542 Lakeside Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
During my last visit home, my family and I went to try out a new little restaurant run by a husband and wife team. The location was more of a lunch area and the place was quite small. They had a special advertising 3 dishes for $21.
There were only a few tables occupied that night so we got a chance to chat with the owners. It turns out that the chef (husband), has been a chef at quite a few restaurants in the area that we used to frequent. The wife has also worked the front desk at several popular restaurants.
Despite the humble look of the place, the food was pretty good. We ended up ordering a group meal because at the last restaurant we had visited where the dishes were 3 for $20, the quantities were much smaller. However, the wife informed us that the dishes here are about the same size. So my parents went back a week later, and did the 3 for $21, and sure enough, the quantities were just as large. Also, while some restaurants have a limited menu for the special, at Happy Cafe, you have the entire menu to choose from!
Our meal started out with complementary peanuts. The wife owner commented that this was a house specialty. It just tasted like peanuts and sugar to me though.
We then got our seafood soup. Nothing really special about it. It was the typical soup you find at most good chinese restaurants in the area.
Our set menu came with beef and peppers stir fry. The beef was cut into little strips. It was tender and there was a good flavor to this dish. You could tell from the various dishes that this chef had worked at bigger restaurants. While the restaurant has a home-style feel, the dishes aren't home-style at all, but are more like the type of food you get at bigger chinese restaurants.
Next came fish with black bean sauce.
Then our seafood tofu pot.
One of our dishes was the three cup chicken. Interestingly, the chef chose to only use wing bits of chicken, meaning not so much meat and bones in every piece. The sauce was also a bit too wet. I loved the use of basil though, as I was going through a major basil craving during the time I was dining there.
Then there was a stir fried tofu dish.
Walnut shrimp. Some places make this with way too much mayonnaise, or stale and mushy walnuts. The walnuts were nice and crunchy and the mayonnaise was not overwhelming.
After our meal ended, the wife gave us some complimentary wine brew soup. It wasn't made at the restaurant. In fact, it was made by one of her friends as a gift, which she decided to share with us. After she served it to us, she tasted it and exclaimed that it wasn't sweet enough or strong enough. She was right. The wine brew was very weak and there wasn't enough sugar added to the final product. It was a nice gesture though.
After our meal was over, we were given fortune cookies. Baby Bro's Girlfriend had the funniest fortune that I just had to take a picture of it!