Chinese or Vietnamese vegetarian

It may be Christmas but it’s also the 15th of the month for the Lunar calendar. My mom has informed me dinner out tonight has to be vegetarian. There are a couple of places we go to in SGV but thought I’d check in here to see if there are any recs. I find SGV vegetarian to be a very underwhelming experience.

Vege Paradise in 99 Ranch Shopping Center.

Thien Tam on Garvey in El Monte is simple but good Veggie Vietnamese.

For edgier, more innovative, Vietnamese-influenced veggie cuisine, try Au Lac in DLTA.

Teriyakichi, we tried Vege Paradise (it’s the large space on the 2nd floor, right?) and didn’t think it was better than our usual spot–New Happy Family.

Alkie, we drove to TT and it was closed. Guess we deserved that for assuming it would be opened on Christmas and the 15th of the lunar calendar. I was pretty excited to try Vietnamese vegetarian in lieu of Chinese.

We ended up at Bodhi on Rosemead. I wasn’t expecting much as it’s a large space and the crowd has always seemed a bit sparse whenever I’ve driven by. It wasn’t bad–the spicy fried chicken was nice and though a bit salty, I have to admit combo of crisp and salt worked. It also held up very well as leftover breakfast. We also went for the bling and ordered the seafood stuffed pineapple. My mom loved the sauce and was scooping the hallowed out pineapple for every last drop. The mushroom as sea cucumber worked well. The limp shrimp did not. And I’m not sure what happened to the calamari which was listed on the menu. We also had the herbal soup and as expected it was…herbal. And of course, we had to have the stir-friend greens and the in-season option was snow-pea. Mom thought it was under-salted. I’m on a bit of a crusade against massively over-salted restaurant food so I thought it was fine. It was balanced out by the salty chicken in my mind.

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Thread revival!

My family loved Happy Family Vegetarian in Temple City. It was the one place even the meat eaters could agree on. I even threw a 60th birthday party for my vegetarian sister there. Happy family memories at Happy Family. We were so bummed when they closed.

Anyway, sister finally decided to get over it and checkout the location in Monterey Park. Here’s her review.

“So here is the report on Happy family restaurant in Monterey Park. The prices are hugely increased. That plate of Fried Oyster Mushrooms is $17 and only half the size the platter used to be. The Crispy Honey Ham Sandwich used to be served in a steaming hot bun. The ham used to be fried crispy around the edges drizzled with honey and garnished with a crispy thin wafer & cucumber. The version they now sell is not crispy fried, the bun was barely warmed not hot fluffy steamed, instead of a garnish of wafer & thin slice cucumber it has a slab of pineapple and no honey drizzle. It was terrible. The Taro Root Rib dish was still pretty good. The service was not very good. But it was friendly enough just not very good table service. The Kung Pao Chicken was so so and none of us ate very much of it. The Crispy Green Beans were good. So yes I would go back there because I’m a vegetarian but the food used to be so good that even non-vegetarians like you would want to go there. Not sure that is true anymore.”

Fried Oyster Shrooms w/Sliced Chili Peppers & Crispy Basil from the Temple City locale.:hearts: I still crave these.


Thanks for the report, @TheCookie. Sounds disappointing :frowning: I haven’t been to the Monterey Park location in probably 3 years. Their lunch buffet used to be a really good deal. I think it was $14.99 per person when I went a few years ago, but it’s gone up to $19.99 according to recent menu photos on Yelp. I know restaurants raise prices for various reasons but if the food quality suffers then it’s not worth it.


This. If it’s the same quality we don’t mind the price.


2023 bump - what’s the post covid situation?

based on my yelp fu, this looks interesting. Anyone been?

From the “old guard”, is the difference between Vege Paradise / Happy Family negligible these days?

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Din Tai Fung has vegan options. I went to Arcadia last weekend, and my party of two had a 10 minute wait to sit at the bar around 5PM on Sunday.

My party isn’t exclusively vegan - but we ate spicy vegan noodles, vegan dumplings, and garlic string beans, mustard greens with garlic. All solid.


Note that Vege Paradise is moving a block west next week under the name Vege Valley. I think it has to do with the remodel of Focus Plaza and tenants being kicked out.


Thanks for the timely info. Did not realize they were redoing Focus Plaza.

Yup, and lots of tenants are unhappy about it b/c they signed a lease, paid to redo their space, and are now being told to vacate…