Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kome Buffet


Almost 2 years from my first attempt to visit Kome buffet, I finally experienced it over Thanksgiving weekend. Kome is a popular Asian style buffet that opened up a few years ago in Daly City. With its large selection of offerings, including high quality sushi (including fresh uni!), lobster, and other expensive ingredients, the place quickly became popular with lines out the door all night long and wait times of  around 2 hours.

Two years ago we made the mistake of trying to eat there and left after seeing the long lines. For the next year or so, I periodically checked up the status but it appeared to remain just as popular. Then the owner opened another location, Tomi, which also happened to be much closer to where we lived. I’ve blogged about Tomi a few times (here, here and here). I was pretty thrilled when Tomi first came out. The wait was pretty long at first but it’s since died down. I filled up on uni, big clams, lobster, crab, green tea ice cream, mango mousse, etc. However on my last two visits, they stopped offering uni and didn’t have lobster. Subsequent visits by my family also reported no more uni. That had really been a big selling point for me since I don’t know of any other buffets that offer uni. I was bummed. So I stopped wanting to go.

Then a few months back, my parents were meeting up with some friends near Daly City and decided to try again to go to Kome. To their surprise there was no wait at all! So of course I wanted to visit and taste it for myself (even though I’ve heard that Tomi and Kome are almost identical). I was especially eager after I learned that Kome still offers uni.

We went over Thanksgiving weekend, and sure enough, no line. Business was still doing well; but there were no longer the ridiculous waits. Inside, the location is quite big– I think a bit bigger than its sister restaurant Tomi.

We were greeted to similar stations: sushi, hot food, noodle and wontons, dim sum and dessert stations.

For the most part, the food selection seemed pretty much the same as Tomi. There were some things missing, but I wasn’t sure if it was just that occasion or what. For instance, they only had four flavors of ice cream, and no mango or green tea flavors, but my mom said she had it on her last visit.

We arrived early enough that the hot food section wasn’t yet crowded. One bad thing about Kome is that the hot food lines get really long once they place is busy. To the point where you really don’t want to go through it. So we went early, and got lobster and giant steamed clams and the other popular items.

Then I headed to the sushi area, loaded up on sashimi and of course my beloved uni. The uni is not displayed. You have to ask the sushi chef for it. I went back several times and definitely got my fill of uni. It was very fresh and creamy and pretty good quality. You can also get a custom handroll but I was too full for this option.

Kome also offers a variety of dim sum type items.

At the Tomi location, for some reason, the mochi are really popular. I’ve never understood why. They taste good, but not so good to deserve a long line and people waiting all night for them to come out. At Tomi, it’s almost impossible to get them. As soon as a plate comes out, a swarm of people will grab them all. At Kome, there was plenty to go around.

My siblings always like to get something from the noodle station where you can get udon, ramen or wontons.

From the meat selection, I really liked the crispy pork which had a very crispy skin.There are a variety of soups. I tried the shark fin soup. It was pretty bland though.

This was a sweet dessert soup with goji berries.

There is a large selection of fresh cut fruit. I was a little sad that they didn’t have papayas which they usually have at Tomi. But they did offer persimmons for persimmon lovers.

There appeared to be more dessert offerings than Tomi. I sampled some delicious mousse cakes including a mango  mousse cake, green tea mousse cake and almond mousse cake. The almond tofu one was my favorite. They also had mousse bowls: taro, green tea, and mango.

Like I mentioned before, the ice cream selection was limited that day, only offering the  most basic flavors (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry). At Tomi, they usually have green tea and mango.

Overall, my experience was a lot like my experience at Tomi when it first opened. Given the choice, I prefer to visit Kome only because it seems they’ve been better at maintaining the quality of food. Also it seemed like they refilled their foods more often. We didn’t have any trouble getting the foods we wanted, and they didn’t run out of uni which Tomi used to even when they were offering it.

For $22.95 per person for dinner on weekends (of course lunch and weekdays is cheaper), I think this is a pretty good deal. There is a wide selection and the quality of food offered is above average compared to other similar asian-style buffets and they offer a lot of expensive items like uni, sashimi, lobster, crab, oysters, etc.

Kome Buffet
1901 Junipero Serra Blvd Ste A
Daly City, CA 94014
http://www.komebuffet.com/

 

10 Responses to “Kome Buffet”

  1. 1

    Dennis — December 13, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    I always enjoy your buffet posts Kirbie!

    • Kirbie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 9:05 am

      Aw thanks. I’m not very fond of the pictures from buffets. I feel like the lighting is especially terrible at buffet spots. But I do love eating at them =)

  2. 2

    Manda — December 13, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    I’ve been there about 4 times this year – mainly for birthdays but once it coincided with SFSU commencement and the place was nuts! I’m not a fan of the desserts except for the nai wong bao but the wontons and dumplings at the soup station are pretty good considering it’s a buffet.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      Oh wow, 4 times! I want to go back for my birthday. Aw, too bad you didn’t like the desserts. I liked the little cakes and the mousse. And I’m always a fan of ice cream. I like the dim sum items too but I never have room for the wonton noodle station.

  3. 3

    Faye — December 13, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    I remember your old posts about Tomi! It looks like this place is pretty nice, considering the price.

    I recently revisted Savory Buffet and found their $9.98 lunch buffet to be quite nice (their ‘kinda’ made to order beef noodle soup was good!).

    But yeah, still haven’t found a place like Tomi or Kome here in SD.

    Were the stir fried clams at Kome fresh? Or did it taste frozen? The sashimi in your first pic, was that from Kome? What kind of fish is that – is it hamachi? Looks sooo good!

    Great post – Happy holidays!

    • Kirbie replied: — December 13th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

      I haven’t been to Savory in a long time. And yeah, it doesnt seem like there is anything similar in SD. I’m still hoping..Yup, the first pic is from Kome and the sashimi is hamachi. I loved the pretty pink too. Um stir fried clams…I don’t remember. They tasted like the typical clams at asian buffets though slightly bigger in size. Happy Holidays to you too!

  4. 4

    Sandy — December 13, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I remember when you first posted about Kome – we were going to be in SF for Thanksgiving, but never attempted to try it. Good to know it’s not as crowded as it used to be, although I don’t know when I’ll get to SF. We used to go to Savory Buffet (the one on Miramar Road closer to the 805, right?), but haven’t been there in awhile.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:17 am

      Hi Sandy- I remember you asking about it too. Too bad you didn’t have a chance to visit. Hopefully you’ll visit SF again soon and you can try it out now that it’s not as crowded. Yes, Savory is the one on Miramar. I haven’t been there in ages.

  5. 5

    Ann P. — December 13, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    I’ve had some bad experiences w/ asian buffets, but this one looks pretty awesome!

    • Kirbie replied: — December 14th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      Yeah I don’t like most of the ones out there anymore, but this one had a lot more items and higher quality stuff! Check it out if you get a chance

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