A Cornucopia of Cultures Combine To Offer Dizzying Arrays of Dishes at Buffets All Over Los Angeles
By Sujata Day
Diversity of cultures is one of the many highlights when traveling to Los Angeles; impressively showcased in L.A.'s impressive selection of restaurants from around the world. Some of the best buffet restaurants offer a dizzying array of flavorful and fresh dishes, loaded with spices and teeming with tasty sauces. In the charming, beautifully adorned dining room at Maison Akira, patrons savor sophisticated French and Japanese fusion fare crafted by award-winning owner and chef Akira Hirose. Brazilian steakhouses abound! An endless parade of succulent Brazilian barbecue paired with a scrumptious all-you-can-eat buffet make Libra Brazilian Steakhouse a local favorite. At Fogo de Chao, enjoy a selection of meats along with warm cheese bread, crispy polenta, caramelized bananas. An exquisite selection of South American wines from Argentina and Chile add to a unique meal and experience you'll never forget. Less expensive than LA's larger churrascarias, M Grill offers a traditional rodizio-style dining experience that is affordable, elegant and unforgettably delicious. Eager to try a taste of the Himalayas? Chef Karma Tenzing Bhotia at Tibet Nepal House hails from Nepal and brings his insider expertise to dishes like Lamb Sekuwa (marinated in Himalayan herbs and spices) and kwaati, a nine-bean soup. Indian all-you-can-eat buffets dot the city from north to south! If you're searching for the best buffet in the city, don't miss the mouthwatering cornucopia of cuisine at India's Tandoori, where the sensational lunch spread is both varied and budget-friendly. Woodlands Indian Cuisine, Nawab of India, and Clay Pit are all excellent choices to taste authentic Indian cuisine at its finest.
8 Fogo de Chao
Fogo de Chao is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, that offers gourmet salads, flavorful Brazilian side dishes and impressive list of wines. Choose from 15 different cuts of simmering Brazilian meats delivered right to your table, served by gaucho chefs. Meats include top sirloin, filet mignon, beef ribs, lamb, chicken, and sausage. Warm cheese bread, crispy polenta, caramelized bananas accent your Brazilian feast! Artisan breads, imported cheeses, and fresh vegetables entice at the salad bar while an exquisite selection of South American wines from Argentina and Chile add to a unique meal and experience you'll never forget. Dying for dessert? Save room for cr�me brulee, flan, or Fogo de Chao's signature papaya cream sweet specialties. (310 289-7755)
7 Nawab of India
A notable lunch buffet and enviable curry dishes generate lots of buzz for this enticing Indian restaurant. So, too, do the outstanding all-white decor and expert service. Upscale and refined, the place is pleasant and welcoming. Start with a tantalizing array of hot or cold appetizers, including fish fritters, marinated chicken and zesty fried pakoras. Enjoy authentic entrees, including a spicy chicken vindaloo and eggplant curry. Nice selection of vegetarian dishes, too. Sweet tooth? Top your meal with a refreshing dessert like rice pudding, mango ice cream, gulab jamun (deep fried milk and sugar dumplings soaked in sugar syrup), or rasmalai (cottage cheese balls in sweet milk syrup). (310-829-1106)
6 Tibet Nepal House
Voted Best Buffet in Pasadena in 2010, Tibet Nepal House offers traditional flavorful Tibetan cuisine, sure to please anyone who craves spice in all its forms. Distinctive tastes of the Himalayas -- including yak meat -- can now be had in Pasadena. Chef Karma Tenzing Bhotia hails from Nepal and brings his insider expertise to dishes like Lamb Sekuwa (marinated in Himalayan herbs and spices) and kwaati, a nine-bean soup. Make sure to begin your meal with an order of momo, a dumpling filled with meat and vegetables that can be steamed or fried. Tuesday to Friday, a filling lunch buffet includes soup, vegetarian options, and clay oven-baked bread, among other items. (626-585-0955)
5 India's Tandoori Restaurant
