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.
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.
1901 Junipero Serra Blvd Ste A
Daly City, CA 94014