Described as “The Mother of all Seafood Buffets” by Elmer Dills, the famous Los Angeles food critic, Todai is an upscale international seafood and sushi buffet restaurant, which offers a wide selection of food that are considered Asian Fusion Entrees, as well as the most talk-about offering of all – the year round serving of Snow Crab Legs. Wow!
HFB started with sushi counter and one interesting maki he spotted was the Kimchi Sushi, part of the offering from the Korean Festival Promotion. HFB was really impressed with the variety of sushi offered and he picked up a few that he fancied.
What’s a buffet without the cold seafood counter? Over here, HFB was delighted with the offering of Oysters, Snow Crab Legs and Salmon Sashimi (belly please!). While he lingered around this section most of the time, there were few hitches that got to him. To begin with, although the oysters were free-flow, each customer was limited to two servings each round. While HFB used to enjoy two dozen or more oysters at The Line, he gave up after 3 rounds at Todai (i.e. half a dozen) – it was simply too bothersome to re-queue.
Most of the Chefs behind the counters were Koreans, thus communication was an issue. While he did have his salmon belly the first time round, the next chef got no clue what he wanted and HFB gave up without a fight and settled for the norm – it was a little backbreaking conveying the message. While the snow crab was considered a highlight and a delicacy, it was taxing fiddling with it and the meat yield was just not worth the effort.
On a more positive note, there were some really interesting items they had on the hot section, which included the Korean BBQ Short Ribs and the Fried Ginseng. The short ribs were well marinated and packed with great flavours, imagined if it was a good-sized portion, it would have been divine!
HFB found the fried ginseng pretty fascinating. Not something one would usually find in a buffet offering, the fried ginseng went well with the honey provided at the side, but otherwise an acquired dish that not everyone would truly take delight in. HFB also had a great time devouring the Grilled Shishamo. He probably swallowed a dozen, but he lost count.
HFB fell in love with Todai’s Churrasco station. With different types and cuts of meat grilled on the spot, what one would have gotten would be a nice cut of warm meat well-rested and really juicy. This was one of the popular station, so be prepared to queue and wait. A word of advice – just grabbed whatever that was being offered at that particular instance and come back for different offerings thereafter – any attempt to converse with the chefs for a particular cut or type of meat was futile.
As for desserts, HFB picked a few he fancied. Nothing he could pick on or woo him, except maybe the self-serviced soft ice cream machine where one got to churn their own sundae. The texture of the ice cream was pretty decent.
Kinks aside, HFB reckoned Todai maintained a pretty high food standard throughout its various station offering and for those who enjoy a wide selection of food, perhaps it’s a good time to give Todai a try.
Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Hoong An, HungryGoWhere and Todai for their hospitality.
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