Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian and American food—Sakura Buffet is like a trip around the world without even leaving the Antelope Valley. The buffet offers more than 120 dishes, rotating daily, including seafood, shrimp, beef, crab legs, chicken,

pork, mussels, vegetables, lo mien, rice, salad, sushi, sashimi, ribs, vegetables, crawfish, dim sum, fresh fruit, appetizers, soup and dessert. Sakura is popular with seniors, too. There is a 10% discount for patrons age 62 and older every day, and the discount is 50% on senior night, 3:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, excluding holidays and it reminds me of a large family reunion—long tables are filled with big groups of happy seniors, and everyone knows everyone like one big happy family.

Last weekend my daughter, granddaughter and I went to Sakura Buffet for dinner. We were seated in a nice booth and proceeded to the buffet line. I opted to start at the Mongolian Grill where I found quite a selection of different fresh noodles, vegetables, spices, sauces plus raw beef, chicken, shrimp and even octopus. I picked out everything I wanted and then handed my plate to the chef who promptly put it on this giant grill where he cooked it right in front of my eyes — way cool! Then my granddaughter and I went over to the sushi station and placed a few assorted sushi roll pieces on our plates—there was a very interesting looking roll with fresh crab and since we both just love fresh crab; we immediately grabbed a few pieces. I went back to the table and dropped off that plate and went back up to the other part of the buffet to find some other tasty looking dishes. I started out with beef and broccoli, orange chicken, mushroom chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy and BBQ ribs. Then, sat down to actually enjoy all my selections. For the Mongolian grill I had shrimp, two different types of noodles, a couple of bell pepper slices, peanuts a really tasty teriyaki sauce and a special Mongolian sauce—fresh, delicious, sweet and a tad spicy.  The beef and broccoli were an excellent choice as the beef just melted in my mouth and the broccoli had the perfect consistency. The orange chicken was excellent as well with a very tasty sauce—crispy and flavorful with a kick at the end. I found the mushroom chicken chock full of mushrooms with a very tasty brown sauce and the seafood delight was just that, delightful. The large shrimp, white sauce and crunchy green vegetables make this dish as delightful to look at a it was to eat. However, my favorite was the mashed potatoes and brown gravy, which was so yummy—soft and fluffy with a fabulous savory gravy. We both thoroughly enjoyed the sushi rolls, especially the one with the fresh crab and sweet mayo on top.

All three of us opted for a bowl of soup—egg flower my granddaughter and me, and wonton for my daughter. Next to the soup were containers of crispy noodles and scallions. I chose the egg flower as it looked so pretty — colors of yellow and white in a golden broth. I just had to try it! I scooped up some crispy noodles and scallions and sat down to enjoy. The broth had such a wonderful light flavor with an abundant amount of egg shreds with some in every spoonful which was quite delicious.  The wonton had a lovely tasting broth with soft noodle dumplings stuffed with seasoned ground pork—elements of crunch such as green onions and water chestnuts that added more texture.

My daughter chose something from the Mongolian grill as well—beef, vegetables and spicy Mongolian sauce. The beef was quite tasty especially with that spicy sauce. She also had the salt and pepper shrimp that is also one of Sakura Buffet’s most popular dishes. I know she thoroughly enjoyed her food as the plate was completely wiped clean when she was done. It was a good thing I asked for a bite or two before she started or I wouldn’t have been able to write about how her food tasted—and indeed, everything was delicious especially the salt and pepper shrimp—crunchy outside and tender inside with a zesty floral heat—thanks to the Sichuan peppercorns.

 As if we hadn’t had enough food, our last trip was for dessert. We started filling our plates with Jell-O, pudding, cookies, eclairs, cake, strawberry mouse, creme-filled cake roll, bananas with strawberry sauce and of course fresh fruit for the healthy aspect! Your sweet tooth will go crazy for all these delicious treats, so make sure you leave room for some of these wonderfully sweet desserts, as they are definitely worth it. While you are enjoying your dessert, be sure to check out the ice cream machine where you can make a nice soft-serve cone.

Sakura Buffet is located in the Lancaster Marketplace at 44840 Valley Central Way. (661) 951-8338. Open for lunch Buffet Monday-Friday 11am-3:30 pm—$11.99 for adults and $1 per year age 2-11. Dinner Buffet Monday – Thursday 3:30-9pm (Friday till 10)—$14.99 adults and $1.20 per year age 2-11. Weekends all day dinner buffet Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-9pm—$15.99 adults and $1.20 per year age 2-11. Children’s lunch buffet is $.65/year ages 2 to 11. Unlimited soft drinks are now included in price of buffet. Sakura Buffet also offers take-out by the pound and party trays for the holidays and special occasions. Bon Appetit!

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