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Happy & Healthy

By Terri Hefner Photos By Nathalie Walker
November 25, 2012

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Jai ($9.95)

There seems to be a Renaissance happening in the world of food on Oahu these days — and it’s something that should make non meat-eaters … well, happy.

More and more eateries these days are finding that their vegetarian dishes are becoming quite popular, as customers are choosing to forgo or cut down on eating meat in pursuit of a healthier diet.

At Happy Day Chinese Restaurant, owner Lisa Lum admits to noticing the trend, and is more than happy to recommend two dishes to Dining Out readers.

Jai ($9.95), also known as monk’s food, which is typically eaten in observance of Chinese New Year, is delightfully satisfying any time of year. Completely vegetarian and chock-full of all those good-foryou vegetables, it’s a delicious concoction of long rice, bean curd, carrots, black and golden mushrooms, black fungus, Chinese peas, won bok, tofu skin and more. It’s so flavorful, there’s no need to wait for the new year to celebrate this traditional dish.

In addition, Lum says Mixed Vegetables with Two Mushrooms ($9.95) is a big hit with vegetarians. The crisp-tender vegetables — choi sum, broccoli, won bok, Chinese peas, baby corn and carrots — are stir-fried with black and straw mushrooms in a light sauce. This dish is typically prepared with oyster sauce, but not to worry. Lum says to just ask and they’ll use a shoyu-based sauce instead.

So take advantage of the growing popularity of vegetarian cuisine, and make sure to appreciate restaurants like Happy Day that will prepare dishes to accommodate your tastes and dietary needs with a smile.

Always gracious, Lum says it best: “Thank you to all of our customers. Come back again!”

Happy Day Chinese Restaurant

3553 Waialae Ave.
738.8666
Open daily, 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.