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Come On Get Happy

By Andy Beth Miller Photos By Nathalie Walker
April 13, 2014

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Remember Happy Days, that beloved television sitcom from the 1970’s? You know, The Fonz with his “Aaaaeeeyyy!” and every episode neatly tied up in a perfect (and musically encapsulated) ending? It nightly filled living rooms with a warm and fuzzy, feel-good version of life — one we all looked forward to coming home to.

Well, there’s a new Happy Days in town — Happy Days Chinese Restaurant, that is. Located in Kaimuki, this eatery offers a menu of creations concocted even to accommodate us vegetarians — whether they are listed sans meat or not.

“We can make dishes vegetarian,” assures owner Lisa Lum, “even if they aren’t that way on the menu — we can make it work for you.”And that accommodating spirit — well, that definitely works for me.

Along with that winning attitude and flexibility, Lum reveals just why the restaurant’s moniker is so fitting, “When I see the customers happy, that is my favorite thing about the business, because when they’re happy, I’m happy.” And as I look around, the clientele assuredly does looks satisfied.

Mixed Vegetable Chow Mein ($9.95)

Mixed Vegetable Chow Mein ($9.95)

Showcased here are three delicious dishes making mouths happy every day this week:

Black Mushroom with Broccoli ($10.95): a no-fuss stir-fry of black mushroom and broccoli, this dish is delicately dusted in a garlic sauce that’s literally good enough to eat.

Eggplant with Tofu ($10.95): vitamin-rich eggplant and protein-packed tofu are lightly stir-fried before being blanketed in a secret (and spicy) house made sauce utilizing garlic, ginger, soy and a whole lotta other somethin’ some-thins’ whose identity Lum just will not give away. “That’s what makes it secret!” she teases. And for all you cowboys that just can’t handle the heat, Lum assures that she can simmer-down the spice level too.

Mixed Vegetable Chow Mein ($9.95): this sizzling and colorful stir-fry brings together broccoli, bok choy, mushroom, carrots and baby corn slathered in a soy sauce that makes for a simple, satisfying meal.

Two deals that Lum let us in on are the dim sum discount (15 percent off) available daily from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. when paying cash and taking treasures to-go, as well as the special dinner menu pricing for parties of four, six or ten patrons. So grab a friend — or three, five or nine — and head to Happy Days.

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Happy Days Chinese Restaurant

3553 Waialae Ave.
738-8666
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.