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Favorite All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant?

Chain, non-chain, buffet or not, Korean BBQ or Japanese Sushi, or whatever.

As long as it's AYCE ... do you have a favorite?

I think mine is Happy Family Restaurant in Monterey Park.

You?

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  1. I like Hokkaido in Long Beach off the 405 Fwy and Cherry.

      1. re: J.L.

        Forgot to mention the Universal Hilton AYCE buffet.

        1. re: J.L.

          +1 for Fogo de Chao. A meat lovers Disneyland plus the best salad bar in the city.

          1. re: wienermobile

            Love LOVE their salad bar. Best AYCE I've been too.

          2. re: J.L.

            2nd Fogo de Chao and all comments entered - between the salad bar and the meats, its an AYCE place where you will truly eat all that you can because their food is really good. So that's one downside - its hard not to gorge yourself here to the point you feel pretty bad afterwards. And, on the flipside, its price enough that if you don't gorge yourself, you'll probably leave feeling like you didn't get your money's worth.

          3. I like Radjhani's, in no small part because it isn't a buffet, and hence lacks that steam-table ick factor.

            That said, the greatest AYCE meal of my life was the Sunday brunch buffet at the Singapore Four Seasons. It rendered me completely useless for the next 24 hours but, sweet baby Jesus in a red feather boa, was it ever worth it.

            A good Singapore buffet is what the SGV desperately needs, not the bazillionth boba house or "luxury" seafood mausoleum.

            1. Hwang Hae Doh in Artesia. The only thing I don't like is that the grill/grate always comes out smelling like cleaning solution, but the food is good, and $9.99 for the basic combo of brisket, pork belly, and barbecue pork (which I skip on.)

              I know better KBBQ but it is not AYCE.

              1. Scaarpetta because the wonderful Beverly Hills Cheese Store people will make you all the custom cheese plates you'd like.

                1. some others to throw into the mix:
                  rahel's weekday lunch special.
                  jaipur's weekday lunch special.
                  big wok mongolian in manhattan beach.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Is the Jaipur weekday lunch buffet different from the weekend one (aside from the champagne)? I've only been on the weekend, and I like it quite a bit (and find it to be a good value at around $11/$12).

                    1. re: ilysla

                      i can't say since, normally, i only go to westwood on the weekdays.
                      sorry.
                      the weekday brunch does not include any booze and is less expensive.

                  2. Happy family is ayce? What??

                    6 Replies
                      1. re: ns1

                        Yes, as opposed to being a buffet. Similar to AYCE menus at Haige Star Boulevard and a bunch of Korean and sushi places.

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          So pardon the obvious what do you get for the AYCE and what does it cost?

                          I've been to HF dozens of times (old and new locations) and have never once noticed an AYCE option...

                          1. re: ns1

                            $14.

                            It's about 3/4 of the a la carte menu. Still very extensive, though.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              as long as it includes orange chicken and deep fried salt/pepper mushrooms..

                          2. re: Chandavkl

                            Chandavkl, what are your current favorite AYCE Buffets?

                            In the past, I always made a note of your recommendations for Chinese Buffets.

                        2. my favorite AYCE deal is the "array" of salads served at Itzik Hagadol.
                          their proteins, though, are NOT AYCE, so it really doesn't qualify as an ayce restaurant.

                          1. I really like the soups at Soup Plantation, nice salad selection. We go at least every other week.

                            30 Replies
                            1. re: Scotty

                              I love them, too. My salad generally consists of beets, hard boiled eggs and 1000 Island dressing. I can eat a shameful amount of just that. Their split pea soup is one of the best versions I have ever had. I also love their albondigas soup because the meat ball are small and tasty. Their pastas are just awful and flavorless, though. I wish those were better. But overall, I always have a good meal there.

                              1. re: Jelly71

                                souplantation is what it is; the pastas are definitely the worst part.

                                1. re: ns1

                                  souplantation was a lifesaver when
                                  1) my kid was a toddler
                                  and
                                  2) when i was carting around high school athletic teams.

                                  chow worthy, maybe not, but there was always plenty of decent food to satisfy everyone.

                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                    Here's the thing about Souplantation.

