Excellent | Worth a Detour
Review by: Michael Stern
The menu at Happy House is six pages long, and I did not recognize more than a handful of dishes it lists. Even casual aficionados of Asian food might scratch their heads over Fish Nae Jang Jun Gol (spicy soup with fish intestines) or Ooh Guh Ji Hae Jang Guk (soup of outer leaves of cabbage & oxtails). But when I joined Roadfood’s Chickenplucker at Happy House for a meal, we dove right in and relished things we’d never eaten before.
Dong Nae Pa Jun, which is subtitled on the menu as “Korean style pancake with green onion, seafood, and eggs,” in fact reminded me very much of a well-assembled egg foo yung — a flat, pan-shaped omelet in this case packed with large hunks of sweet shrimp and chewy squid as well as long columns of slick green onion. Delicious! In this case, I was very happy that the management provides knives and forks for those of us who are chopsticks-challenged. The pancake is cut into large triangles like a pizza, requiring real dexterity with the sticks; but it is easy to eat with utensils.
That pancake is listed as an appetizer, but it is enough appetizer for four people. The same is true of Yaki Mandoo, which is a plate of good crisp-fried dumplings filled with a paste of meat and vegetables and accompanied by pepper-tweaked soy marinade.
For a main entree, we went for a grand stir-fry meal of squid and vegetables enveloped in peppery fermented chili paste that has a pronounced smoky flavor. Any dish that comes with this sauce is available in six degrees of heat. Our waitress, Amy, confessed that when she tried #6 a few weeks back, it brought her to tears. We went with #3 which is quite spicy but not the least bit overwhelming.
Although it’s located on a sad length of highway, Happy House really is a happy place. Despite their limited English (and our non-existent Korean), the staff made us feel right at home and welcome to return for more of this intriguing menu … which I am eager to do.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|