When it opened last summer, there was buzz among the Santa Clarita Foodies in their Facebook group (if you haven’t visited, there’s some great discussion, come check it out!) about Ocean Seafood Buffet. Has anyone been there? Are they good? Can you count on the freshness of the food? Is it worth the money?
After a recent visit I found the answers to be: yes, yes, yes, mostly.
Once again, my friends, I have taken a bullet for you as I gather the family and grab dinner at Ocean Seafood, located in the K-Mart Shopping Center at the corner of Valencia and Bouquet Canyon. Much like any all-you-can-eat, we ate all we could eat and left stuffed. And satisfied, which isn’t always the case. The seafood is freshly turned over (if it lasts before being grabbed up), the different service areas have a ton of choices and there are even options for non-seafood eaters.
We started with a number of different soups and appetizers. While most are Asian, there are a few for “all audiences.” We sampled the spring rolls, shu mai, dumplings, chicken “on a stick,” fried won tons, chicken wings and steamed crab legs. We also grabbed a plate of French fries, which my daughter calls the best she’s ever had. There was also fried fish and a few other “finger foods.” We also had a bowl of hot and sour soup and a bowl of won ton soup.
All of the appetizers ranged from really good to good-not-great. Notable were the shu mai (meaty and flavorful) and the chicken wings (great spice). The spring rolls were crispy on the outside but a bit mush on the inside, while the dumplings were a bit chewy on the outside. Both soups were flavorful and hot, two things I look for in a soup. They also had clam chowder, which appeared pretty popular.
Ocean Seafood also has multiple entrees to choose from, from traditional Asian fare, like beef and broccoli, chicken and mushrooms, sweet and sour chicken, served with fried rice and chow mein noodles. There is also a full selection of seafood from steamed clams to peel and eat shrimp to oysters, both hot and cold.
In addition, they offer a Mongolian BBQ, made fresh while you wait and a sushi bar, offering a dozen different varieties that are made fresh, kept on ice as well as “to order.”
We took a little from all areas and were pleased with what we had. The broccoli beef was tender and flavorful, the mushroom chicken was white meat chunks and all of the popular entrees were replenished regularly, so there was never a feeling of getting old food. We also took a plate of Alaskan King Crab legs and clams. The crab was perfectly prepared and not overly seasoned, the way it should be. The clams were steamed in garlic and white wine with jalapeno, and really held the flavor nicely.
The star of the show, though, is the Mongolian BBQ. The cook does a great job of blending the flavors as well as putting on a show. There is a great selection of fresh veggies and flash frozen meats to please everyone.
We were also really impressed with the freshness of the sushi. We saw the chefs rotating old pieces out if they sat on ice too long and there was always enough to go around. And it wasn’t just tuna roll and California roll. Among the choices were shrimp tempura roll and the very popular rainbow roll as well as several types of sashimi.
Finally, for the kids, the dessert selections are plentiful, from jello and pudding to mini cakes and frozen ice cream, as well as fresh fruit and a chocolate fountain. Everything we tried was fresh and tasty.
The staff is attentive and polite and you rarely have to sit with a dirty plate or an empty glass for too long.
Our visit to Ocean Seafood was very pleasant and merits future stops. Just need to bring the bigger stomach.
Ocean Seafood Buffet
23154 Valencia Boulevard
Santa Clarita, CA 91355