Double-Fried Pork and Sea Snail Broth

"The absolute best was saved for last and that was the Double Cooked Pork," says pleasurepalate. "O M G! I rarely say OMG, but wow, this dish was that and more. I have no idea how it was prepared. I'm thinking it was battered and double-fried, but it didn't really matter. It was just so good. We were all feeling pretty full, but we all made room to eat some of this pork. In fact, a couple of my fellow diners even ordered it to go."

We're talking about Happy Kitchen, a place so far off the radar that pleasurepalate had managed to eat at both restaurants on either side of it without ever noticing that it even existed.

Tea-smoked chicken leg is another wonder, with a six-hour smoking process going into the tender, moist, wonderfully smoky chicken.

Another lovely thing on the menu: lamb rice noodle soup cooked in sea snail broth. The soup is delicious, with "a wonderful combination of ocean flavors from the sea snails and a little bit of richness from the lamb," says pleasurepalate. Beef rolls are also nice, with a light crunch and a peppery kick to the tender beef. And ginger arctic clams would be perfect on a hot day, says pleasurepalate, with the cool crunch of celery against the tender clams.

Happy Kitchen [San Gabriel Valley]
301 W. Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel
626-284-2619

Discuss: REVIEW w/ pics: The Formerly Overlooked But Never Again Happy Kitchen

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