Have a nice day, really

Columns Veg'n Out

December 21, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Growing up, nothing was handed to me. I was the daughter of a military father, and the first rule I learned was that if I wanted something, I worked for it. One of my very first jobs as a teenager was as a cashier at a grocery store. I remember ringing people up, one after another, always having to repeat that same generic, management-mandated mantra, “Ya’ll have a nice day, now!” One — after another — after another.

By the end of the day, without fail, you would find me gobsmacked and getting “over it,” groaning — similar to the Barbie doll in Toy Story, bemoaning of her scehlacked-on plastic smile — “My face hurts!” Yep, after about 3 p.m., needless to say, pretty much any of those nice day wishes were forced at best.

But there’s nothing forced about this Nice Day, as manager Shirley Cheng and crew invite each and every diner to delve into this restaurant’s delicious dishes. And believe me, accepting this invitation is effortless.

A local Chinese eatery long-revered for its delectable dim sum, Cheng will have us know that on many days, especially weekends, there is a line at the door waiting for the servers to wheel out those carts of steaming, savory goodness. And while dim sum may not be a selection vegetarians will vie for, there is gratefully a good amount of veggie-approved offerings here as well.

Chow down on Nice Day’s Vegetable Chow Mein ($9.95), a filling and generously sized portion of mixed vegetables (carrots, mushroom, broccoli, bok choy and celery) swathed in shoyu-based sauce and nestled atop a bed of crunchy and crispy, quick-fried chow mein noodles.

Bitter Melon with Black Bean Sauce ($10.95) offers diners a simpler meal, presenting nutrient-rich, vibrantly colored bitter melon lightly stir-fried and paired with a flavorful black bean sauce.

“We have lots of vegetables on the menu,” assures Cheng, when asked if vegetarians would be accommodated here. And the warm, inviting smile on her face when answering lets Veg N Out know that not only will we be accommodated, we’ll be welcomed with open arms.

And in other great news, the eatery is celebrating the holidays full-force this year. In fact, Cheng explains, the restaurant, “will be open regular hours (seven days a week), even on New Year’s Eve, Day and Christmas.”

So keep them in mind for dine-in, takeout or catering for upcoming New Year’s events and gatherings — ensuring you can bring a Nice Day literally everywhere this joyful season.

Nice Day Chinese Seafood Restaurant

1425 Liliha St., Honolulu
Daily, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

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