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Restaurants & Bars 7

Monrovia Has The Best Zen

Chandavkl | Jan 13, 201202:19 PM

Being one of the Chowhounds who places a value on quantity as well as quality I figured a good place to spend this buffet Friday was the relatively new Zen Buffet branch in Monrovia that opened last spring. Having been to both the Rosemead and Woodland Hills branches of Zen Buffet and finding them both extremely underwhelming, I was assured by my informant that the Monrovia branch was better, and I have to concur. Majority of the diners at this location are Chinese, and there are some good authentic Chinese items here. Actually the selection here isn't any better than places like World Buffet in West Covina or Gold Coast Buffet in Alhambra. But what pushes the Monrovia Zen Buffet a little ahead of these two is a couple of dishes that I would classify as being sit down restaurant quality. First is the herb chicken, perhaps not coincidentally served in a much smaller round dish than the typical large metal pans used at buffets. Soft and tender chunks of dark chicken meat are well flavored and seasoned. Also the steamed tofu with shrimp paste is also like the dishes you get in regular restaurants. Monrovia Zen Buffet does not approach Osaka Seafood in Hacienda Heights or Yummy Yummy Seafood in El Monte (which I fear is living on borrowed time), but if you had been disappointed with the food at the Rosemead Zen branch, don't let that stop you from going to Monrovia. Street address is 945 W. Huntington Dr., not too far past Capital Seafood's Arcadia location, and seems to validate the Arcadia/Monrovia corridor as an expanding center for Chinese food.

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