Gregg Hunter’s Newspace


Enough dilly-dallying, I’ll cut straight to the point. If you can’t find a couple of plates filled with pleasure at the QQ Buffet and Grill at 900 N. Central Avenue in Glendale, you just aren’t hungry. This from a byline that very rarely recommends self-service restaurants. Buffets usually impress the Palate as an excess of mediocrity, but QQ proved a revelation.

Hank Dally’s once and nearly forgotten Shaker Mountain Inn has had a mixed bag of occupants through the past couple of decades, but nothing clicked — until recently. My first clue was the steady stream of cars filling the parking lot across the street from Conrad’s popular family restaurant. Seated at a window booth I became aware of the steady stream of cars filling QQ’s ample self-park lot. Appetites were flocking to the multiple buffets offering more than 100 selections with an emphasis on Asian dishes plus several American BBQ favorites as well as some basic pasta and pizza Italian items.

Trailing past the soup and salad stations, the next afternoon, my hungry eye rapidly focused on trays of fresh oysters served on the half shell, cold shrimp and giant fried scallops — and that was just the beginning. I’d just glimpsed seafood heaven and supposed I’d pay dearly for the privilege. Wrong again. An “all you can eat” lunch is served from 11 a.m. til 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. An even more elaborate evening menu and Sunday lunch have discounts for seniors and little people (who don’t shave yet). Evening fare includes unlimited Alaskan crab legs, a juicy barron of roast beef and other delicious ideas.

Still reminiscent of a ski lodge, the scrupulously neat and clean two-level place has little that resembles décor and tables are bare of linen. It’s what comes from the kitchen at the price that’s drawing ‘em in. Asian selections range from Mandarin to Hunan and Cantonese, Thai or Japanese sushi. Choices of soft drinks are served at the table for a pittance and the untiring staff is friendly and efficient. Tables and booths offer chopsticks as well as Western culture forks and spoons but the absence of knives frustrated the Palate when attacking chunks of tasty barbecue. Beer and wine are available and all major plastic is welcome. Note there may be changes in the offing as the QQ recently underwent a change of management which can be a good sign or…

You can pretty well skip the dessert buffet unless you just have to sweet taste pudding, strawberries and bananas or gelatins and cookies.

Frankly, I can’t fathom how QQ can offer so much for so little. Almost too good to last, prices will surely escalate. Meanwhile I’m reminded of that old used car bromide that had a pitch man proclaiming, “We lose money on every car but make it up on volume!”

For good measure, QQ serves until 10 p.m. nightly and until 11 on Friday and Saturdays. Get there while the getting is really good. QQ is south of Glenoaks and north off the 134 at the Brand and Central exit. If I were a gambling man, I’d give heavy odds that you’ll want to thank the Palate for steering your SUV towards family friendly QQ.

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The Curious Palate

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