                                    It's about two notches above your basic Cafeteria food. And like you said, it has a bit of something for everyone. And it's generally tasty and can be quite healthy (given certain parameters).

                                    And for something like 15 at lunch (before those ubiquitous coupons), it's quite the bargain.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      I'm definitely not slamming souplantation - I go there after a night of partying too hard. Eat all the salad, some soup, and a lot of corn bread. I also load up on beets and eggs.

                                      Coupons almost every Sunday too so I never pay full price.

                                      1. re: ns1

                                        Y'know what's ghetto-licious at Souplantation?

                                        Put a cornbread into a soup bowl and then fill it with their chili, garnish with onions, a bit of sour cream, and their garlic croutons.

                                        Only thing I wish their salad bar had are avocados.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          ...sounds pretty good. Gotta do that next time.

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            Do the same thing for dessert.

                                            Chocolate muffin in soup bowl, fill with frozen yogurt, drizzle with chocolate syrup and peanuts.

                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                            similar technique can be used for their desserts.
                                            take one of their chocolate brownie/muffin things, put it in a soup bowl, cover with soft serve, add syrup if you like, sprinkle with crumbled warm chocolate chip cookies.

                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                              LOL.

                                              We posted almost at the exact same time and with the same idea!

                                              What do they say about brilliant minds? They eat the same things?

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                ipse,
                                                we must have been typing at the same time.
                                                would it be too much hubris to say "great minds think alike?"

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  would it be too much hubris to say "great minds think alike?"
                                                  _____________________

                                                  You give me too much credit if you actually think I have anything besides hot air between my ears ...

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    too bad.
                                                    i'm giving you the brainiac credit whether you want it or not.

                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                I have been known to bring my own avocados. I also carry jalepenos in my purse. And packets of Tapatio sauce. And mayo packets. I have become my grandmother.

                                                I am going to do that chili cornbread thing next time. Their chili is nothing like I normally like in a chili, but it's pretty tasty.

                                                I also love their tuna tarragon. I think that's what it is called. It is the cold tuna pasta salad. I only like one small scoop, but that little scoop is so yummy.

                                                1. re: Jelly71

                                                  ITT we have souplantation pros.

                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                    Oh, and to go back to the "dessert bowl" that westsidegal and I posted about.

                                                    If you have a lazy baker who won't reheat your chocolate brownie or muffin, put it in the bowl and stick it under the pasta heat lamps for a bit, and you're good to go with the frozen yogurt treatment.

                                                  2. re: Jelly71

                                                    jelly71,
                                                    lemme tell you from experience:
                                                    if you have a little container of the green salsa from Coni'Seafood and you add THAT to the souplantation chili, it is an entirely different dish.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      What about the King Taco sauce?
                                                      Wonder what that would do to that chili?

                                                      (Full disclosure here: I used to work at Souplantation ...)

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        never tried the King Taco sauce since i always have a fresh container of the Coni'Seafood sauce in my fridge.
                                                        every time i eat at Coni'Seafood i take the leftover green sauce home with me.
                                                        the flavor key is to transfer the sauce from the styrofoam container to a glass container for storage as soon as you get in the door.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          So what else can you tell us to get the most out of our souplantation visits?

                                                          1. re: ns1

                                                            So what else can you tell us to get the most out of our souplantation visits?
                                                            _______________________

                                                            - Their soup bowls used to be bigger than the mini-sized ones now. If you ask, some of the stores still have the larger ones in stock and those are much better for the chili and/or dessert bowls referenced above. Also, with the larger bowl you can squeeze in one of those baked potatoes and top with chili, can't do it with the mini sized bowls.

                                                            (For stores without the older bigger soup bowls, use the take-out soup containers, those do the trick just fine.)

                                                            - If you like chicken sandwiches, this is what you do. Get those big pieces of chicken from the chicken noodle soup (easy to do, because they're so big), and grab a couple of slices of the sourdough bread or Indian rye bread (from the bakery counter), some spinach (because it's not cut up) and tomatoes (or whatever else suits your fancy) from the salad bar, as well as a bit of honey mustard dressing and voila! You've just built your own chicken sandwich.

                                                            - Along the same lines you could do a veggie ciabatta with their focaccia.

