In the Vons Grocery Store
24325 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Panda Express is located inside the Vons in the Torrance Crossroads Center. The Torrance Crossroads plaza is located at the south/west corner of Lomita Blvd and Crenshaw Blvd; anchored by Home Depot and the Vons that contains this Panda Express. The restaurant is located just inside the store and looks like a lunch counter just behind the registers. There is some seating inside the grocery store and some lunch tables outside. Parking is plentiful in the large parking lot out front.
CARL: I do like Panda Express and my family gets the “Panda Feast” (serves 4) about once every two months. We try not to eat there too often because we are aware of the high calorie count – but it is pretty tasty. I don’t normally go to this particular Panda Express (I go to the one at PCH and Hawthorne) but I do regularly shop in this very nice Vons. I suppose the idea here is that if you are doing your shopping, you can pick up something quick for dinner. Well, it’s a good theory anyway……. On this Lunch Pig trip I picked up my favorite two item combo with Orange Chicken and for something new I tried the Sting Bean Chicken. The flavors were fairly predictible but that’s really what you want from Panda Express. My food was somewhat stale – meaning it tasted like it had been sitting around for a while. I attribute the stale taste to the location – a drawback of a lower volume location compared to the higher traffic location I normally hit. Another downside to this location is the small and unclean dining area. The area is crowded and it didn’t look like it had been cleaned in quite some time. Aside from the friendly lady behind the counter, I don’t see much reason to go out of the way to go to this particular location. I give this Panda Express 3 Pigs.
OLIVER: This is probably one of the more difficult reviews to write. I love Chinese food. I eat it so much that people are sick of going out to eat with me because it will always lead to one of the many great Asian cuisines here in the South Bay. We wanted to profile all the choices at the Torrance Crossroads, so Panda Express got our visit. A Panda Express in a Von’s may not sound like a great place to a review, and I don’t know if we caught them on short staff or not, but as you might guess, it really was not a good experience.
The counter help was awesome. She was as enthusiastic and helpful as anyone could be, but it seems she was working alone and you can not work a counter, serve the food and clean the eating area on your own.
I ordered the two item combo, Mandarin Chicken and their new Beijing Spicy Beef after she gave me a sample. I will say that both of those items are very good. The Mandarin Chicken is not goopy and if you order a double of that it is a pretty good amount of chicken. The Steak was very good, surprisingly good. The steak does cost an additional 1$. The chow-mien and rice were stale and had no taste, perhaps it had been sitting. My biggest complaint is how awful the seating area is. It was really bad. Not just in filth, but it was as if someone just threw a bunch of chairs into an enclosed area and left, then people managed to crawl through the table and chair debris to gnaw on their meals, leaving all sorts of drippings and wrappings on the tables and floor, congealing behind.
So what can I say about Panda Express at Von’s. Within a few hundred feet are perhaps some of the best Asian food cuisines in the South Bay. Royal Thai Cuisine or Gyu-Kaku in comparison would give you a memorable lunch that will keep you coming back and it costs less than what it cost at Panda Express. I really can’t recommend this location to anyone. I would have given it one and a half pigs because it is overpriced, and the quality of rice and chow-mien were bad, that and the seating area was abysmal, but the counter person was great and the steak and mandarin chicken were pretty good so I will give it another pig.