With only one buffet left at local casinos, the big news is that Gordon Ramsay is heading to Harrah’s Resort.

When the pandemic hit 16 months ago, area casinos slashed their restaurant offerings and – to the dismay of thousands of local foodies who enjoyed unlimited crab legs and lobster tails – closed. their popular buffets.

As the state reopened this summer, so do many casino restaurants. But the buffets – which were starter products for casinos and banned by public health decree – are not coming back. Only one local casino has resuscitated its buffet, but with multiple restrictions. Here’s an overview of the San Diego area casino menu.

Valley View Casino and Hotel: This Valley Center’s $ 42 all-you-can-eat Maine Lobster Buffet is back, but only for qualified members of its Players Club, only for dinner service, and only with waiters bringing selections to the plate. In the coming months, the station hopes to open more seats for the general public. Meanwhile, its Black & Blue Steakhouse and Patties & Pints ​​restaurants are now open Thursday through Sunday only. 16300 Nyemii Pass Road, Valley Center. valleyviewcasino.com

Harrah’s Resort Southern California: Earlier this week, the Valley Center-based casino announced that world superstar chef Gordon Ramsay will be opening a 332-seat Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in the former buffet space that closed at the start of the pandemic. The restaurant will be one of only four Hell’s Kitchen restaurants in the world. It will open in spring 2022. Meanwhile, its Fiore steakhouse, Oyster Bar, ‘Ritas Cantina, KJ Chinese Restaurant and many more have reopened. 777 Harrah’s Rincon Way, Valley Center. harrahssocal.com

Chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay will bring his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant concept to Harrah’s Resort Southern California in spring 2022.

(Caesar Entertainment)

Sycuan Casino: This El Cajon casino has limited dining options at the moment, but it plans to reopen its UnCommons restaurant later this summer. Its Elicit Asian restaurant and lounge has a recently expanded menu that includes options of pho, ramen, and yakisoba, new sushi rolls, and a variety of bao rolls. Elicit also has an all-you-can-eat sushi offer of $ 25 on Thursdays. At the Bull & Bourbon steakhouse, a special surf and lawn dinner at $ 29 is offered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Phil’s BBQ and Lucha Libre Taco Shop outlets should reopen in a few months. 5469 Chemin du Casino, El Cajon. sycuan.com

Pechanga Resort Casino: In May, this Temecula casino opened 1882 Cantina, a new Mexican, Central and South American restaurant / bar that replaced its old Lobby Bar & Grill. Also in May, he opened The Cove, his 4.5-acre pool campus that now includes a swim-up bar serving beers, wines, and signature cocktails such as the Coveside Colada and Strawberry Citrus Refresher. Meanwhile, most of its main restaurants are back, including Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s, Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, and Journey’s End. The Coviside Grill is open for drop-in orders and in-person poolside service. The buffet has not reopened. 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula. pechanga.com

Pala Casino Spa & Resort: Pala has permanently closed its Choices buffet and its Sushi Sake restaurants. Its Oak Room steakhouse remains temporarily closed. But its quick-service restaurant Noodles, Luis Rey’s Sports Bar, and Bar Meets Grill are open with regularly updated hours on the casino’s website. 11154 Highway 76, Pala. palacasino.com

Barona Resort & Casino: This Lakeside casino has no plans to bring back its buffet, according to comments posted on Yelp.com last month by Barona officials. Space is used instead for additional seating in the food court. Most of its other restaurants have reopened, although many only for limited hours. Barona Oaks Steakhouse is only open Thursday through Saturday and its Italian cuisine serves Thursday through Sunday. Sage Cafe and Ho Wan Noddle Shop are open daily. Plaza Grill remains closed. 1932 Wildcat Canyon Road, by the lake. barona.com

Viejas Casino & Resort: Viejas closed its buffet in June 2020, and it has not reopened. But his Grove Steakhouse serves dinner seven nights a week. Café at Viejas is open 24 hours a day and serves a surf and turf special of crab legs and steak for $ 29.99. The Baron Long Bar & Grill and the Ginger Noodle Bar are also open. 5000, willow path, alpine. viejas.com

Jamul Casino: The casino has just completed a renovation that includes the addition of the new Jamul Marketplace, a hub for the casino’s quick-service restaurants, which includes a taqueria, burgers and shakes, a smoky barbecue, a pizzeria and a cafe. Meanwhile, Prime Cut Steak & Seafood restaurant has reopened, offering Sunday lobster brunch for $ 59.95. Emerald Chinese Cuisine has also reopened, as has Loft 94 Yakitori and Tony Gwynn’s sports bar. 14145 Campo Road, Jamul. jamulcasinosd.com

Pauma Casino: This Pauma Valley casino draws diners to its Café restaurant with a 10-ounce “2 for $ 20” prime rib dinner for two from 4 pm to closing on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. 777 Pauma Reservation Road, Valley Center. casinopauma.com

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