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Los Angeles Loves Its Groaningly Good Buffets



When it comes to buffets, Los Angeles has plenty of groaningly good choices that range from oceanside places with fantastic Sunday buffet brunch spreads all the way to inland Indian spots that offer daily buffets chockablock with exotic flavors. 

Many of the top choices are found in Southern California's best hotels, ranging from the Four Seasons and the SLS  to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills; others are at classic restaurants where both locals and tourists have flocked for decades. Duke's Malibu offers up sun and sand along with its massive Sunday spread, while India's Tandoori serves a lunch buffet all week long. Meanwhile, at places like Fogo de Chao and M Grill, restaurants specializing in Brazilian churrascaria, diners find top-notch meats sliced up at the table, along with massive buffets filled with salads, cheeses and regional dishes. And at Border Grill in DTLA, the weekend "Border Brunch" has a distinctly Mexican bent.


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Playa Del Rey
Tandoor-A-India
Photo courtesy of Alison Widdoes


Tandoor-A-India is the go-to spot for great Indian food near the beach. Located up on the bluff in Playa del Rey, this homey restaurant has an atmosphere that is quiet, quaint and inviting. The place is justifiably famous for their Chicken Tikka Masala; other winners include their Samosa appetizers and numerous variations of Naan cooked in the Tandoor oven. Note that Naan costs extra, but is well worth the spend. Vegetarians will find plenty of tasty choices, with the Channa Masala and Aloo Gobi two popular favorites. For the best deal on the Westside, check out Tandoor-A-India's offering of a lunch buffet for about $10, that includes most of their most popular dishes.

Recommended for Buffet because: This classic eatery by the beach has been serving up delicious Indian fare for decades.

Jenny's expert tip: Ask for your favorite level of heat, otherwise, dishes are served mild.

Read more about Tandoor-A-India →


Border Grill Downtown L.A.


You might know Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger from their "Too Hot Tamales" cooking show, which aired back in the 1990s, right about the time they opened their first Border Grill in Santa Monica. If not, then you're in for a treat. Border Grill's menu of lighter, authentic Mexican cuisine suits even the most finicky palates. After many years at the beach, the dynamic duo closed that location and opened in Downtown Los Angeles (as well as at LAX and in Las Vegas). Their take on Mexican is fantastic, full of complex flavors and fresh vegetables and fruits. Alongside meaty tacos and burritos, you'll find an assortment of vegetarian and seafood options. The "Border Brunch" buffet is chockablock with small plates, ranging from a guava empanada to fried chicken and churro waffles; have as many or few as you desire, for a $30 price. They also do a "Vegan Brunch" for the same price; both include bottomless Mimosas for an extra $15.

Recommended for Buffet because: With a beautiful Pasadena setting combined with flowing Bloody Marys and Mimosas, this is a perfect spot to enjoy a Sunday brunch buffet.

Jenny's expert tip: Self-park in the Union Bank building (the restaurant is on the ground floor) and don't forget to validate for a substantial discount.

Read more about Border Grill Downtown L.A. →


Tres by José Andrés
Photo courtesy of Tres by José Andrés


Famed chef José Andrés brings a unique sense of dining to his weekend brunch offering at Tres in the SLS Hotel. On Sundays, patrons will find a wide selection of fantastic food offerings at the "Brunch Table" there, starting with croissants and pain au chocolat and rolling on through carved meats, charcuterie and cheese, greek yogurts and gazpacho all the way to displays of American caviar and smoked salmon, each served with all the appropriate accompaniments. Priced at $65 per person, or add $25 more to indulge in the "Bottomless Bubbles Bar," or simply grab one of Andrés' signature Aguas Frescas for a non-alcoholic alternative.

Recommended for Buffet because: The wildly wacky setting of Tres combined with a weekend buffet that includes everything from caviar to charcuterie makes this a wonderful spot for brunch.

Jenny's expert tip: If caviar is one of your favorite things to have during weekend brunch, then Tres is the place.

Read more about Tres by José Andrés →


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Fogo de Chao


Fogo de Chao is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse (known as a churrascaria) that offers 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. At the nearby Market Table Buffet and Feijoada Bar, you'll find a large buffet of tasty delights, from classic Hearts of Palm salad to imported cheeses, fresh vegetables and regional hot-food specialties (like Feijoada) to German and Italian offerings gleaned by the founding chefs via immigrants who came to Brazil generations ago. Desserts include Fogo de Chao's signature papaya cream or a South American flan – go ahead, try both! Dinner, which includes meats, side dishes, the Market Table Buffet and desserts, is $63.95, half price for children 7 to 12.

Recommended for Buffet because: With 29 restaurants across Brazil, Mexico and the United States, Fogo de Chao as offered consistently excellent fare since 1975.

Jenny's expert tip: Try the "Gaucho Lunch" deal – for $15 you can partake of the Market Table Buffet and Feijoada Bar, which is a real steal.

Read more about Fogo de Chao →


Whiskey Red's - Marina Del Rey
Photo courtesy of Whiskey Red's


Whiskey Red's has one of the nicest patios in all of Los Angeles, situated right on the sailing channel in Marina del Rey. So on a gorgeous afternoon or balmy evening, guests can watch boats of all sizes move majestically in and out of the harbor whilst sipping and supping. This pretty place has a terrific Happy Hour from Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., just in time to watch the sunset. The Sunday Champagne Buffet brunch is a big winner, too, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It includes breakfast and lunch dishes ranging from made-to-order omelets and pasta, fresh seafood, carving stations and desserts. And the champagne and mimosas are included in the price, too.

