Restaurant of the Week: Happy Kitchen

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Happy Kitchen, 3233 Grand Ave. (at Peyton), Chino Hills

Chino Hills is the prime spot in the Inland Valley for authentic Chinese good, with numerous worthwhile spots, and new ones popping up or replacing existing eateries all the time. I was led to Happy Kitchen as a Yelp recommendation for another restaurant I was eyeing.

I met two friends at Happy Kitchen for lunch on a recent Saturday. It’s in the Albertsons center (nice to know there are still Albertsons around), and several of the other restaurants are Asian too, including the wonderfully named Korean tofu joint Youngdong.

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Happy Kitchen is small and at noon was bustling. We got about the only empty table and examined the multipage menu, which has about 200 items: appetizers, noodle dishes, rice dishes, chicken, pork, lamb, seafood, vegetarian, hot pot and more.

We got three entrees, pictured in order below: Happy Kitchen tofu ($10), tangerine chicken ($10) and cumin pork ($12). Also, two appetizers: fried bread roll and vegetable egg rolls ($5 each). This proved to be too much food, but that’s part of the fun of a shared meal.

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“Very tasty, I liked it,” one friend said. She said the fried bread reminded her favorably of something you’d get at the Fair and that the tofu entree was larger than in the menu photo.

“It didn’t exceed my expectations but it met them,” the other friend said. “It was very good for strip mall Chinese.”

That seemed a little unfair to me, as 1) almost every restaurant in Chino Hills is in a strip mall and 2) most San Gabriel Valley Chinese restaurants are in strip malls too. Din Tae Fung, anyone?

My view was that there were a lot more items on the menu that I’d like to try, especially the beef roll (it’s a dish I’ve had at 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra). I liked Happy Kitchen as much as Noodle House, my previous Chino Hills favorite.

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