Have you been to Kyoto, the newest buffet restaurant in Glendale? The place which just opened late December is the current buzz in town. Friends are all talking how good it is so my son and I decided to go one weekday.
I found out that the location is where the former Big Boy was. Parking was pretty easy because the lot is big. The place very busy considering it’s a weekday. The lady by the door was quick to greet and add my name to the list of customers waiting to be seated. She informed us that the wait was around 20 to 25 times but were called after only 12 minutes.
The place is clean but too small for the crowd the place is attracting. One side was entirely occupied by a group who’s celebrating someone’s birthday. How I wished that Kyoto had a separate room for gatherings like this because the group was making a lot of noise while we were eating.
There’s a wide selection of Chinese and Japanese foods. The soups were homemade and high quality. I liked the clam chowder and hot and sour soup. I was disappointed with miso soup. There were also wonton and nido soups which I didn’t try.
We headed to the salad section where there were 10 to 12 kinds to choose from. I had potato, cucumber, macaroni salads which were all good. I didn’t like the seafood one. Kimchi was also fresh and good.
Fresh shrimp, mussels and crawfish are nicely piled up on top of ice but I didn’t enjoy any of them.
Hibachi section is available and maintained by two chefs creating the dish of your choice. You can choose from all kinds of veggies, steak, chicken, shrimp, all stir-fried in front of you, Mongolian style.
A wide selection of fresh sushi and sashimi were also available but I find the rice too dry so I passed on them.
The Chinese food was what I kept coming back for – fresh steamed tofu, orange chicken, beef broccoli, chicken wings, vegetable tempura, fried soba, salt-and-pepper shrimp, etc. There were a few misses though- the bland stuffed shrimp, dry baked salmon and greasy baked crab meat. In this section also was the soft, warm and sweet buttery dinner roll (a-to-die-for).
For desert, there were several cakes and 8 ice creams to choose from. I enjoyed the strawberry, raspberry, rainbow sorbet and especially the green tea.
Service was good. The waitress was quick to refill drinks and clear plates from the table. Over all, the entire staff was friendly.
For $8.99, our lunch turned out pretty good. Will I come back? Of course! If I do, I have to do it on a weekend when lobsters, oysters, crabs and calamaris are available. The price is higher but I’m sure it will be worth it.