Today I went to my favorite Chinese Vegetarian restaurant in LA. As far as Chinese veg. goes, I’ve eaten in restaurants and temples in New York, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Beijing, and this place competes with all of them. I don’t eat here for health reasons, I eat here because the food tastes amazing. And for the record, I know some dedicated meat lovers who have tried it, and said it was great.
It’s out in Monterey Park, in a really Chinese neighborhood, and on weekends they have an “All You Can Eat” deal for $12.95. It includes rice and soup and any two dishes from a choice of about 70. Once you’ve finished your two plates, you can order another two, and so on, until you become very, very rotund. In case you’re not familiar with this kind of restaurant, they basically have a very similar menu to a regular Chinese restaurant, only all the meat/seafood elements are substituted for similar-looking and similar-textured vegetable products like tofu, wheat gluten, and so on. It’s because some Chinese Buddhists practice eating vegetarian once a month for spiritual cleansing etc, but they don’t want to give up their favorite dishes. At least, that’s my understanding of it…
At this point, I could have ordered another dish or two, but I was already feeling quite stuffed. Afterwards I got one of those fortune cookies where the “fortune” seems much more like a “suggestion” if not a “direct order from your phone company.” Technically speaking, a fortune should tell you about something in your future, preferably something other than death and taxes – which we all know about already.
Happy Family 3 is @ 111. N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754