Happy Family III

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 16 reviews )

500 N Atlantic Blvd Ste 171, Monterey Park, California, USA, 91754

Vegetarian Chinese restaurant featuring an extensive menu consisting of flavorful and saucy dishes, and an assortment of imitation meats. Features an all-you-can-eat option at lunch and dinner. Dishes are made-to-order, not buffet style. Nice decor in a large space. Moved to this new location on Atlantic Blvd in 2011. Open Mon 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm, Tue-Fri 11:30am-9:00pm, Sat 11:30am-9:30pm, Sun 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, Chinese, Take-out, Taiwanese

16 Reviews

First Review by eric

Great variety - Edit

This is your typical Chinese style restaurant where you order a bunch of dishes and share with the family. I came here as a party of 3, and the service was pretty good.

We ordered 3 items:

Crispy Fish w/ Sesame: This one was definitely my favorite dish out of them all. It had an interesting texture, and was slightly sweet and savory.

Veggie meat tofu & pot: This might be a bit more than mild spicy for those who are sensitive to spice. We all agreed that this pot could have been better, simply because it was too oily and too salty.

Eggplant, tofu w/ black pepper pot: This dish was everyones favorite, simply because the eggplant was cooked well enough where it retained a good texture. The flavors were good and even though it is marked as spicy, it really isn't spicy at all.

Overall the service was fine, the waitress was pretty attentive to us but then again there wasn't that many tables when we were there. The food came out pretty quickly and I felt that the portions were decent enough, as we ordered 3 items and still ended up taking all of the items to-go because we could not finish. It was a nice place to have lunch.

Parking can also be a hit or miss here, because the lot fills out pretty quicly depending on the time and day.

Pros: food comes out fast

Cons: too oily

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2018 Changes - Edit

No star for pricing.
No star for portion size
No star for service
No star for wait time
No star for keeping a tip and giving me less change without receipt

I have been a satisfied customer of Happy Family Vegetarian Restaurant (HFVR) for several years BEFORE they moved down to Garvey and Atlantic and returned to the same location, roughly. I have entertained friends there and eaten with family and relatives countless number of times. Unfortunately, HFVR is now Golden Sunshine/HFVR.

My first trip to Golden Sunshine/HFVR came today, approximately at 2018-0211+1700. About 1630, I placed a carry out order for 5 items, and was told it would be ready in 20 minutes. This seemed normal. Upon arriving about 1655, I went in and immediately noticed an abundance of flowers celebrating the Lunar New Year, but can't read Chinese. (It took me a while to understand the English portions of the banners were announcing Golden Sunshine.)

Approaching the cashier's desk to pay and collect my order, I found a good dinner crowd present and two other people waiting for carry out. I was then informed that my order was not ready. I found this acceptable because of the large number of patrons present, so I waited, and it took about another 20 minutes for me to get my order. I received 4 pieces, and when I paid, my change came out to be about $33 out of $100 WITHOUT RECEIPT.

I was not going to ask about the pricing, and I was willing to overlook the SMALLER PORTIONS, but getting my order wrong, receiving four pieces, was unacceptable. By the time they got my order right, I HAD WAITED FOR ABOUT AN HOUR for a 20 minute order.

When I asked about the amount of change, it turned out the cashier had shorted my change. I don't know if it was intentional. (Sometimes Chinese places keep a tip without telling you). I got $5 dollars back, still no receipt, so basically I paid about $63 for an order that would have normally been under $60 with tip.

With bad service, having to wait an additional 40 minutes for my order, receiving an incomplete order, and receiving less change without receipt, this was the first time in very long time I did not tip the servers at any restaurant.

I am told the food was almost as good as before. I don't know because I decided not to eat any. Normally, my family has left overs the next day, but if I had eaten, that wouldn't happen, so I don't know how the food was, so I can't rate it. And, until I am able to forgive them, I probably won't be back.

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Lots of Dishes - Edit

The place to share food with others if the health inspection rating resumes to grade A.

Pros: Vegan options available, Plain rice available, Hot tea

Cons: B-rating at the time from city health inspection, Hard to find in the shopping complex quickly, Parking is far from the venue

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Yummy in my tummy - Edit

I hadn't been in years but it never fails. Service is neutral but the food makes up for it. I always invite a large group so we can get a huge table with a lazy Susan and we all order all-you-can-eat. What a bargain! Great comfort food!

Pros: Good for groups, Tasty, Inexpesive

Cons: None!

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confused - Edit

I don't understand how this restaurant is marked as vegan when they are a vegetarian restaurant. The service was lacking and the menu and tables were sticky. Not to mention the vegan options are not outlined so you have to guess what options are vegan and which are vegetarian.

Cons: Bad Service, Dirty, no vegan

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Good food for a good price - Edit

I came here for the "all you can eat" and it was very good. It was around $14 and came with a small soup, rice, and tea. At first you can choose two plates and afterwards one plate at a time. The menu is huge and there's so many different choices. I would recommend not eating a lot of "meat" dishes at one time because then you'll get full pretty quick.

They had scoops of ice cream for 2.50, which is very cheap compared to other vegan ice cream locations and it was also very good.

Parking is really easy to find since it's in a shopping center with a parking garage, and the best part is that it's free.

This is the first time I've had authentic Chinese food since going vegan and it was pretty good. I'll definitely come back when I feel like eating a lot.

Pros: Good price, Lots of food, Easy and free parking

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WOW! WOW! WOW! MY Favorite Vegan Restaurant!!! - Edit

If you take your carnivorous friends here don't tell them it's a Vegan restaurant, just a "Chinese Restaurant" and I promise they will not know all of the food is vegan. That is how good their food is.Their lengthy menu is as extensive as a regular Chinese restaurant -- 6 pages long and the variety is incredible. I always have such a problem making up my mind on what I want because there is such an extensive variety.
Most of the Vegan restaurants in L.A. are Thai and so every time I go to one, I always order the same dish (Orange Chicken") so I can use it as a benchmark to test the quality of the food and compare it with other restaurants. Well, their 'Vege Chicken with Orange Peel' beats them all. I also enjoy the Vege Sausage, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers and Black Beans and the Fried Rice with Pineapple is also a favorite of mine---mmm.
The reason the place is frequented by so many Chinese is because this area has several Buddhist Churches. If people ate this food everyday, everyone would be Buddhist!
Since Sunday is my Birthday, this is where you will find me.
I love this place so much, I've even considered moving into the neighborhood--LOL!

This place makes me proud to be the Founder and President of the Buddhist Vegan Society.

Pros: Very Reasonable Prices, HUGE Portions

Cons: Staff is hard to hail, Darn, I live too far away (NoHo)

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Not Bad - Edit

I was here visiting family and it was one of the few vegetarian places my uncle knew. As such, he took us here during lunch time, but we ordered off of the dinner menu as opposed to the cheaper lunch menu. However, they threw in soup for free, since it was lunch.

We didn't know what to get and, quite honestly, out of the three in my party, I was the only one who was hungry. We ended up getting three items: sweet and sour fish with bamboo shoots and random peas, pan-fried tofu with mushrooms, and I forgot the last one but it's some sort of konjac stir-fried with basil. There were also the individual servings of Hot and Sour Soup. The S&S fish was properly tangy. Interestingly enough, at our table, I'm the only one with a taste for sweet and sour so I was the only one that liked it. The konjac (?) was good, as per usual. The pan-fried tofu was an all-around favorite. It was still fairly crispy, depite being drenched in a brown sauce and served on a sizzling hot plate. You also have a choice of brown or white rice.

All in all, it reminded me of a vegetarian Chinese restaurant my family is a regular of back in Houston. The dishes were good and moderately priced, depending on what you ordered - nothing too salty and everything was well-seasoned within reason. The service was decent; they came by regularly to see if we were ready. The waitresses were also multilingual - English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. However, I was under the impression it also catered more towards the non-Asian community, despite the Asian vegetarian menu. Good stuff!

Finding a parking spot was almost a nightmare - almost. :)

All in all, I rate this a 3.75, so rounded up to a 4.0.

Pros: Spacious, Food seasoned just right

Cons: Parking can be horrible

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Okay Food - Nice Space - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow, and have eaten here on 3 occasions. Here's my Happy Family III review.

This restaurant occupies a bright 3rd floor space. It has large windows, Chinese style furniture, simple yet interesting decor. Large space.

Came here last time with family for lunch. We opted for a couple dishes from the very cheap lunch menu plus an a la carte order of pineapple fried rice. The fried rice was very good. The other two dishes, stir fried string bean, and the vege chicken with cashew nut, were both just okay - tasty enough. The fried bread was tiny and disappointing, but the rice soup was delicious.

Service was fair but not great -- the staff seemed too busy to attend to the slow-deciding customers like us. The women would check in with us quickly, then move on to attend to other diners, then return right back to ask us if we needed anything.

Nevertheless, Happy Family is a fair place for eating vegetarian Chinese food in Monterey Park.

Pros: has parking, large menu, vegan-friendly

Cons: so-so service, okay food

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Triangles - Edit

My Favs:? the tofu sheets & napa cabbage and the spinach triangles. Fried bread is great but fried.

Pros: Veg, Chinese , Used to picky vegetarians

Cons: Understaffed, Weird location, Parking can be a pain

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All You Can Eat lunch - Edit

We meet up here for the all you can eat lunch with a couple of my former co-workers a few times of year. We all enjoy it as we can try lots of different dishes (my friends are non-veggie too). Two plates per person to start and if you are still hungry, you can order more. The taro rib is my favorite, but the rice cakes are delicious too as is the sesame chicken made with mushrooms. I've liked just about everything I've tried. Almost everyone eating in the restaurant is Chinese, so I assume it's catered to their tastes. We've always had nice service although one of my friends is Chinese, so she orders in Mandarin. We usually stay for hours past the lunch rush and they have no problem refilling our tea the whole time. But I did check the fortune cookies, and yes, they are still NOT vegan.

Pros: all you can eat lunch, reasonable price, lots of variety

Cons: too far from me!

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oil slick - Edit

So I went here today with a group for Chinese new year. #1 the fortune cookies are NOT vegan. They contain milk so heads up vegans. They say all the food is vegan, but I had my doubts. Everything on a menu is fried. They have nice large tables with lazy susans so its fun for a group, but I just can't do the oil slick. Was hoping for steamed buns, dumplings, etc no luck. I think you're better off at Garden Wok in Reseda for vegan chinese.

Pros: large groups

Cons: oil slick, everything is fried, not vegan

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Great value, good flavors - Edit

This place definitely feels like an authentic Chinese restaurant. The food and decor are much like those of restaurants in my grandmother's Oakland Chinatown neighborhood. Portions are good-sized, they have a huge menu with lots of options and interesting specials. We've tried things like squid. We never seem to leave the restaurant without feeling uncomfortably full, which I guess is our own fault. The all-you-can-eat is a great deal if you're very hungry!

Pros: Value, New location is much nicer than old one, Huge menu

Cons: Service can be slow, Tends to be a bit oily/heavy

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Really good food! - Edit

I haven't been here in a while as the traffic up Atlantic Blvd in the middle of the day is a pain. I've never actually sat down to eat inside the restaurant, always order lunch specials as take-out.

The staff is friendly enough and quick. The food is always delish, don't think I've ever ordered something I've been disappointed with. Had the orange chicken (mushrooms) with white rice and a side of spring rolls. The sauce is amazing! A coworker asked what I was eating as it smelled & looked like authentic asian food. I assured him it was all vegan and all good! :)

Pros: Great selection, Healthy, Affordable lunch specials

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Good food, poor service - Edit

My boyfriend and I went here recently after I read about it here on the site. The food was awesome and well worth the 20 minute drive. The service however, wasn't too great. Upon entering the woman asked us if we wanted it to go, no problem here, we declined, we wanted to eat in. She came back literally a minute later to take our order. Beng there are probably 100+ things on the menu, we were far from ready. She seemed agitated when i asked for a few minutes. Then it took forevvvverrrr for her to come back. Finally she took our order and asked us again if we wanted to take it to go. Again I responded we wanted to stay in. The food arrived and the appetizers were amazing as well as the rest of our meal. I also asked to try the plum juice, she frowned at me and said "you wont like it, it's chinese". Umm what? I could have sworn the whole menu was chinese food. Right? Anyhow, I was annoyed at this point, but I guess the plum juice made up for it. It had a strange aftertaste, but delicious! By the end of our meal she had come back and asked us twice if we were ready to leave. I really did not appreciate this. The whole time we were there I felt as if we were being shooed out. If I go back to this restaraunt, it will be for take out only. :

Pros: amazing food, plum juice, nice atmosphere

Cons: not so nice service

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Not so nice this time - Edit

We usually look forward to eating at Happy Family, but the food and service was poor at today's lunch (used to be better). We opted for the lunch all-you-can-eat, and ordered 5 small dishes to try. But trying to get the staff's attention was a struggle. They just didn't seem happy and ignored us a couple times. Our food came fast and hot but some too oily. The bean sprout celery stir fry was light and tasty, but the kung pao "chicken" should be avoided (overly saucy, salty, hard to digest, a bit strange tasting). Change

Updated from previous review on 2006-06-25

Pros: cheap, fast, nice atmosphere

Cons: rough service, too much oil

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