Happy Valley Unveils New MenuDigest Foodie Fare
March 17, 2012
Story By: Dining Out Team |
As the first Hawaii installment of a popular restaurant chain in Japan, Happy Valley Pasta & Pizza opened in Diamond Head in October to share its flavorful fusion food with the island. Happy Valley serves up a unique blend of flavors in a seamless combination of American-style Italian food, along with some Japanese-inspired dishes.
Customers will be impressed by the range of the menu, which includes standard Italian fare such as Seafood Pescatora ($14.98), as well as fusion items including Teriyaki Chicken Pasta ($9.98).
Owner and head chef Yuki Saito says that Happy’s Margherita pizza ($10.98) is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. With its own spin on the classic Margherita, the dish includes tomato, mozzarella and basil pesto sauce instead of basil leaves. Other popular dishes are Fresh Happy Salad ($4.98 for a small; $7.98 for a regular), Homemade Meatball Pasta ($11.98) and Bacon Carbonara Pasta ($11.98).
Recently, Saito and the Happy Valley staff have been busy in the kitchen cooking up more new menu items. The new menu will be unveiled April 16. New dishes include appetizers Marinated Carrot Salad ($4.98), Caprese ($8.98), Marinated Smoked Salmon Salad ($9.98) and Happy’s Cold Sampler ($11.98), which includes a taste of all three new appetizers. New entrees include Happy’s Pink Sauce ($9.98), which is a tomato and cream sauce, and Pink Sauce & Seafood ($16.98), that comes with shrimp, baby scallops and calamari, Smoked Salmon & Broccoli Cream pizza ($16.98) and Bacon, Veggies & Gorgonzola Risotto ($12.98).
Following customer requests, the new menu also will feature Pepperonian Pizza ($11.98), which includes pepperoni and mixed vegetables.
In addition to the new menu items, Happy Valley has been revamping some of its existing dishes — and the renovations also will make their premiere with the new menu next month. Now with pepperoni in addition to sausage, bacon and chicken, try Meat Meat Meat & Meat ($13.98). And now with even more cheese, try Cheese Cheese Cheese & Cheese!! & Honey ($11.98).
Happy Valley also offers a great Happy Hour — so great, in fact, that many customers tell Saito he’s crazy to sell drinks at such low prices. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, beers range from $1.50 and $2. Wine also is offered at a discounted price, starting at $3.
The portions are generous at Happy Valley, and with its casual, welcoming atmosphere, the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner with friends and family.
On the Side
Although Happy Valley Pasta & Pizza just celebrated the grand opening of its Monsarrat Avenue location last fall, the restaurant has a long history.
“My dad started this restaurant about 35 years ago in Japan, and we have seven restaurants there,” explains Yuki Saito, owner and head chef of the chain’s Hawaii restaurant. “This is the eighth restaurant. We just love Hawaii, so we wanted to bring a restaurant here … And for me, I am very proud of my dad,” he adds.
The varied menu at Happy Valley reflects the mixture of influences and showcases Saito’s origins as well as a passion for Italian-American cuisine.
“We feature an American style of pasta and pizza that mixes Japanese and Italian influences,” Saito says.
The menu even features a unique category — Japanese-style pasta, which includes Karaage Chicken & Basil Pesto ($10.98) and Calamari & Cod Roe ($11.98).
“Most of the recipes are from the Happy Valley restaurants in Japan, but there are some things only Hawaii has,” Saito says. One example of a local creation is Hawaiian Sausage Pizza ($10.98).
Saito adds that he likes to experiment with different flavors when he cooks.
For more of Happy Valley’s creative concoctions, be sure to check out the new menu, starting April 16.
Happy Valley Pasta & Pizza
- 3106 Monsarrat Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96815
- (808) 737-0080
- Open Daily
- 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Lunch)
- 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. (Dinner)