                                                            - If you go for dinner, try to stay until closing time. That's when they set out all the baked goods (muffins, cornbread, baked potato etc.) for you to take home, gratis. They even give you boxes and bags.

                                                            -

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              And you can read all about their Sunday morning breakfast options (quoting from their website):

                                                              ".. scratch-made Zucchini Egg Frittata; freshly made Belgian Waffles; French Toast with Fruit Topping; Potatoes O’Brien, Egg Scramble Focaccia; our own signature Mediterranean Breakfast Pasta with Feta Cheese, the “to die for” Cinnamon Chip Biscuits with Butter Cream Glaze and much more. Still hungry? We have all the fixins for making your own Breakfast Burritos."

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                Y'know, I've never been there for Sunday brunch.

                                                                Whenever I get an itch for a sort of ghetto-licious Sunday outing, it's usually to The Hat for an order of the Pastrami Chili Fries (with tomatoes, pickles extra onions but no cheese) and a Roast Beef Dip, all washed down with a Zocor smoothie.

                                                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                "- If you go for dinner, try to stay until closing time. That's when they set out all the baked goods (muffins, cornbread, baked potato etc.) for you to take home, gratis. They even give you boxes and bags."

                                                                The ferengi in me just exploded with excitement.

                                                                ..and that brunch looks amazing for < $15!

                                                                ...and @ipse I love me some pastrami fries, but at 11 in the morning? lol

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  WOW-a few baked potatos would be great for homefrys the next morning!

                                                    2. re: ns1

                                                      Those pastas are very bad-I'm not realy sure why that is.

                                                      1. re: Scotty

                                                        any pasta that sits in a pool of liquid (sauce) on a steam table for any length of time will become mush.
                                                        add to that: the tomato sauce is bland.

                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                          I think that's the real problem. The taste, not the texture.

                                                          The guys behind the pasta/soup bar will make you the pasta a la minute if you request it, even if there is already pasta sitting underneath the heat lamps.

                                                2. I am def keeping tabs on this thread.

                                                  fav AYCE- maggiano's family style. fogo, soup plantation, little india restaurant in artesia...so many.

                                                  1. Zengo's http://www.richardsandoval.com/zengos... weekend brunch for $35, including all the small plates and bloody mary''s or regular or mango mimosa's, lychee bellini or sake sangria you can consume. You are on a 2 hour clock, but that seems like plenty of time.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. How about favorite AYCE meal as opposed to restaurant? There don't seem to be as many great Sunday AYCE brunches as there once were. I used to love the Sunday brunch at the Ritz in Pasadena and even the Westin Pasadena (think it was a Doubletree when they had the brunch).

                                                      As to fave AYCE restaurants.... Fogo, Soup Plantation, Chao Krung used to have a good buffet lunch.

                                                      I do AYCE more for lunch because it is fast and easy and I don't necessarily have high expectations for a foodie experience, just decent food. I think Fogo is an exception, I do think their food (the roasted dead animal part) is exceptional.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: scottca075

                                                        How about favorite AYCE meal as opposed to restaurant?
                                                        ____________________

                                                        I would like an AYCE ice cream or gelato shop.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          i would pony up for AYCE o-toro at urusawa.

                                                          of course, the eco-guilt, and probably cost of this, would be...priceless?

                                                          1. re: linus

                                                            i would pony up for AYCE o-toro at urusawa.
                                                            _____________________

                                                            Sure, if it's AYCP (all-you-can-pay)

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              "Sure, if it's AYCP (all-you-can-pay)"

                                                              No, no...it's the "All They Can Charge" concept that is the killer in this scenario...

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                ah, but the question is not, grasshopper, how much they would charge, but how much you would pay?

                                                                1. re: linus

                                                                  ... don't you mean "how much CAN you pay"?

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    im going to stick with "would," because you CAN hock the jewels, sell the car, pimp out the teenager, but im not willing to go quite that far...

                                                                  2. re: linus

                                                                    It's the H.L. Mencken effect ("No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.") taken to new heights (depths?) in which those with more money than brains are attracted to those who figure if they charge some obscene amount of money for an "over the top and it came around again" idea then it must be worth doing...

