

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  1. Not impressed with either Zen Buffet or International Buffet by the Pomona Freeway in North Montebello. Golden Coast by Costco in Alhambra is a little better, and World Buffet in West Covina would be next best. They all pale in comparison, however, to West Coast Seafood in Hacienda Heights (Azusa Ave. just south of the Pomona Freeway). The two other pretty good places are gone (Sea Star in Alhambra and Super King in El Monte.)

    1. The regular cooked Chinese food was just alright. But I do enjoy their sushi and king crab legs. I took pictures last time I went there: http://flickr.com/photos/eileen216/se...

      1. I would not recommend Zen Buffet. It generally excels in mediocrity. Here's my take on their food: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/su...

        1. Zen Buffet, is an interesting concept in marketing.
          The Monrovia Zen, is first rate ambiance, and food! The SUSHI, even for lunch as Chinese Sushi goes a large selection, the Salads with Sea Weed , and the Seafood salad with Sashimi excellent. The other choices which are not present at Zen San Gabriel rock! The place is clean, the Restrooms super clean, while San Gabriel sucks, as the PepBoys next door. San Gabriel Ambiance sucks also! Since the San Gabriel is also lacking the staff of Monrovia, many food trays also go empty, with few to restock!
          Now the San Gabriel Zen- for the same charge of money, in a substandard location as compared to the Monrovia old Macaroni Grill, is 4th rate, as well as the Chinese Adult Day Care filling the place at times, eating around this bunch of people is wrenching to the appetite! Thus not being xenophobic chills me to see our Social Services Dollars spent so!

          THe San Gabriel Zen, even after the $250k face lift is has sub standard food and choices! Why then at a location in Monrovia, in high rent area, does this location have good Sushi as opposed the the crap that is not fit to eat at the San Gabriel Zen? Why do they not have the choices in San Gabriel as Monrovia? I ate a couple time also in the Woodland Hills Zen, a definite hgh rent old steak house, and the food rocked!

          San Gabriel and the manager Michelle are totally lacking. The Food sucks for the most part, and why then do they charge the bill of fare as Monrovia or the other superior Zen Buffets?
          World Buffet $2.50 cheaper, Super King Chinese in El Monte rocks - is $2.25 cheaper for lunch, and has great lunch choices, and endless food trays! Compared to these local places of competition- ZEN San Gabriel sucks!!!

          1. Go to Super King El Monte, cheaper and more crab, shrimp, meat choices, good Sashimi and Sushi, but no Mongolian Stir Fry...

            5 Replies
            1. re: hashbrn

              Never heard of Super King in El Monte - please provide their address.

              1. re: SoCal Foodie

                Well East Super King Buffet on Lower Azusa closed down about 4 years ago. After a period as a non-Chinese restaurant, Yummy Yummy Seafood Buffet opened up last year in that location and eventually became my favorite SGV Asian Buffet--until it closed down earlier this year. (And the non-buffet Chinese restaurant that replaced it has already closed down.) Right now my favorite Asian buffet in the SGV is Asia Buffet in Industry, but that's a long long way to travel. Zen in Monrovia is not bad, while Zen is Rosemead is awful.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Do you like Asia Buffet better than West Coast?

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    At this point, yes. West Coast (Osaka) food is a little too salty for me.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Plus they raised their price by a buck.

            2. China Great Buffet
              11860 Valley Blvd
              El Monte, CA 91732
              (626) 575-8828

              Yelp review: rating : 4star
              After I walked out of ZEN Buffet, I came here!
              A good choice.
              So the food:
              Good Sushi
              Lots of meat choices
              Plenty of salad stuff
              Lots of veggies, cold Asparagus which was so good!
              Salads as fresh greens, and romaine
              Soups
              Fresh Fruits and deserts
              etc.

              Good food, lots of it, and out the door price $7.86

              Try and come before busy lunch hour as can get crowed, however a large place with lots of seating, and a large parking lot!

              I will be back!

              2 Replies
              1. re: hashbrn

                Thanks. I think a saw an ad for them somewhere but I never followed up.

                1. re: hashbrn

                  China Great is definitely better than Zen Buffet. However, I thought it fell far short of my beloved but departed Yummy Yummy Seafood Buffet on Lower Azusa, also in El Monte. I was impressed, though also perplexed, by the large number of Chinese diners at China Great. In particular, I thought Yummy Yummy was significantly better and also in a much better location than China Great which is in the gritty eastern part of El Monte, yet Yummy Yummy never attracted much of a following at all. Also Yummy Yummy had a largely authentic array to choose from, while China Great mixes awful egg foo yong with a very good cucumber salad in a half and half selection of food.