Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to find myself dining at a Chinese vegetarian all you can eat buffet, but that was the case today at Sweet Veggie in El Monte, which replaces Regal Buffet after less than two years. This is the offshoot of the Sweet Veggie restaurant in Diamond Bar, and I believe branches formerly City of Industry, and the AYCE hotpot in Walnut. They’ve only been open for two weeks and so far it’s been a rollicking success as indicated by the fact that most of the shopping center parking lot is off limits to Sweet Veggie customers. This is a self-serve operation with no tipping because there is no staff to show you to your table or take your plates away. Rather, when you pay for your meal upon entrance you are assigned a table and instructed to bus your plates and utensils to a collection in back. Interesting combination of mock meats, such as shrimp rolls, popcorn chicken, chicken wings, sushi filling, and taco filling; straight vegetable dishes; vegetarian varieties of regular dishes like vegetable XLB; and other non-meat dishes such as noodles and tofu. Some of the stuff isn’t very good while other dishes are quite tasty, but hey, this is a buffet.
Weekday lunch is $9.99.