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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Story By Terri Hefner Photos By Nathalie Walker
January 22 - 28, 2012

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Everyone is going out for dim sum, but you’re hesitant to join them as you’re well aware that vegetarian dim sum is a rarity at most Chinese restaurants. Don’t worry, be happy.

While dim sum draws the crowds to Happy Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant in Kaimuki, that’s not all you’ll find on its extensive menu of Cantonese favorites. And don’t let the name make you sad — it’s not all about seafood. The Chinese New Year favorite, Jai aka monk’s food, is a popular choice here and it contains no meat or fish.

  • Jai ($9.95)
  • Happy Day owner Lisa Lum with Jai.
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Gung hay fat choy!” says Happy Day’s upbeat owner Lisa Lum, who was indeed happy to recommend the restaurant’s Jai for Dining Out readers to celebrate the Year of the Dragon — the lunar new year — or any day of the year.

Happy Day’s Jai ($9.95) is a healthy combination of long rice, bean curd, carrots, black mushrooms, Chinese peas, golden mushrooms, tofu skin and more in a red bean curd sauce. All those vegetable flavors and textures work well together, and the slippery strands of long rice provide a nice complement that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.

Eating Jai is a traditional way to celebrate Chinese New Year, and lucky for veggie lovers, you can savor it all year round at Happy Day.

Happy Day Chinese Restaurant

  • Where
    • 3553 Waialae Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96816
  • Call
    • (808) 738-8666
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.