Archive for the 'All U Can Eat' Category

New Flavor of India – Rosemead

New Flavor of India - Rosemead

The Astronomer is not the jealous type, except when it comes to weekday lunches. While he and his colleagues dine at various sports bars across El Segundo, my co-workers and I are spoiled by the San Gabriel Valley’s bounty. Lunchtime envy is real in our household.

New Flavor of India - Rosemead

In addition to fantastic Chinese and Vietnamese options in and around the office, there are solid Mexican restaurants and, as it turns out, Indian spots too.

New Flavor of India - Rosemead

Flavor of India, a relative newcomer to Rosemead, offers a $10 lunchtime buffet that my co-workers and I have been digging lately. Pro tip: Indian food comas can be seriously intense, so it’s best not to schedule any post-lunch meetings when this spot’s on the docket.

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Chain Reaction: Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp® & Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl®

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

My weekday lunchtime habits have changed as of late. Working at a restaurant group with nearly 2,000 locations, I’ve been thinking about and eating at more chain restaurants than I ever did before. Fueled by a desire to scope out the competition and by genuine curiosity, I’ve been exploring places that I used to pay little mind to.

So while I usually dedicate this space to touting the merits of under-appreciated mom and pop shops, I thought it’d be fun to change things up a bit and shed some light on two permanent fixtures in the American dining landscape: Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Humor me, yes? Thank you.

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

First up, Red Lobster‘s Endless Shrimp®! For $17.99, I had my fill of six different shrimp preparations: Sriracha Grilled Shrimp, Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, and Coconut Shrimp Bites.

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

The offer also included a salad (not pictured and not eaten) and unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits®. Whereas the former was anemic and sad, the latter were tasty lil’ carbohydrate bombs. We asked for seconds, thirds, and fourths. No joke.

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Hae Jang Chon – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Hae Jang Chon - Koreatown - Los Angeles

For the nominal price of $17.99 per person, Hae Jang Chon provided my cousins, The Astronomer, and me with an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue feast that was so stupendous that it left our clothes and pores imbued with smoke and meat for days.

Hae Jang Chon - Koreatown - Los Angeles

What set this barbecue emporium apart from others that I have visited in Koreatown [See: Don Day, Don Dae Gam, Tahoe Galbi] was the smooth stone grill used in place of the more common metal grates.

According to the restaurant’s website, the stone grill is “nature’s best cooking surface.” It “produces various healthy minerals,” “absorbs and decomposes heavy metal ions,” and best of all, “absorbs excessive oil to bring out the exquisite taste of pork.” I don’t know if any of these claims are actually true, but I am sold nevertheless.

Hae Jang Chon - Koreatown - Los Angeles

Another one of the restaurant’s notable touches was the homey tablescape that was neatly set before we were seated. Each place setting included an array of condiments in addition to silverware and plates. I went through two dishes of the fermented bean paste during the meal because meat just tastes better with a hit of salty funk.

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Fountains Brunch at Jasmine – Las Vegas (Bellagio)

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

Along with playing slots and attending a show, dining at a sumptuous buffet rounds out my list of Vegas must-dos. Every Sunday morning, Jasmine at Bellagio is transformed from a Chinese restaurant into a wonderland of brunchy delights complete with live cooking stations, a raw bar, and chocolate fountains.

Saturday nights in Sin City can be a bit of a blur, even for good kids like The Astronomer and me, so the Fountains Brunch was just the thing to replenish our minds and bodies before hitting the road home.

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

The setting here is as tranquil as can be. The room is filled with plenty of natural light and faces the famous fountains that never seem to get old.

Bellagio Fountains Brunch at Jasmine  - Las Vegas

Elegant touches throughout the room, like this elaborate charger plate, made the girly girl in me smile.

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