Archive for 'All You Can Eat Buffet'

Libra’s Early Bird Special is a Meat-tastic Deal


People ask me all the time why Midtown Lunch is limited to under $10 lunches.  The answer I usually give is this: because the original goal for this site was to be a resource for people looking for something a bit more interesting out of their everyday lunches.  Not business lunches with the boss.  Not birthday party lunches for your spouse or co-workers. But a cheap lunch that could replace those cop-out meals that tons of people rely on daily- from Chipotle, California Pizza Kitchen, and {insert boring salad place here} every single day.

Sure I’ll make the occasional exception for the $11 all you can eat buffet, and once you add tax and tip a ton of the lunches I love come out to more than $10. But the rule speaks more to the heart and soul of a place than to a hard $$$ amount.  I guess what I’m saying is I will make exceptions for the extraordinary deal.  One that hits you instantly in the gut, while your brain simultaneously tries to figure out how a restaurant can stay in business and still charge these prices. Libra- a Churrascaria in Culver City- is one of those places, offering a meal which would cost $25-35+ anywhere else in L.A., for just $15.  And did I mention it’s all you can eat?

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Oiwake’s $8.50 Japanese Buffet Can’t Hide From Me


My quest to uncover and defeat every all you can eat buffet in the Greater L.A. area is going surprisingly well.  During my first stint in Los Angeles 7 years ago I was surprised at how few all you can eat buffets there were here, especially compared to Boston the city I moved here from.  But this second go around has been far more successful.  Indian lunch buffets are never tough to find, but there’s also been the Ethiopian buffet on Fairfax, the Thai buffet (also on Fairfax), the Vegas’ish Korean buffet on Olympic, the Brazilian pizza buffet, and the brand new Chinese super buffet I demolished a few weeks ago in Hollywood. And let’s not even talk about the all you eat Korean BBQ places (have you been to Don Day for lunch yet!?)

Japanese, however, has proved to be a bit more elusive.  I’m still waiting for the West L.A. branch of Hokkaido to open up, but in the meantime I was pretty excited when Profiled Luncher Cari recommended Oiwake’s $8.50 tempura and teriyaki buffet in Downtown L.A. last month.

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King Buffet Proves That Hollywood is Hungry For AYCE Chinese


When I moved from Boston to Los Angeles in 2004 the change was predictably jarring.  The weather?  Amazing.  People smiling? That’s crazy pants.  And the movie theater in Los Feliz?  Packed on a Tuesday at 2pm.  I love this town.  But there was one negative thing that loomed large in my stomach’s subconscious.  The lack of all you can eat Chinese buffets.  It may surprise you to learn that Boston has a ton of all you can eat Chinese buffets. It’s probably less surprising for you to learn that I really loved those buffets.  And moving here left a giant hole in my all-you-can-eat loving heart.  (Moving here also led to an immediate loss of 10 pounds; a coincidence, this is not.)

So when I read last month on Eater that a new Chinese food buffet had opened up on Western just south of Sunset (around the corner from where I used to live!!!) I got pretty excited.  The early word on Yelp sounded pretty bad, but clearly I needed to check it out for myself.  You know… for science.

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DonDay’s AYCE Korean BBQ Lunch Is Too Damn Good to Only Be $10

My love of all you can eat buffets knows no boundaries, but sadly there aren’t too many of them between Downtown and Santa Monica (my primary lunching boundaries.)  Thankfully there is all you can eat Korean BBQ to fill the void, and I’ve been doing my best to sample as many of the $10 versions as I possibly can.  It’s no surprise that most $10 ayce Korean BBQ lunch specials are limited.  You usually only get pork belly and brisket, and the quality is less than spectacular.  Then again, what do you expect for only $10.  So when I discovered Choi Ga Neh, back in November, I was pretty excited.  For just $11 you not only get brisket and pork belly, but also seasoned beef, beef belly, tripe, and chawan mushi. And for an extra $1 they’ll give you naeng myun (cold noodles) as well.  Once again, the quality is not the best.  But for $11, it was hard to imagine a better lunchtime all you can eat deal in Koreatown.

That is until now.

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Indian Buffet Battle: Annapurna Doesn’t Need Meat to Dispatch Mayura


So many great food neighborhoods in Los Angeles have become better known by the food they sell, than anything else. You’ve got Chinatown, Thai Town, Koreatown, Little Tokyo… I could keep going. And I’m starting to think that we should lobby to have the stretch of Venice and Washington between the 405 and Sepulveda renamed Little Kashmir. Seriously, if you love amazing Indian or Pakistani food, you’re vegetarian (or not) there is no better place to go in all of Southern California. Bawarchi, with it’s intensely proud chef, edges out the always solid Samosa House, Samosa House East and India Sweets and Spices for vegetarian steam table supremacy. The completely off the beaten path, open during weird times, Zam Zam Market makes the best biryani and tandoori chicken I have ever tasted. And all you can eat buffets? Mayura has you covered with a decent $10 buffet that rocks a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

But after trying Annapurna’s lunchtime buffet (a few blocks east on Venice), Mayura will likely be relegated to a dinner time only spot.

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Gill’s Indian Buffet Makes Hotel Stillwell One of the Best DTLA Lunchtime Destination

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since Uncle John’s Ham & Eggs was forced out of their old school diner and into the kind of scary looking Hotel Stillwell (on Grand between 8+9th). The gussied up decor ruins a bit of the charm, but the old hotel more than makes up for whatever “weirdness” they might have lost in the transition. Their Chinese/American diner food mash up is still one of my favorite places to eat in Downtown L.A., but it turns out it’s not the only great lunch to be had in the hotel.

As a big fan of buffets, I couldn’t help but notice the old sandwich board outside the hotel promoting Gill’s Indian Buffet. I don’t usually get turned off by the sketchiness of a lunchtime scene, but the lobby isn’t exactly inviting and the thought of walking into the bowels of an abandoned looking hotel searching for an Indian buffet had horror movie written all over it. But the $7.95 price tag (and my all you can eat loving gut) eventually won and this past Friday I finally gave into the lure of the Stillwell Hotel’s Indian buffet.

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Mayura’s $10 Kerala Buffet Is Not Essential Eating, But It’s Damn Good


It’s a new year and naturally everybody is trying to find ways to be healthy… so how do I follow up my January 2nd list of “healthy” lunches? With lunch at an all you can eat buffet, of course! (I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself.) If you’re vegetarian, or love vegetarian Indian food, you are probably already aware of the wealth of riches in the Culver City area. Samosa House and Samosa House East make me forget how much I love meat (for an hour at least) and India Sweets and Spices does some good stuff too. There’s also the most excellent Bawarachi, which does these pretty great fake chicken wings that I’ll get around to posting some day. But if you want some meat with your Indian food, the best option in the area has got to be the $10 all you can eat lunch buffet at Mayura.

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