Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Elephant Vegan Restaurant Review

Today, my family and I decided to go for a stroll in downtown Long Beach and then stop in and try the new vegan place on Broadway called, Happy Elephant.

We always make a point to try any new vegan places that open, because we really appreciate a place where we have more than a couple of choices on the menu and we also like to support any business doing the right thing for our environment and health.

We did more strolling than we had anticipated and was running low on time, so we decided to order some pot stickers and sushi rolls to eat there and order other items to take home.

I looked over the menu and yelp reviews online beforehand, so I had my eye on the dumplings and sushi rolls. K loves dumplings and pot stickers and we only know of 1 other place that makes a great vegan dumpling in Long Beach. Actually, now we know of zero, because that place discontinued them a couple of weeks ago. Booo!

We ordered the dumplings, simple roll, happy elephant roll, amazing tempeh, pad thai, fried rice and pumpkin curry with brown rice.

While we waited, the owner brought out complimentary spiced kale chips, Thai iced tea and Thai iced coffee. The kids jumped right on the kale chips and thoroughly enjoyed them. They prepare the tea and coffee with a choice of coconut or soy milk. They sweeten it with brown sugar, so I asked for just a smidge of it. It would be really awesome if they used coconut sugar. I stopped drinking Thai tea from restaraunts years ago because of the artificial non-dairy creamer that's used and over abundant amount of white sugar, so it's nice to be able to enjoy some while dining out again.

The dumplings arrived first and they looked delicious, but I was dissapointed that they came with plastic plates, plastic dipping containers and soy sauce in to-go packets. I assumed that was because they have only been open for 2 weeks and maybe they are still waiting on tableware and certain condiments and ingredients. I should have asked to be certain, but I'm hoping this will change as they are open longer.

Up next, were the sushi rolls that were made to order at the cute sushi bar inside the restaraunt. K and S loved the simple roll and the seaweed that came on top. I enjoyed it as well, but would have loved it more with some tamari or shoyu! Mr. Crafty enjoyed the happy elephant roll the most, especially the vegan caviar topping.

I don't have photos of the other items, but they were good as well. I'm picky with pad thai and I really enjoyed this one. It was very flavorful! The fried rice was also very good and I liked the addition of the dried fruit in the jasmine rice. The pumpkin curry was amazing! It had a wonderful lemon grass aroma and was just spicy enough with the slow burn I love from curries. The tempeh was okay, but I don't think we'll order that one again.

We really enjoyed our lunch at the Happy Elephant and will be back again soon! Service was great and the owner Susan is incredibly friendly. She made us feel like we were at home and the littles loved her. K asked if we could come back for more yummy food again!
Definitely check them out, when you're in the area!
1532 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802

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