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Dining Out:

QQ Buffet gives nonstop variety

March 29, 2008|By Joanna Linkchorst

Looking somewhat like an oversized mid-Atlantic-style home with a huge brick chimney, QQ Buffet & Grill has stood at the corner of Central and Arden in Glendale for about four years The long sign out front claims “Authentic Asian” cuisine, as well as Italian, Thai, American, barbecue, Chinese, Japanese and sushi. Amazingly QQ manages to fit these all in at the many buffet stations.

The entryway is floor-to-ceiling brick, from the outside porch on in to the welcoming fireplace. Our hostess sat us immediately, took our drink order, then turned us loose on all the continents represented at the buffet.

The place was bustling with lots of business people running in for lunch with colleagues. The restaurant works to offer a variety for its mostly Asian clientele, but there was a wide range of cultures digging into their plates. One of them commented she appreciates the conveniently located ample parking

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I walked around to see the choices before filling my plate the first time. Wow! Beautiful stuffed scallops on the shell, Teriyaki Chicken, mussels, shrimp, beef tripe, fried tilapia with a garlic onion sauce, Mongolian pork, Thai noodles, even sautéed baby octopus. There were five kinds of soup and dumplings and wontons to add to them. The back wall was lined with eight kinds of colorful, symmetric sushi. And, of course, there was a big keg of sticky white rice.

Manager Jeff Lin’s favorites are the oysters, the delicately sautéed Blue Crab and the Cheese Prawns, coated with a coconut breading.

I thought I’d try the non-Asian offerings, but it didn’t go as well for me as my guest. The onion rings were gooey, the plantains were gummy and the Garlic Roast Beef was a little tough. It is, after all, a buffet and food in warming trays can be unpredictable. I found the flavors all rather mild.

What I really liked was the creamy Cheese Spinach, a soufflé with cheddar melted and browned on top for an extra cheesy flavor. The sweet potato was smooth and sweet like a Thanksgiving confection. Crispy potato skins were really good with tiny chunks of ham and lots of cheese. The Jalapeno Chicken was good, not too spicy but a nice kicky flavor from the pepper.

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