Thursday, February 18, 2010

China China--Santa Clara, CA

My expectations are usually low for Asian warming-tray buffets. As the dishes sit and often stew under the heat lamp, vegetables get soggy, rice hardens (especially sushi rice) and flavors in general tend to blend into one another, losing their identity. Such was my last experience with China China--a very forgettable, gooey all-the-corn-starch-you-can-eat affair. However, lunch today at China China was different. The buffet featured a well tended variety of fresh fruits, sushi, barbecued meats, standby Chinese dishes (such as fried rice, mixed stir-fry vegetables, etc.) and desserts (such as soft serve ice cream) all for $8. The meats were hot yet not overcooked. The barbecued beef ribs were delicious, though greasy. I went back three times for the teriyaki chicken just because those thighs smelled so good.

For me, the biggest benefit of a big buffet spread is there's a fair probability two or three dishes will hit home and I can tear into them until I'm full. Today, China China's workhorses were the beef ribs, chicken teriyaki and oranges, which were easy to peel, juicy and sweet. Very importantly with China China, though, I can arrive at noon and get a table.

China China Restaurant and Buffet
2570 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 261-9000