American buffet restaurant

Kings Table Buffet 6/4/99
315 Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, CA 90503
phone 310-542-4429

Location. This is inside the Del Amo Fashion Center (Mall). Look for an entrance on the west side, toward Hawthorne Blvd. in the southern section between Carson St. and Sepulveda Blvd. Look for the only parking area which is indented into the building, just north of J.C. Penney. Go in that entrance, and it's right there.

Introduction. They only do an all-you-can-eat buffet all day. They don't have any printed material to-go, so this is from memory. Each day of the week has a theme menu. For example, most recently I went Friday night and the theme was "Friday Night Seafood Fest." You'll have to call them for the other menus. Neither the restaurant nor the mall have a web site.

Hours and Prices. I don't have the details. Most days they do lunch from 11ist a.m. to about 4 p.m. and dinner from about 4 p.m. to closing, which on Friday was 9 p.m. They close earlier on Saturday and Sunday, and I think on Sunday they do breakfast starting about 9:30ish a.m. The sign says lunch is $5.89 and dinner is $7.75, but they have club and other discounts and there are coupons in the Daily Breeze and RAVE! magazine. For example, a coupon in the June 4, 1999 RAVE! got me the Friday night dinner for $5.99 and they were packed. Check with them for the exact details.

The salad bar. As you enter and pay the cashier, there is one, long buffet bar and people line up on both sides. Most items are available from either side, but keep your eyes open for items which are only available from one or the other side. Anyway, the first half of the buffet is salad with a lot of options and fruit. I usually make a raw spinach-leaf salad with a few odds and ends and come back for fruit for dessert. I wasn't very hungry so I skipped this and just came back for melons.

Bread and soup. Next come a few breads. Today they had soft rolls, corn bread, and sweet rolls. I skipped these. Next were two soups: clam chowder and minestrone. Both soups were VERY salty. If you can take that much salt, they were ok, but the chowder was overly thick.

Starches and vegetables. They had mashed potatoes which have been instant for the last few years and which sometimes have an objectionable taste. Today they were ok. There was one gravy, marked beef. This is a problem for me cause they have so many meats, and it would be nice to have at least one other gravy, today maybe chicken or ham. There were three vegetables, baked beans, and maybe more. They also had pizzas with different toppings, two different flavors at a time. I tried it, with a medium crust, and kids might like it.

Meats. Face facts, for $5.99 they can't give you all-you-can-eat, real, fresh seafood. For example, the crab cakes and the crab "legs" were artificial. The clam strips were just strips of breading, perhaps with a clam flavor. You can skip these three. The fried shrimp were ok, and I ate a few even though I dislike frozen, breaded, deep-fried shrimp. The poached salmon and steamed white fish were good for steam-table food. The best fish might have been the fish and chips, and I'd give them a good. There was baked and also fried chicken which I only sample, and they looked ok. At the very end of the buffet is a guy carving roast beef and ham. The roast beef is always well done, and except for that, these were good. They did run out of crab cakes, and replaced them with corn dogs which I didn't try.

Beverages. The beverage station is beyond the buffet, toward the back. Soda and coffee, regular and decaf, are included with the buffet.Maybe also tea. And they have real half and half. Other stuff like milk might be available for a price. Ask them for details. Condiments like butter and catsup are also here. With the fish they had a good cocktail, tartar, and horseradish sauce.

Dessert. Against the back wall is the dessert area, and these are included with the buffet. There's soft ice cream and various cakes, puddings, etc. I like a touch of the chocolate fudge/cake with squeeze of soft ice cream.

Seating. Way at the back of the restaurant is an amusement area for kids. They started adding this a few years ago, and people with kids tend to sit there. Most of the tables and booths seat from two to six people, maximum. If you need a bigger table, check with them in advance.

Summary. Check with them to find a day with theme food which you like. For example, Friday is fish and Sunday and holidays used to include roast turkey with the trimmings, my favorite. Follow my buffet hints, and check out the food before you pay. Try to go when you have a coupon from the local paper. I've been eating here, I'd guess, since the early 1980's or maybe even late 1970's, mostly on holidays for the turkey and trimmings. Over the last few years I have started to complain about the turkey trimming, specifically the gravy (not turkey), corn bread stuffing (I preferred the previous bread stuffing), and occasional off-tasting instant mashed potatoes (I swear years ago they were real). But, for $5.99 with a coupon they provide a lot of food, ranging from ok to good, nothing bad but nothing super good either.

Letter is an old, unfinished, unsent letter intended for the Kings Table. I'm more mellow now.