Recommended for Buffet because: Plenty of food options â€" try the crab legs! â€" and a pretty setting in the marina make this a perennial winner at Sunday brunch.

Jenny's expert tip: Bring a jacket or sweater, for it can get chilly on the water when the wind starts to blow (and after the sun sets).

Read more about Whiskey Red's - Marina Del Rey →


India's Tandoori Restaurant


For all-you-can-eat fresh, spicy Indian food, there's no better place for lunch than India's Tandoori. With a number of different locations around the Southland (Brentwood, Burbank, Manhattan Beach, West L.A., etc.), this halal-certified restaurant puts on a huge spread of assorted favorites during both its weekday lunch and weekend champagne brunch buffets. Everything from Tandoori chicken (of course!) to garlic naan, vegetable masala, lamb curry and more, is served up in a comfortable atmosphere with attentive servers. And for those who like a more mild version of Indian food, the folks at India's Tandoori also offer some less fiery versions of their flavorful dishes.

Recommended for Buffet because: Fresh, plentiful and spicy Indian dishes at this and the other India's Tandoori locations across the Southland make this lunch buffet a top choice.

Jenny's expert tip: To partake in the all-you-can-eat buffet at India's Tandoori, be sure to go for lunch or weekend brunch. Evenings are a la carte only.

Read more about India's Tandoori Restaurant →


The SmokeHouse


A staple in Burbank since 1946, The SmokeHouse is located right next door to Warner Bros. Studios. They've been serving steaks, seafood, BBQ and their "The World's Greatest Garlic Bread" to locals, tourists and celebrities since Bob Hope used to stop in for a bite. The restaurant's Sunday brunch buffet is famous for a good reason, as they offer traditional breakfast items like crepes, eggs Benedict and omelets as well as seafood delicacies including crab legs, marinated mussels, poached salmon, oysters and more. There are carving stations, tables filled with Mexican delights, plenty of that garlic bread and lots of mouth-watering desserts. Champagne and Mimosas are included in the price of the brunch, too.

Recommended for Buffet because: The SmokeHouse has been serving up a famous Sunday brunch buffet in Burbank for decades, watch for celebs in line for the crab legs!

Jenny's expert tip: Be sure to save room for their "The World's Greatest Garlic Bread"; it's been a staple since The SmokeHouse opened in 1946.

Read more about The SmokeHouse →


M Grill
Photo courtesy of M Grill


At M Grill on Wilshire near Western Avenue in Koreatown, climb up the stairs to the second floor and you'll discover one of the best Brazilian churrascarias in town. Enter the cavernous room with a warm golden glow and be ready to do some serious eating. Pay a set per-person price (lunch is a less-expensive choice) and you'll get all the lusciously char-grilled meat you can possibly consume (think filet mignon, ribeye, ribs, chicken, lamb, sausages), brought to the table on skewers and sliced right onto your plate. There's also a massive buffet bar, in case all those mounds of meat aren't enough to fill you up, which includes everything from salads, cheeses and vegetables to hot Brazilian favorites like Feijoada and Farofa. Whatever you choose, add authentic Caipirinha cocktails to your order and finish your M Grill experience with a sweet-tart toast to the good life.

Recommended for Buffet because: Top cuts of meat and a massive buffet bar make M Grill one of L.A.'s best Brazilian churrascarias, where meat is served tableside rodizio style.

Jenny's expert tip: Happy Hour starts at 5:30 p.m. from Tuesday through Sunday; you'll find discounts on drinks and select items at M Grill's convivial bar then.

Read more about M Grill →




Duke's Malibu is the quintessential Southern California restaurant, a huge place perched right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Named after Duke Kahanamoku, the famed swimmer and surfer and the Hawaiian Olympic gold medalist who introduced surfing to the world in the 1920s, Duke's Malibu offers upscale American comfort food with Hawaiian island twists and gorgeous views of the water. And on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Duke's presents an incredible brunch buffet. Like coconut French toast? You'll find those here. Prefer tuna poke or Hawaiian-style ceviche? That's on the menu, too. Go for baked fresh fish, a bagel and lox or a thick slice of tri-tip beef, then cap off the meal with macadamia-nut cookies, coconut macaroons or fudge brownies. After this incredible buffet, you'll probably want to hit the water yourself, to work off some of those delicious calories.

Recommended for Buffet because: Perched right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Duke's Malibu is a magical place with fantastic views and a massive Sunday brunch.

Jenny's expert tip: Save room for dessert, as Duke's is the place that serves the famed Kimo's Original Hula Pie, that mouth-wateringly good macadamia nut ice cream cake.

Read more about Duke's Malibu →


Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills


Every Sunday, Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills transforms from a cutting-edge Italian eatery into the home of the best brunch buffet in town. Guests can sit inside or out on the terrace in Southern California's almost-always sunny weather. The brunch offerings fill numerous rooms and range from classic made-to-order breakfasts including Belgian waffles, omelets and eggs Benedict. And if the lunch side of brunch is more suited to your mood, look for groaning tables of hand-rolled sushi selections, a huge choice of dim sum delicacies, house-made quesadillas and more. There's even a nod to Culina's fare, with an Italian spread of cured meats and tasty cheeses. Doughnut lovers will find the Four Seasons' freshly made tidbits hard to resist – try dipping them in the flowing chocolate fountain for a decadent end to an unforgettable buffet brunch.

Recommended for Buffet because: The gorgeous spread put on by the Four Seasons every Sunday is the ultimate decadent L.A. buffet experience.

Jenny's expert tip: Avoid the always crowded valet by parking for free on the street nearby.

Read more about Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills →


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Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny

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