I do remember eating at Souplantation when I lived in LA. Buffets were soul-less and scary unless they were at an Indian food restaurant where they became pretty hilarious. All you can eat and drink sushi was awesome.
LA Magazine sure makes Souplantation sound like a buffet-style restaurant to me.
Since its founding by a surfer in 1978, Souplantation has survived bankruptcy, an e-coli outbreak, and food-stealing customers. The restaurant is treated like a punchline on social media, but certain locations—like the one at Beverly Connection which, until recently, featured a quote from Fran Lebowitz on its walls—seem to be thriving.
"It doesn't have a bleak Sizzler vibe," says Bethany Cosentino, one-half of the band Best Coast. "It's its own mood and its own thing, and the pure joy it brings me can never ever be replaced by any other salad bar—not even the Whole Foods one."
Some still can't get over the name. Search Twitter for "Souplantation" and the results are a mix of pop culture GIFs and bafflement that a restaurant in 2019 would want to associate boiling liquids and broccoli dishes with the history of slavery. (Throughout most of the country, the chain is called Sweet Tomatoes.)
The Smorgasbord at the Magic Castle was one of the scariest things I've ever seen.