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Mama Lu
No longer in business
Opened: 2010-09 Closed: 2015-12

415 N. Milpas St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 966-1088


Reviews by the General Public

Cold food
Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
Maybe they should put a microwave at the end of the buffet because they are NOT going to turn up the steam table. The food is good for the price but it is the coldest buffet in town.


turn up the heat
Reviewer: Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
The buffet for lunch is a bargain but please please turn up the steam table heat.


Don't Be Afriad... Look For The Real Menu!
Reviewer: Benjamin from Santa Barbara, CA
This restaurant is fantastic! The thing is, while they serve what would be "American" Chinese food (good, but nothing great), it's their Taiwanese food that's AWESOME! This is only found on their Chinese menu... but don't be scared! The staff are very accommodating and willing to help translate for you, and trust me, it's well worth it. I have been slowly working my way through the menu and I have yet to be disappointed.


This is real Chinese/Taiwanese food!!
Reviewer: Cindy Huang from Santa Barbara, CA
I am from Taiwan; I've try so many "American-Chinese" food in US.. And I can tell Mama Lu's food taste just like what I had in Taiwan and China~ Golden the owner is very friendly; small place but make you feel like home. worth to give it a try!!!!


Bland, bland, bland
Reviewer: CML from Santa Barbara, CA
Tried this buffet for the first time a few days ago. I love to go to buffets for the chance to taste a wide variety of food. We came in early for lunch and the buffet looked really good and fresh. What a big disappointment! Nothing had any flavor. Many of the dishes did not have any sauce at all. Beef & Broc.? That is just what you got. No sauce, no flavor. Sweet & sour pork? Just enough sauce to make the dish pink. Noodles? No flavor. Rice? Dry & flavorless. Nothing I tried is worth going back for. Service was ok for a buffet. My water was refilled and we also got a "thank you" when we left. That is something I rarely hear in a Chinese restaurant.


OK, better than last time
Reviewer: Mike F. from Santa Barbara, CA
I believe in trying a place more than once and I must admit the food was better than the first time. I wasn't the only customer wondering why the staff was yelling at each other. They were so loud, however, I don't think they were angry they just yell at each other. This is one ugly restaurant, perhaps some plants indoors would help.


The egg foo yung is amazing!!
Reviewer: Lisa Anne from Santa Barbara, CA
The best news is that they deliver, free!!! We order in at least once a week and the drivers are so courteous. Once they delivered the wrong rice and they actually came back to the house with the correct order, amazing!! We have enjoyed everything, so far. I totally recommend this place!!


Pretty Good Food, cheap place to fill up on Chinese
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
I can't remember what the other Chinese buffets in town cost but this is a good deal if want to fill up on Chinese for $9. They have a wide selection and the food was mostly good. Nits I found were some uncooked rice and some flies in the windows. The people were nice though when I went(don't expect much service for a buffet) and they have an extensive non Buffet menu which apparently has authentic stuff from other reviewers. Decor is not the best. They changed out the food regularly at the buffet.


Not worthy of going back
Reviewer: Leonard from Santa Barbara, CA
First time eating there for their lunch buffet. Food not quite even average and there was not one item that was HOT. The hot and sour soup was just luke warm and the rest of the food the same or just room temperature.....which made me a little worried about food safety. Luke warm meat and fish dishes sitting in 'warming' dishes don't make it. Hot food should be served HOT. Sorry, not a repeat customer here. Like most buffets...other than dropping off my drink, no other employee contact....and a 'thank you' after I paid, would have been nice.


Better Chinese Cuisine
Reviewer: Michael from Santa Barbara, CA
Good balance of flavors. Real broths in the soups. Great fried rice. On the spicy-hot side. Good people.


will come back for the Hot Pot
Reviewer: ray from Santa Barbara, CA
Found this new place from this website. The owner is very friendly and attentive. Tried the buffet which is tasty and fairly cheap. Learned about the Taiwanese Hot Pot. Will come back for that.


Authentic Home Style Chinese Food
Reviewer: Katie from Santa Barbara, CA
Had the buffet today. Everything is so delicious! Especially the chow mien - I think that is their signature dish. The owner and the servers are very nice and attentive. We are going to be regulars at this place.


Great as always and Exceptional Service
Reviewer: Rose Aldana from Santa Barbara, CA
The Lunch Buffett is absolutely delicious as always. My daughter and I enjoyed lunch the other day and I highly recommend her restaurant for families and businesses to enjoy lunch or Dinner. They have kind exceptional service throughout the facility, and definitely have a winner here!! I have been a customer of Lu since she opened her restaurant at Madam Lu on State St. which is fabulous also.


nice food
Reviewer: HONGQIAO SHEN from Santa Barbara, CA
braised pork rice is my favorite food


Great!
Reviewer: Joe from Santa Barbara, CA
The buffet is very good, and it's only 8.95$ per person all day long! And their service is great! If you go in when they are starting to close. They will still ask you what you would like and make them fresh for you for buffet take out! Will be back there for sure!! Most delicious and cheapest Chinese restaurant in SB.


Absolutely Delicious!
Reviewer: Karen Giuffre from Santa Barbara, CA
Mama Lu's is the best Chinese food I have eaten since Hong Kong! Menu selections are fresh, piping hot and cooked to perfection. My favorites include Mongolian Beef and Hot Sour Soup. I haven't tried the buffet, but it looks very good!


Amazing Food!! You have to try it.
Reviewer: Vincent Hsieh from Santa Barbara, CA
First off, my mom is a chef, so I am very picky when it comes to food. I have also lived everywhere, from Taiwan, New York, Los Angeles to Germany. And this place just blew me away! Best Tea Duck I have had in a long long time. And if you have never tried their hot pots (kinda like Japanese Shabu-Shabu, but more flavorful), you are missing out. I went there with a girl from Shanghai and another girl from France, and the three of us just could not believe how wonderful the food was. Definitely going back! I can't wait to take my family and friends there to show off!


Hidden Treasure
Reviewer: David Liu from Santa Barbara, CA
It looks like a fast food place, but the food is exceptionally great, even the buffet is a pleasant surprise. Some of the specialty items are clearly the best in California, probably top notch in the country. The waiters and waitresses are friendly and efficient. If you go, make sure you try the Chinese ham and sea bass.


Salty food, Sour faces
Reviewer: Barry Anderson from Santa Barbara, CA
I was there the other night for dinner, and either the food was sitting around for too long or something but a lot of the items were too salty and mushy. For the price I expected that but, seeing their workers smoking and picking their noses was the cherry of top of this place. Needless to say I hope the salty food was from the salt not anything else. Won't be Back.


Great Buffet
Reviewer: Javier from Santa Barbara, CA
Everything is great here. The staff is always friendly & nice. Great buffet


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