Happy Family in Monterey Park -- what to get?
My (vegan) friend is putting together a 100-mile bike ride with stops at 3 restaurants along the way. He wants to get AYCE Chinese vegetarian at Happy Family.
For my part, AYCE is just about the last thing I want at mile 40 of a century, but it sounds like Happy Family has a non-AYCE option. Can some people order AYCE and others just order some regular dishes and split them? Or does everybody at a table have to order AYCE together?
Also, what are their memorable dishes? Ideally I'd like something with lots of carbs. Noodles, of course, is a no-brainer; but is there anything they do especially well?
And one last question: we'll probably be arriving there Sunday at around 11 or noon. Are we going to be able to get in the door?
I'm not a vegetarian myself, but I do really enjoy this restaurant. I don't care so much for the AYCE menu, however. I usually just order a few dishes off the regular menu and then try to finish them because I haven't had good luck with reheating. The "fish" dishes are so good. And yes about the mushrooms, incredibly delicious. I'd eat here all the time if it weren't so expensive. I tend to stuff myself and then be in a stupor afterwards. The last time I went I was in such a food coma that I closed my finger in the car door when I got home. GAH.
You can't split up AYCE and non-AYCE.
Mustard greens with tofu skin, fish, braised tofu with scallops, minced squab lettuce cups.
I've avoid the noodle dishes (too greasy). The fried bread ("ying-tse jweng") is pretty addictive.
No problems with lines Sunday lunch.
We decided to skip the AYCE and just order off the regular menu, which was a wise choice.
The fried mushrooms and "orange chicken" were acceptable, though both were syrupy-sweet. The "spare ribs" were forgettable; mostly breading. We had a couple people who didn't want fishy stuff, so we skipped the seafood dishes. The plain old stir-fried vegetables (dry-cooked string beans, eggplant with basil) were probably my favorite; if I were to go back I'd just order those.
For fake-meat-style vegan cooking, the food was pretty good. But for a meat-eater, it can't compete with some of the other offerings in the area; I certainly wouldn't go back if I were on my own.
i generally avoid the fake meat and get the vegetable dishes.
can't remember the number, but there is one spicy dish that i love: its is made with tons of fresh ginger, fermented black beans and pickled turnips.
for a milder dish, i like their bean curd sheets with chopped mustard greens.
I love their steamed buns! I think they might even have the fried version of the buns which is harder to find. Have fun!