So we finally got together with my family to celebrate our teen weasels 16th birthday, (and I am sure from his perspective the more important factor of having gotten his Driver's License and opted out of the parental driving pool at last).
We had asked him where he wanted to go, and he chose the Universal Hilton Buffet Brunch.
It has a lot more choices than our normal default for Buffet Brunch, Loews Santa Monica beach hotel. But to me the quality is much better at Loews.
The best things at the Hilton were the sushi, (pretty darn good and they would also make things for you, including fresh water eel...although the eel seemed a little on the dry side to me) and the Chinese dim sum which seems to stand up well to being kept in the giant crock pots and still taste pretty good. They had shumai and several types of shrimp in translucent wrappers. They have fresh peel and eat shrimp, crab and smoked salmon along with 3 different types of caviar, etc.
The rest was pretty standard fare, although I do think that their dessert selection is quite good.
They no longer come to the table and pour fresh orange juice but instead have an automatic machine that feeds oranges into it like a machine gun with an ammo belt. That worked pretty well but did take some staff attention to keep it functioning.
Champagne was fine. All in all for the price, which was a bit under $40 per head, it was good but not great.