Happy Noodle (Temple City)

May make one of the (if not the) best vegetarian pan-fried/steamed dumplings in the SGV.

The 生煎包 (sheng jian bao) ain’t bad either. But the vegetarian dumplings are where it’s at.

Happy Noodle
NW Corner of El Monte and Lower Azusa
Temple City, CA


Huh. Interesting you should suggest it. My father came home last week with one of those because he’s been vegetarian for a couple years now and yes, it is definitely one of the best vegetarian filling dumplings in the area. The dough is fresh and QQ too!

They have lamb dumplings and potstickers as well but are super lamb-y, but a welcome change up from the usual pork or mix seafood fillings.


Anything else there worth ordering? I’ve seen it many times before but haven’t had a chance to actually eat there. It does have a very clever Chinese name, though. It would probably be even funnier in simplified characters.

Stick with any of their various pan-fried/steamed dumplings and the 生煎包. Noodles are pedestrian, stir-fried dishes feel and taste like an afterthought and just not that spectacular. Spicy wontons, while not extraordinary, are still quite appetizing.

A Chinese phonetic palindrome!

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Happy Noodle

We were excited to try this place after @ipsedixit mentioned it to be the home of the best Vegetarian Dumplings around. :slight_smile:

Vegetable Pan Fried Dumplings:

Happy Noodle makes their own Dumplings and Steamed Buns from scratch. For the Pan Fried Dumplings, it arrives flipped inverted, with the leftover slurry on top. As @J_L says, this is probably the sign of being legit. :wink:

Their Vegetable Pan Fried Dumplings are made with Chinese Chives, Vermicelli and Egg.

Note: Don’t forget to add a bit of Black Vinegar & Soy Sauce as you enjoy the Dumplings. :wink:

Taking a bite, and their Dumpling skins are medium-thickness, with a nice chew and mouthfeel. The Chinese Chives, Vermicelli and Egg make for a pretty tasty, light filling. :slight_smile:

Steamed Dumplings with Squash:

Their Steamed Veggie Dumplings use a different filling (which is pretty unique around here (usually restaurants use just 1 type of filling for all variations)): The filling here is (transliteration from the waitress) Xi Hu Lu Squash, Wood Ear Mushrooms and Vermicelli.

And the taste is so delicious! :blush: I can see what @ipsedixit is saying. It’s a very uncommon filling (I haven’t seen it before at the restaurants we’ve tried in the SGV, but then again, we don’t make it out there that often).

But the Xi Hu Lu Squash adds a really unique texture, soft, silky, but having a nice inherent Squash sweetness (just a touch), the subtle crunch of the Wood Ear Mushrooms and Vermicelli, and having had them Steamed, I’d say the Steamed Dumplings are the way to go.

They have this wonderful chewiness, that “al dente” type quality, not mushy, not too soft, just really nice.

We would agree: These are definitely the best Chinese Vegetarian Dumplings we’ve ever had! :blush: (And they’re Vegan! @MaladyNelson)

Shan Dong Stuffed Bun - House Special Stuffed Buns:

These are the type of Bao (Buns) that are seared and steamed, so they arrive with a slurry that’s been cooked off as well.

The Buns are a touch soft (feeling like they’re a touch undercooked?), but still very fresh.

Their House Special Stuffed Bun is unique compared to most Bao / Steamed Buns: They saute Marinated Ground Pork and Mushrooms first, and then stuff the Buns with the wok-fired ingredients and then steam & sear the Buns (instead of putting in raw ingredients and cooking it through that way).

The result is a flavor bomb of intense savoriness: The Marinated Ground Pork and Mushroom Saute filling is delicious! :slight_smile: and its strong flavors match perfectly with the plain, simple outer Steamed Bun.

2nd Visit:

Chilled Seaweed:

This was too salty. :frowning: Just too much Soy Sauce and Salt in general.

Lamb Pan Fried Dumplings:

Having tried their Vegetarian Dumplings we wanted to see how their Lamb turned out on this 2nd visit. It is a really gamy, intense burst of Lamb! :open_mouth: If you like gamy Lamb, then this is for you.

We thought they were pretty tasty, balanced by the dab of Black Vinegar.

Fish Boiled Dumplings:

Listed simply as their “Dumpling” section, we wanted to see how their classic Boiled Dumplings were like. They use Grey Sole Fish and Chinese Chives for the filling here, and they cook these Handmade Dumplings perfectly. Nice chew, mouthfeel, and the Grey Sole and Chinese Chives were pretty balanced.

Not the best Fish Dumplings we’ve had, but not bad either.

Pan Fried Stuffed Bun with Squash:

Under their top Shan Dong Stuffed Bun menu, this is other way to enjoy their unique Xi Hu Lu Squash, so we decided to try it via these seared and steamed Buns.

I will have to say the filling is still as unique and tasty as before: This Xi Hu Lu Squash, Wood Ear Mushrooms and Vermicelli combination is wonderful. :slight_smile:

However, in this larger seared & steamed Bun form, it’s not as interesting overall. Too much surface area of Steamed Bun (plain carbs), with an inherently delicate, light Vegetarian filling.

They have a huge menu of cooked dishes that seem to be all over the map, but we avoided that due to @ipsedixit’s recommendation to stick with their Handmade Dumplings and Buns.

At Happy Noodle, our favorite combination seems to be the Steamed Dumplings with Squash (Xi Hu Lu Squash), and their House Special Stuffed Buns. Their Vegetable Pan Fried Dumplings and their Lamb Pan Fried Dumplings are also pretty good. Thanks again @ipsedixit. :slight_smile:

Happy Noodle
4815 El Monte Ave.
Temple City, CA 91780
Tel: (626) 279-7558


Nice report as always.

And, yeah, the veggie dumplings are the reason to go to Happy Noodle.

As they say, go for the veggie dumplings, stay for the veggie dumplings.


I really like the look of the first bao pictured.

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I think I really need Happy Noodle’s vegetarian dumplings in my life! Wow, thanks for the great review and tag, @Chowseeker1999! You are doing a very great service for humanity.

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Thanks @ipsedixit. It was thanks to your info that got us to visit it in the first place. :slight_smile:

Thanks @Bookwich. Yah we haven’t had good Handmade Bao in a few years I think. I’m glad Happy Noodle’s version was pretty enjoyable (with the Mushrooms & Pork Saute). :slight_smile:

Thanks @MaladyNelson. I think you’d really like the Steamed Dumplings with their Xi Hu Lu Squash. :smile:

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Ohmigod, those dumplings look delish. Gamey lamb + carb is always a winner. The veg dumplings look fantastic. W/ the weather turning cold again, I may have a reason to make the trip out… :slight_smile:


Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Yah, pretty delicious. :slight_smile: If you head out that way, don’t forget to get your Black Sesame Dessert at V P Tofu (on the way there). :wink: