CLOSED: Happy Elephant Vegan

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 19 reviews )



1532 E Broadway, Long Beach, California, USA, 90802

Opened Oct 2014, this vegan restaurant offers Thai and Japanese food. Features a variety of made-to-order vegan sushi rolls. Small and casual, using disposable serving ware. Free Wi-Fi. Street parking. Confirmed closed April 2017.

Categories: Vegan, Japanese, Thai, Take-out

19 Reviews

First Review by Sofafilms

closed for business - Edit

Walked over here and a sign says - closed for business. Sad!

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Wish I liked it more... - Edit

The food is good, but I wish I liked this place more. I want to support vegan places in the area, but this one makes it tough... It's pretty expensive and the dishes are small, so you have to get/spend a lot to get full. They also don't do a great job of providing a nice experience for that price. For example...the plates are wrapped with plastic wrap (so they don't have to wash them?), which is really cheap feeling, and of course wasteful.

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vegan Thai place in the LBC - Edit

Overall decent location and friendly staff at this vegan place in the LBC. Not far from downtown or the Queen Mary. All vegan menu was not as extensive as I would have thought but had a decent selection. I ordered the summer rolls and pineapple fried rice. The summer rolls weren't spectacular just adequate for a hungry belly. The sauce was good. The pineapple fried rice was beautifully arranged (in half a pineapple) and came with cucumber and pineapple slices on the side. It was tasty. Friend ordered the veggie tempura, also just adequate. The orders for sushi coming out the kitchen looked wonderful but didn't try them on this visit. Overall a decent environment. I did have to use the facilities which kind of scared me. As I visit more and more places it comes to my attention that a clean and healthy bathroom can speak volumes of overall owner/management attention to detail -especially where it counts, the kitchen! Thus, the lower rating indicated. Otherwise a good experience.

Pros: all vegan menu, recommend the pineapple fried rice

Cons: store front windows, dirty , restroom facilities could be better maintained

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Great Thai Food, period. - Edit

Happy Elephant has great food, period. It's not like some places where the food is great, considering that it's vegan. No, it's just great food. We used to live a block from this place and it became our go-to place.

My personal favorite is the Elephant Bomb. It's not for everyone but it's neat, with "stink beans," which I haven't encountered elsewhere.

While there are tables and chairs, this isn't a place I'd want to eat at--I think of it as a to-go place.

only 1 downside, but it can be a killer--delivery from this place was spotty over many months. Orders got mixed up, food arrived cold, with the driver seeming to be high and confused, and at best, the delivery person would apologize for being backed up. We ended up ordering for pickup to avoid this problem.

Pros: geat variety, reasonable price, friendly staff and owners

Cons: not really any ambience for eating there, delivery mostly sucked. , Usual LBC issue with parking

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Delicious art! - Edit

Artfully crafted and unbelievably powerfully sublime food. Unique and top top top notch. Our omnivore friends LOVED it. We loved it. I'll be flying from home in Seattle just to come here. OMG they should win awards. And definitely have the mango/rice thing for dessert. And order the Pad Thai. And dont miss Happy Elephant sushi rolls--Both of them! Get TWO of everything!

Pros: informal, casual, rustic

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Excellent! - Edit

This was a great, friendly place to have lunch. I love the buffet of fruits, vegetables, salad, soup, and sushi that comes complimentary with any order over $8. It did take a while for my mom's sushi roll to come out but everything else was pretty speedy. We sat outside and there were a lot of bugs which is nobody's fault, just something to consider.

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Great looking food that tastes good, too - Edit

The sushi I ordered here was one of the most well-presented, beautiful dishes I've ever ordered. It tasted good, but it was hard to live up to the visual.

There are so many options here, and I'd like to try them all, but items on the menu can get a little pricey.

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Nice Little Spot - Edit

I first tasted their dishes at the Vegan Fest in North Hollywood a few months back. It was our first time trying the actual restaurant today. Start was friendly and the food was delicious! Only thing, though, was that I think the portions are a bit small for the prices. Other than that, all is well

Pros: Good food!

Cons: Expensive

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new favorite restaurant - Edit

Amazing service and even better food!!! Deep ocean roll is a must try. Tofu sate was to die for. Everything perfect. And the spicy green bean. Omg like everything so amazing.

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Happy Elephant vegan - Edit

I love this place, i have read a lot of mixed reviews, well... after eating there about 5 times now i must say I'm completely disagree with any negative reviews and heres why. The food portions are appropriate, its tasty, fresh, and they always have free fruit, soup, and vegan sushi if you go there to eat. Prices are fair (i mean cmon, its vegan food.. its typically not cheap). And they are always so super friendly with me. ill end up trying everything on the menu for sure but my favorites are the summer rolls, sate, and the emerald roll is yummy

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Gave them 5 chances - Edit

I won't be back to this restaurant. I must say that the Sushi, is very well done. But in this case the proprietress is the businesses own worst enemy. While the THsi dishes are okay. the portions are small. I assume they want you to utilize their complementary Buffet. The Salads and soups are okay. but if I didn't want the buffet then It's just a small plate of food. I get more on an airplane. Also, Parking is terrible! Prepare to walk at peak hours. I wish them luck in that Vegan restaurants are really needed in Long Beach. But, I'm done.

Pros: Sushi is excellent!

Cons: Small portions on the Thai Menu, Too many choices, The Owner

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alright sushi - Edit

This is a very small and casual spot. It's kind of awkward inside. We were the only ones in there, and everything took a very long time. Not only did the food take a long time to come out, but the server was also very inattentive. The soup and sushi rolls we had were okay. I wouldn't go out of my way to come back here.

Cons: parking is really difficult

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What's Happier than a Happy Cow? A Happy Elephant - Edit

I love the Happy Elephant, one of my favorite things about it besides the food has to be saying let's go to the Happy Elephant.

I would have to say their sushi rolls are my favorite on the menu. Additionally their mango sticky rice is delicious these dishees are presented so beautifully, almost to pretty to eat, but hunger always wins that battle.

Their curry's are really good too, totally something to check out and not to spicy and I enjoy their Udon very much very flavorful.

The dining room is really small and parking kind of sucks, but it's Long Beach space is limited.

Pros: Fresh ingrediants, beautiful presenttion, totally vegan

Cons: parking, parking, did I mention parking?

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Absolutely Delicious - Edit

I can't eat a lot of foods in general, but the sushi here is delicious and right up my alley. It's healthy and the people who work here are very friendly. Nice date spot, for sure.

Pros: Delicious, Healthy

Cons: Price

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disappointing - Edit

I was really hoping this place would be good. While waiting for our food, we heard a microwave being used...not a good start. We tried the gyoza...they were ok. The pad Thai was bland...rice noodles, a few cubes of tofu and bean sprouts...the sushi roll was pretty good. I just don't understand the paper plates and plastic wrapped sushi board...portions are small...we left hungry

Pros: sushi rolls, friendly staff

Cons: portion sizes, lack of flavor, paper plates

1 Response
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cormacf 03 May 2015 - This is pretty much spot-on. The owners seem very nice, and the restaurant is new, so we're hoping they make some improvements, but for now, the food is only OK. The sushi is better than the rest -- more or less on par with what you'd get at any other sushi restaurant, plus a few creative rolls that run the gamut from pretty good and inventive to "a little smooshy." Avoid the soup--it's pure salt. The disposable everything is a deal-breaker, though. SO MUCH paper and plastic. Don't they know they're catering to hippies?  

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Get the sushi rolls - Edit

I read about this place on happycow, and when worked called to come to Long Beach, I jumped at the chance to grab a meal here (Jan 2015). Here's my Happy Elephant review.

It's a little cafe on Broadway with street parking only. Unless you have car karma-luck, expect to park further to get a space.

The interior is small and simple. A waitress greeted us while a chef stands behind the counter making sushi rolls.

On the menu one side is Japanese food the other Thai food. From what my friend and shared, I would highly recommend the sushi rolls ($8 each).

We had rolls with brown rice, avocado, veggies -- one kind even had a caviar (made from seaweed) that gave the rolls an exquisite flavor.

We also tried the Thai appetizer endive leaves with minced cashew nut ($8). Spicy and delish though expensive for the small portion.

Finish the meal with hot sticky rice with sweet mango. Yum.

Happy Elephant is a nice little addition for Long Beach. Finally, good vegan sushi at fair prices.

PS. Food is served in disposable-ware only (maybe due to permit reasons).

Pros: good vegan sushi, sticky rice and mango, friendly service

Cons: appetizer portion too small

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Not your typical Thai Vegn - Edit

I've gotten to know Long Beach relatively well over the past 2 yrs of staying there for work and I've made Ahimsa, Veggie Grill and Cafe Ambrosia regular stops on every trip. Recently on my bicycle ride to Ambrosia I passed Happy Elephant and promised myself I'd go back before my trip was over. I was not disappointed! Its a small space but comes complete with dining tables, a togo section, and a sushi counter. I was greeted warmly and invited to try to the Thai tea on the house. I chose the coconut milk version and it was very nice. Anyway, to the Food! I ordered the tempeh over broccoli in garlic sauce and chose the black rice instead of the jasmine or brown. The tempeh was great and came in small 2 inch cutlets but the star was the garlic sauce and black rice. It wasn't a lot of food though so I also ordered the elephant sushi roll (I think). After the tempeh main I had to wait a bit for the sushi roll and I actually began to think I was full enough that I would just take the sushi to go. BUt when it arrived I had no choice; it was an elegantly presented inside-out sushi roll with an avocado-slice blanket. Inside was asparagus, carrots and other things (which I don't remember) but I suspect a key ingredient was the veganaise. I haven't seen this used in vegan sushi before so it was a nice surprise. As good as the tempeh dish was, and as full as I thought I had been, the sushi roll was even better. All told the bill came to a little over $20 so it was kind of an expensive lunch....ok so not everyone needs to pig out like me....but it was worth it.
Updated from previous review on Sunday January 04, 2015

Pros: presentation, taste

Cons: price

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Delicious food! Friendly owners! - Edit

The food was so good that we scraped the last bits of our plates! We ordered Tofu Sate as an appetizer and green and massaman curry with jasmin rice for mains.

When we arrived the owner offered us kale chips and free drinks on the house (thai iced tea and lemongrass juice). We also also got a small desert on the house!

This place is fantastic!

Pros: excellent value, friendly staff, good value

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Great new vegan restaurant in Long Beach! - Edit

I found this restaurant on Happy Cow, but it had not yet opened when I looked for it. Today I went back there with my niece. We arrived before 5pm to discover they were closed between 3pm and 5pm. However, the owner was nice enough to open the restaurant for us!

It was difficult to decide what to order. Everything on the menu looked delicious. The owner gave us a vegan Thai Iced Tea and kale chips on the house! We decided on chard cups as an appetizer. I removed the red peppers from mine, as I do not like spicy food. It was delicious.

As an entree I had the Pad Thai and my niece had the yellow curry with black rice. We both loved our meals. Not spicy (thankfully.)

After our meal the owner gave us a dessert on the house! Yams in a delicious coconut sauce. I definitely want to return and try everything on the menu- especially the sushi!

Pros: Delicious, Accommodating, Friendly

Cons: Closed between 3pm and 5pm

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