5120 Rodeo Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
"New Panda Buffet is one of my kids' favorite joints, and any time we go to Grandfather's house in that neck of the woods, they beg me to go.
This is my old stomping grounds and I remember that this building was the first black owned and operated Sizzler Restaurant franchise on the West Coast. Man we were proud to go to Sizzler and get that fat toast. That was then.
Today, Asians run the joint swiftly and efficiently and pack them in every day. If you're headed in on the weekend, be prepared to wait a little while or get there just before the brunch rush on Sunday. The wait is not bad, maybe 15 minutes, but once you get inside and start smelling all that food, you get itchy to get a table.
New Panda is really your standard buffet. Well that is if you are accustomed to the kind you find in NYC in midtown. I'm not talking about Hometown Buffet or the kind you find in Georgia. I'm talking about sashimi and maki, cold shrimp, chow mein, broiled salmon, fried chicken, char shu pork, big chunks of all kinds of melon, fresh pineapple, corn nibblets, chinese style BBQ ribs, potato salad, jello, everything fried rice, short ribs, whitefish, fried catfish... man I'm drooling just talking about it. So actually it's got more than your standard NYC buffet. It's right at the edge of a large strip mall near the old Baldwin Theatre so there's plenty of parking in the huge lot, but you may have to walk a bit.
Of course it's all you can eat, so you best believe that you're going to find some world champion eaters in this joint, so you'll need to move aside when they walk by. It's a good deal if your kids are under 10, and if I remember correctly they have 3 price ranges by age.
It's a loud happy family place and on Sunday it's pure chaotic pandemonium. You get a table and the waiter gets you a fork and a tall cup. You tell him what you want to drink and then you're off. There are something like three or four hot bars and a huge cold bar. So you're off to get a plate and pile on. But don't pile too much because they don't like throwing away food, and they won't take your plate until it's empty. Then you're free to go get another and another. That's the best way to do it, even if it means you take four trips. But at least that way, the waiter will be happy to take away your empty plates and refresh your drink.
I guarantee that you will wobble out of New Panda Buffet very happy. Bring your biggest appetite. You won't be disappointed."