If you're searching for the best buffet in the city, don't miss the mouthwatering cornucopia of cuisine at India's Tandoori, where the sensational lunch spread is both varied and budget-friendly. Start your meal with a pleasurable pakora sampler or meat or veggie samosa. Staples like saag paneer, tandoori chicken, yogurt curry and garlic naan are cooked to palate-pleasing perfection while such rare specialties as tender goat curry and carrot pudding add intrigue to the plate. Plus, the staff is as sweet as the decadent mango lassi. Check out the incredibly affordable champagne brunch, a steal for only $12, on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30-3pm. (310-675-5533)
4 M Grill
Luscious Latin barbecue is served alongside an appetizing array of the best Brazilian buffet dishes at M Grill. Less expensive than LA's larger churrascarias, this restaurant offers a traditional rodizio-style dining experience that is affordable, elegant and unforgettably delicious. Traditional Brazilian cuisine, such as hearts of palm and black beans, await you. Diners indulge in endless amounts of premium meat grilled over an open charcoal pit as well as heavenly cheese bread, inventive salads, mashed and fried yucca and sweet, crispy grilled cinnamon pineapple. (213-389-2770)
3 Libra Brazilian Steakhouse
An endless parade of succulent Brazilian barbecue paired with a scrumptious all-you-can-eat buffet make this steakhouse a local favorite. Modern yet cozy decor adorns the authentic churrascaria in which attentive gauchos continuously deliver rodizio-style meat skewers to diners' tables. Some meat choices include top sirloin, prime rib, garlic chicken, lamb chops, rib eye and pork ribs. In addition to the crispy, tender and oh-so-juicy barbecue, patrons also delight in 30-plus delectable buffet items, such as smoked salmon, fresh grilled veggies, truffle mac and cheese and caramelized plantains. Sign up for the newsletter on Libra's website for special deals and promotions. (310-202-1300)
2 Maison Akira
Voted best champagne brunch by "Pasadena Weekly," Maison Akira's all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet offers a lovely experience not to be missed. In the charming, beautifully adorned dining room, patrons savor sophisticated French and Japanese fusion fare crafted by award-winning owner and chef Akira Hirose. Chef Akira was born in Kyoto, Japan, and moved to France to study under world-famous Chef Joel Robuchon. After a feast of crab chawanmushi, soba pasta salad, assorted sushi and succulent prime rib, the exquisite dessert table delights with delicate caramel flan and tantalizing tarts. Drinks include champagne, juice, coffee, and tea. Eating with kids? Children, 10 and under, are $25, while kids under the age of 3 eat for free. (626-796-9501)
1 Govinda's Natural Food Buffet
For a vegan buffet with a side of enlightenment, go to Govinda's Natural Food Buffet in West Los Angeles. Try the $8.00 "all-you-can-eat" buffet or weigh your plate for $4.50/lb to experience a wide variety of Hare Krishna culinary delights. Situated alongside a Hare Krishna temple, the atmosphere is uniquely serene making this a stand-out buffet experience. Lunch and dinner are served daily, except for Sunday evenings when a free meal is offered to all guests. A small retail store is also on site in case you have a spiritual hankering for a post-buffet souvenir. ((310) 836-1269)
About Sujata Day
Living in the land of perpetual sun, beautiful beaches, and gorgeous people has fueled Sujata Day’s creativity in myriad ways. Her short story “Forbidden Fate” won the WRITE STUFF competition sponsored by MTV and People magazine, birthing a prosperous writing career. The tale was published in a collection of short stories titled Pieces, edited by Stephen Chbosky. Reviews hail Pieces as “an exciting glimpse into the future of fiction” and “endearingly raw, undeniably bold, and engagingly inventive.” Since moving to LA from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, Sujata has appeared in many TV shows, films, and internet productions. TV credits include Desperate Housewives, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Campus Ladies, Greek, and The Loop. She plays a supporting role in 2009’s Down For Life, alongside Danny Glover and Snoop Dogg. Sujata produced, wrote, and starred in the web pilot Raveena and the Vampire chosen to launch as a 2010 premiere vehicle on the popular internet channel, Somebody’s Basement. Currently, she stars as ‘CeCe’ in the hit web series, Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Sujata can be seen next starring in the film, Big Breakin', to be released in early 2012.
Read more about Sujata Day here.