Chinese Vegetarian in Monterey Park.
I confess, I’m a proud carnivore.
No, that’s not right. The technical term is omnivore, since I’m a being that eats both plants and animals.
Point is, I loves me some meat. That being said, I still have friends who are vegetarian and vegan, and…shudder…I think its a good idea to sit down with them and have a meal every now and again.
What to do, what to do?
Personally, I’m not wild about exclusively vegetarian eating. I find the flavors dull and the taste just…meh. I’m not the biggest fan of Real Food Daily for this reason, though they make an able try of it.
Look, the point should be to make me lot let me enjoy what I’m having, not constantly reflecting on what I’ve lost, which…I gotta say…it seems like some Vegetarian cooks are hell bent of reminding you of.
See? Isn’t this so much better without meat?
Still, I do like Indian Vegetarian cooking. At least they’ve been thinking about it for a while, and more importantly, they’ve figured out how to make it taste good.
Chinese Vegetarian is something I don’t mind either, and that brings us to Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant.
Okay, first off, you’re not going to be wowed by the decor in here. With it’s high ceilings and cavernous space, you get to the feeling that even if it was crazy busy inside, it’d still feel a little dead. The Waitstaff is…generally nice enough, though seeming (at times) a bit indifferent as to whether you’re there or not. Once you get going, you’re handed a large, megasized menu (one for lunch, one for dinner), of nothing but vegetarian options.
Yes, the Menu will say Pork or Beef on it, but they don’t mean Pork or Beef. They mean a dish that has been created to simulate Pork of Beef in it.
And yes, I asked.
The flavors here were not as punchy as I would have liked, but it was a satisfying enough of a meal. I did feel better after I left there, just chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Would I go back? Maybe? But there are a number of other Chinese Vegetarian places that I’d want to try first.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: This is the part where I go to the Restaurant’s website to get the Menu link and review what I had. But guess what? Can’t do that because they don’t have a website.
Will say that the Sautéed String Beans I had were fantastic. My dining companion liked her Buddha’s Feast, but that’s about all I can remember.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Be mindful of the low ebb, low energy the joint has. The Waitstaff’s English isn’t the best, but that’s okay. In my mind, the less english the Waitstaff speaks and the more pointing you have to do, the better.
Also, as you can tell…no website.
PARKING: The Times Square Retail and Residential Complex on Atlantic has plenty of parking, all of it free…but it is usually crowded enough so that you might have to prepare to take a bit of a walk to get to an elevator, an escalator or some stairs.
Happy Garden Vegetarian Restaurant
500 N. Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 171
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 282-8986
Daily: 11:00am – 9:00pm