                                                        2. Kind of pricey but Greenfield in Long Beach is my favorite AYCE Brazilian Brassiere for meat lovers!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Clinton

                                                            Alright! I was looking for a rodizio fan. In my area they can run from under $20 to more than $50.

                                                            My fave is a place in NE Philly, Picanha, a BYOB knocking 'em dead at $22.

                                                            "AYCE Brazilian Brassiere" - This style is always AYCE, isn't it?

                                                            Otto's does AYCE German on Sunday afternoons, Sweet Lucy's BBQ on Mondays and a local Greek has offered to do 'Mezze' any week night. I can eat a different ethnic AYCE 7 days a week. (Do have to include a lunch or two if I want to go Italian and Spanish).

                                                          2. A Frame's all you can eat tasty fried chicken $18 Saturday & Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings.
                                                            http://aframela.com/new/index.php/all...

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                                              WITH AN ENDLESS HITE FOR $10 ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

                                                              thank you for this post!

                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                OMG, SERIOUSLY!

                                                                Oh man, I wish they would do this with their beer can chicken too. That stuff is crack...

                                                              2. re: wienermobile

                                                                FYI to all, we got here at 2pm and they ran out of fried chicken :(

                                                                ALSO fyi to all, their vietnamese coffee pretty much sucks. You're paying 3rd wave coffee prices for cafe du monde.

                                                              3. Another vote for Fogo De Chao or Scarpetta Sunday Brunch.

                                                                1. Vegas Seafood Buffet.
                                                                  http://www.vbuffet.com/
                                                                  $13 for lunch, $20 for dinner.

                                                                  Next door to the Fresh & Easy store on Hollywood Blvd. Went for dinner, aside from all the sushi, salad, crab legs, Chinese food offerings, there was a brazillian churrasco, slicing lamb, chicken & beef.

                                                                  1. The Odyssey has a decent Sunday brunch. The view is always good. It is even a better deal if you stop off at Costco and get the gift cards. You get 2 fifty dollar gift cards for 80 dollars.

                                                                    1. I suppose that Hometown Buffet should be mentioned. I go for the Seafood Salad which may be heavy on the mayo but has plenty of fake crab. I also have the guilty pleasure of their fried chicken which is usually in heavy rotation and always hot. Soup Plantation cheap this place has had one major drawback for me lately; way too much salt.

                                                                      1. The General. The Korean Buffett on Newport Blvd in Tustin.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. Midori will still reign supreme for me.

                                                                          However, I brunch at delmonicosin encino today and all you can eat lobster for $35 isn't too bad

                                                                          1. Myself and others have already posted about Fogo de Chao but another place I'd mention is Mogo's Mongolian BBQ in Sherman Oaks. Its only AYCE and dinner and only the BBQ itself is all you can eat (dinner also comes w/a serving of soup, rice, bread and one of 3 or 4 appetizers). The BBQ itself is the usual Mongolian make your own bowl of raw meats, veggies and sauces, then hand it to the chef who cooks it. Not as good as Fogo but a lot less $.

                                                                            1. Three Flames Mongolian BBQ
                                                                              5608 W Manchester Ave
                                                                              Los Angeles 90045
                                                                              (At Osage Ave)

                                                                              All you can eat . Fix your own bowl and hand it to the chef who prepares it right in front of you. Also has a regular menu if do not want the all you can eat .

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: NikkiW

                                                                                had an unpleasant AYCE experience at Three Flames.
                                                                                when i was assembling my bowl, they tried to limit the amount of tofu that i was allowed to have.
                                                                                since i had paid for the AYCE option, i objected.
                                                                                somehow or other, they had decided that despite it being AYCE, THEY should be in charge of the ratio of tofu to noodles and tofu to vegetables.
                                                                                they went on and on.
                                                                                since i wasn't having ANY meat nor poultry, which was included in the price, i don't see why they were so obstinate about letting me have tofu.
                                                                                i don't want to be forced to buy a bowl of noodles.

                                                                                needles to say, won't go back there again.
                                                                                instead will go to BIG WOK in manhattan beach which doesn't get into micromanaging my food selection and which allows me to have all the tofu i want.

                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                  +1 for Big Wok. They will even let you take two bowls at once.