The Best Chinese Buffet In The San Gabriel Valley
- Chandavkl Apr 17, 2014 03:31 PM
Is now Kirin Buffet, which recently replaced Todai in the Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia. Nice selection of good quality entrees, cute little dim sum items (including a small cocktail bun), desserts include Hong Kong waffle puffs. But here's what seals it. While a number of SGV buffets cater to Chinese diners, all the others also have a significant number of non-Asian customers too, which reflects to some extent in the food offerings. In a packed dining room today at Kirin there were all of two non-Asian diners, both with Asian dining companions. Yeah, they do have kung pao chicken and garlic fries, but this is the best lineup I've seen at a Chinese buffet in L.A. outside of the fancy hotel buffets. Kirin's offerings are not as extensive as Moonstar in Daly City, but it's also cheaper--$12.95 for weekday lunch, $19.95 for dinner, higher on weekends.
given the heat, it seemed like a good day to go to an air-conditioned mall with covered parking for lunch.
no pics. and the following thoughts:
- the selection *is* more varied and more catering to an asian clientele than the only other buffet i've been to in the SGV, which is the zen buffet in monrovia;
- only one non-asian diner, with an asian companion;
- they replenish your drinks without prompting;
- the clams with basil would have been so much better with less grit;
- anything deep fried (mainly tempura & deep fried fish) was typically crispy and not oily;
- a piece of sushi roll had something in it that at first made me worry that i'd broken a tooth;
- the sliced tataki-ed beef in the sashimi area wasn't bad;
- the only thing in the dim sum category that i even considered was the siu mai when they were fresh;
- i skipped the mongolian BBQ area as there's better selection at the place at rosemead & colorado;
- the seaweed salads were overly doused with oil much reducing their palatability;
- the chocolate fountain was a letdown. i eschewed the marshmellow in favor of strawberries that were not particularly sweet (nor was the pineapple BTW);
- you can't screw up mango pudding/jello;
given how they kept replenishing my beverage i felt compelled to tip which made my total expenditure about $16. i probably got my money's worth in volume (though the 5th plate was probably a bad idea). i think i would have been better off getting cold sesame chicken noodle somewhere in MP and saving $10. if i'm forced to go to a AYCE as part of a group for lunch, i'd probably opt for zen buffet at $10. YMMV.