Hsi Lai Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 9 reviews )

3456 S Glenmark Dr (at Colima Blvd), Hacienda Heights, California, USA, 91745

Located inside Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, you will find a daily Chinese and Taiwanese home-style cooking, all-you-can-eat lunch buffet and salad bar. The temple makes you feel as you are in Asia. Be sure to visit the temple museum while you're there. Take 60 Fwy exit Hacienda Heights Blvd. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-1:30pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Buffet, Salad bar, Taiwanese, Buddhist

9 Reviews

First Review by maryzaint

Close to Enlightenment - Edit

Good, buffet style veg, at the temple. Worth a visit.

Cons: Crowded on weekends

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Convenient - Edit

This is a pretty convenient place to dine if you're looking for some grubs after visiting the Hsi Lai Temple which is the largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere around lunch time. I thought the lunch buffet was not bad at 7 dollars per head. It's mostly home style Chinese cooking which isn't heavy in grease and spices unlike typical restaurant food. Some people who might find it bland could try other restaurants in the area (like Happy Family). The amount of selection is not as much as you would expect from a typical buffet.

Pros: Big dining hall

Cons: Not a lot of selection

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Great day outing.... - Edit

The temple is beautiful to visit, especially during the New Year. Our photo club (one of our members worships there) went to take pictures and we all ate at the buffet afterward. The food was mild, no intense flavors or spicy food, but it was all vegan and we had a lot of options to choose from. We were very satisfied and left full. It's a great day trip so if you want to see a place that is amazingly beautiful that has a nice vegan buffet, this is a great place to go.

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A Spiritual and Healing Experience - Edit

Visiting the temple is a very unique, spiritual, and relaxing experience. The lunch buffet can be a little hectic. There is a large selection of vegetarian dishes, most of them very delicious. Fresh fruit and salad for those who prefer raw.

Pros: Healthy, Fresh, Friendly

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cheap, delicious buffet food - Edit

we have been to a few of the buddhist light temples around the world, and usually go to their cafes with made to order food. this is the first time we have been to the hsi lai temple, a branch of the buddhist light based in taiwan. their buffet lunch serves a huge number of people. the lineup can be long, but they are pretty efficient at keeping the trays filled with hot food. at first sight, the food really does not look very appetizing, but it really tastes better then it looks. there isn't a huge selection. they take a few dishes which work and make huge quantities. we were only planning to stay for a light lunch, but ended up going back to fill our plates for the second, and third time. at 7 per person (they did not charge for our two-year-old son), it is obviously a steal.

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outstanding - Edit

The food was a delight, subtle and tasty. The atmosphere was welcoming and comforting. Most definitly a need to go place.

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Great sanctuary, great food - Edit

A follow up to the last post (thanks for answering the previous question, I highly doubt monks will call anyone back, let alone for something that isn't for the temple per se).
To second the last post, there is an element of luck of the draw, the days I've gone have been good, and the last time was better than the previous. True, the experience is part of it. For such a small donation, this is a great outing. But overall we have to remember that this is a temple not a restaurant - they just happen to serve fantastic food! I would recommend it for anyone just interested in visiting the site or would like a good buddhist meal. The money is well spent and your tummy will be contect. Zen!

Pros: tasty, healthy, affordable

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Beautiful place, beautiful price! - Edit

To answer the last question... 100% VEGAN FOOD HERE.

This is one of my favorite places. Donation $5 for buffet lunch, daily. The food is not always spot-on, most of the dishes are fairly bland and some VERY strange vegetables can pop up. If you're into the "fake meat", you may be disappointed by the scarcity of it here. But there are several selections on the buffet line, and most of them are delicious. They have SALAD BAR now, which really rocks, though they are a bit lax about keeping the trays full. A large fresh fruit bar as well.

If anything, THREE STARS for the food, FIVE for the value, and FIVE for the Temple grounds themselves... simply gorgeous.

No one will EVER APPROACH YOU about Buddhism... guaranteed... but there is free literatute galore for the curious. DON'T BE AFRAID OF THIS PLACE! The diners are always an interracial mix, not all Chinese people, and clearly not all Buddhists. We're Agnostic post-punks, and have spotted other weirdos here on more than one occasion.

Make sure you bring $1 for the museum, the root carvings and miniature tablet writings have to be seen to be believed. And the "infinity room" at the end is a STONE TRIP.

Oh yea, bring a handful of pennies with you. There's a bell in the lower left-side garden, and if you manage to hit it with a coin, good fortune of some kind is supposed to shine on you.

For FIVE BUCKS, this is the best deal going. Parking is crowded so you may have to hike up the hill from the street. I know it starts at 11am, but I think it ends at 1:30 and not 1... not sure... but when it ends, it ENDS, and all the food trays disappear whether you're ready or not... so get there on time!

And enjoy!

Pros: CHEAP!, Beautiful!, Buffet!

Cons: Somewhat bland food

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vegan friendly? - Edit

does anyone know if the food is vegan friendly? I've tried calling a couple of times to find out to no avail. :(

1 Response
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webmaster 22 Feb 2013 - Hi, we love going there and the food may be all vegan. They don't use eggs or dairy, but there is some possiblity that some of their mock meats contain whey. There are plenty of choices that don't contain the mock meats, and you could ask them if you are concerned about it. Let us know.

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