Panda Express is a chain of casual fast food restaurant offering American Chinese food. It is the largest fast food offering Chinese food in the US.
Panda Express offers a variety of Chinese food including the most common Chinese entrée’s like Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, fried rice and Chow Mein (noodles) and other stir fried entrée’s. They claim they do not use MSG. They are based in Rosemead, California (a Southern California city in the San Gabriel Valley).
Their restaurants have typical fast food ambiance with Oriental decor, brightly lighted with strong bright colors like red and orange, clean and looks very commercial. It is not the typical one store/family owned Chinese place. The location I visited has a clean rest room, water, soap and paper towels are available.
The taste of most of their entrée’s are not very authentic Chinese food. The food taste a little bit Westernized. It is not terribly bad but not good either. Their egg roll doesn’t like an egg roll should be. You can tell it has been frozen, you can taste more the oil it was fried in than the flavor of the egg roll itself. The mushroom chicken is quite tasty though. The orange chicken is dry. Their chow mein is one of the best chow mein I have tasted.
Portion wise, they don’t really give you that much food. If you are buying half chow mein and half rice, they only give you one scoop each which is not much. If you are on diet and on portion control, Panda Express may be good for you.
I have been visiting their Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario locations for quite some time. They are busy most of the time, there’s almost always a line during dinner. This is probably due to the lack of staff at the counter, they have one cashier and one taking the order. Sometimes the store manager is at the counter helping. At the Rancho Cucamonga location, I never see a store manager last that long. Every so often they have a new store manager.
If you are in a hurry and want convenient Chinese fast food, they are okay. It is not PF Chang but then Panda Express is fast food restaurant in a strip mall or food court in a mall.