Thursday, March 06, 2008


3030 Cherry Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807

I had some high hopes for Hokkiado Seafood Buffet. But from the moment I walked into the place, I knew my hopes were going to be dashed. There was just this weird smell. I can't really discribe it but it wasn't want I expected.

Hokkiado charges $14.99 for their dinner buffet. Again the key for buffets is for a high turnover in food and for the food to be replaced quickly.

The first picture has beef from the teppanyaki grill and sliced roast beef. The best part of meal for me was the teppanyaki grill . The beef was marinated in soy sauce and some spices. The beef is about the size of your palm and is in half inch thick portions. The best part is, you can take as much as you like. The grillmasters did a great job cooking the beef. The beef was tender and juicy. Again the best part of the meal. They also have pork and shrimp at the teppanyaki grill.

What was not good was the sliced roast beef. First of all, it's orange!!! WTF?? I took one bite and didn't touch the rest. This was so tough and chewy, I thought I was eating beef jerky. They need to slow cook that roast beef. I did notice some people asking the teppanyaki grillmasters to cook the roast beef a little more. But I wouldn't go anywhere near the roast beef again.

The teppanyaki grill also serves as a Mongolian BBQ. I got noodles with broccoli, onions, mushrooms and snap peas. The grillmasters will put soy sauce onto the noodles for you. The noodles were great, especially when topped with the beef.

Now the hot food. When I went, there were a lot of people having dinner. But for whatever reason there was a very slow turnover rate on the hot food. Some of the food on the steamtable looked disgusting. There were a few I wanted to try but they looked so bad on the tray, I didn't touch them.

So I took three hot food items that looked half way decent. Spicy shrimp, black pepper chicken and fried coconut shrimp. The spicy shrimp was OK. Nothing great about it. They were fairly big pieces of shrimp and about as hot as a medium salsa.

The black pepper chicken had a lot of flavor. But the chicken itself was too chewy, full of fat and just bad. The tender piece was full of black pepper flavor. If I could have gotten piece of good quality chicken this would have been a good dish.

The coconut fried shrimp was ok. The coconut really overpowers the taste. The shrimp is butterflied but is small, lot of batter and fillers.

The shrimp cocktail is OK. The shrimp wasn't all that fresh. The cocktail sauce was basically ketchup.

The second best part of the meal was the crab legs. They are snow crab legs but they are meaty and not salty at all. Many places that server snow crab use such a salty brine to steam the crab it ruins the taste. But these crab legs were not salty at all. They were great. What I didn't like about the crab legs was the loooooooooooooong wait for them. I stood in front of the crab legs at the steam table and the lady filled FOUR, FOUR other trays before she refilled the crab. This while the line for crab legs was five deep. Nice.

Table service was good. Though at times she was a bit slow refilling drinks. But the plates were cleared quickly. The teppanyaki grillmasters were great. They put on a show and it's fun to see without having to pay the high prices.

But the steam table service was bad. Again they can't help the slow turnover rate of the food. But they can refill the food much faster. There is no excuse for waiting in line for crab legs.

Also for a buffet billed as a seafood buffet, I didn't see a lot of seafood. Some shrimp, some scallops, crab legs, but nothing overwhelming, about the same as any other regular Chinese buffet.

I would not go back to Hookiado again. There are many other seafood buffets that serve better seaffood and offer more variety of seafood, including West Coast Seafood Buffet.