Two heavenly words that only mean bad business for your wallet: dim sum. While most dim sum restaurants are packed to the brim with tasty delights and eager customers, it’s clear that these traditional Cantonese dishes can not be a daily indulgence for financial sake. But hark, Happy Harbor not only serves some of the best dim sum ever consumed, but (gasp!) at an affordable price! Here’s usual breakdown.
The Food: Fantastic Cantonese delights! Dim sum is the automatic staple for traditional Canto brunch, though we pretty much prefer to consume it on a daily basis, as evidenced by the constant lines and wait time. Happy Harbor includes the usual shrimp dumplings, shumai, and steamed radish cake. If you’re in the mood for larger portions, dishes are served as well, including spicy salt prawns, Boston lobster in black bean sauce, and (the controversial) shark fin soup. Prices for each dish begin around $3.25 for dim sum to around $5-6 for larger dishes. Tea is $1.20 per person.
The Ambiance: This is the sad part; it’s located to the side of a seemingly dirty plaza towards the back. The building looks oily, the parking lot is littered with trash, and the restaurant is packed every breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once through the glass double-doors, the first thing you see is a cloudy fish tank, with the hostess scowling at you to the side. Once directed inside, the noise and clatter of utensils and plates fill the air. The table cloths look used and the chairs may look shady but you’ll soon forget that once you see the ginormous menu. You’ll be handed 3 items: the menu, a sheet of paper that looks like the menu, and a small pencil. As you pick and choose the dishes of your choosing, you mark off the corresponding dish on the sheet. Once you’re done, the waiter takes your marks down and all you need to do now is to wait. Sounds like a confusing process but trust; it’s worth it in the midst of how chaotic it gets.
The Extras: Banana crepes, mango pudding, and of course the egg tart.
The Location: 1015 Nogales St., Rowland Heights, CA 91748.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:30am-10:30pm, Saturday to Sunday, 9:30am-10:30pm.