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Golden Coast Buffet in Alhambra

UCLAW | Oct 19, 200504:12 PM

I don't know why, but Chinese buffets are far more prevalent in other parts of the country, such as the south and midwest, than here in the Los Angeles area. (Last week I was in the small town of Kilgore, Texas, located in the middle of nowhere, but which had two dueling Chinese buffets across the street from each other.) Quite possibly, Chinese buffets often appeal to the most unsophisticated eaters of Chinese cuisine and the people in L.A. are more sophisticated when it comes to Chinese food. Recently though there has been an upsurge in Chinese buffets here, particularly in the San Gabriel valley, and some of which are very good. The newest entrant is Golden Coast in Alhambra on Commonwealth next to Costco, at the location of the former World Buffet. My suspicion is that the name Golden Coast is an attempt to trade on the name of West Coast Seafood in Hacienda Heights, which has established the gold standard for local Chinese buffets. However, anyone expecting a West Coast Seafood type of experience at Golden Coast will be disappointed. The food selection at Golden Coast is pedestrian, and seems to target both Americanized as well as Chinese diners. There are some good offerings, particularly the Korean style thick bean threads (saifun). And seafood lovers might appreciate the octopus, frog legs, mussels, imitation crab casserole and shrimp in the shell. But it confounds me as to how a number of the dishes could be lukewarm or cold at 11:30 am when the place opens at 11 o'clock. At $6.99 for a weekday lunch, I can't say I didn't get my money's worth, but I won't be coming back here anytime soon.

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