Location: 1015 Nogales St, West Covina, CA 91792. 626-965-2020
Date: February 14, 2021
Cuisine: Cantonese Chinese
Rating: Great cantonese
I went here for dinner in 2021 and had a great meal — so I had high hopes for our dim sum visit.
Happy Harbor is a medium sized Cantonese located right next to Mandarin plaza, a “far east” (Hacienda Heights ish) area we have eaten at again and again.
The interior is classic Cantonese.
Decent set of basic sauces.
On request, they brought us peanuts form the dinner menu.
And smashed cucumbers which were very pleasant.
Chicken Feet in Abalone Sauce. People said they were okay.
Jumbo Shrimp Har Gow. The insides were generous and pretty good but the shells were thick and sticky and broke apart on trying to pickup the dumplings. So just middling.
Truffle Shrimp har Gow with Squid Ink. These were better as the wrapper retained its integrity. The inside was shrimp with a hint of truffle oil. Not bad.
Fish Roe Siu Mai. The classic Siu Mai were huge and porky with a bit of whole shrimp. They were solid — both literally and figuratively — but not awesome.
Chiu Chow Style Steamed Dumplings. With the peanuts inside. These were pretty tasty but the wrapper was fairly heavy.
Mushroom Shrimp Dumpling. Pretty nice and certainly plump.
XLB. Typical for dim sum XLB — aka not particularly great.
Bean Curd Balls with Vegetables. The wrapper was a bit chewy but these were enjoyable.
Steamed BBQ Pork Bao. The bun was over-steamed and the inside sickly sweet and not very pleasant.
Baked Abalone Sauce BBQ Pork Buns. Very sticky and sweet on the outside with a sickly sweet red pork interior. Better than the steamed but not great at all.
Deep Fried Spring Rolls. Stuff with shrimp. Very nice flakey/crunchy outside and some solid shrimp. Pretty good.
Fried Chives Shrimp Pork Patty. I always try to order these when I see them. These were good, although not the best. They did have that nice texture and the pleasant greasy quality.
Tofu with Spicy Chicken Sauce. Not sure what’s chicken about this sauce. The Tofu was the classic fried Egg Tofu and was good, even if the overall presentation was sloppy and ugly. The sweet and slightly spicy sauce was probably jarred. But I did enjoy them as I always do.
Spiced Fried Shisamo Fish. Little dark baitfish DEEP fried. They were very strong and the fry was out of control thick. No one went for a second fish.
Stuffed Morel Mushroom. Stuff with shrimp paste and topped wiht a bit of crab. While the mushroom was a bit rubbery this was one of the better dishes and is fairly rare.
Steamed Shrimp Ball with Corn. Fluffy shrimp ball, a touch underseasoned but not bad, laced with corn kernels. The corn leant it an interesting and pleasant texture.
Steamed Rice Noodle with Spare Ribs in Black Bean Sauce. We ordered these ribs on top of the chow fun in order to get a “2 for 1”. The ribs were the usual steamed ribs, a bit porky, but soft and reasonably decent. Not sure having a bunch of rice noodle underneath was much of a plus.
Sticky Rice Wrapper with Lotus Leaf. The rice itself was under-seasoned, almost sticky white rice, although the filling was very pleasant.
Live shrimp steamed with garlic. The garlic flavor of the sauce was potent but nice. The shrimp themselves felt a bit overcooked and small and shell dominated by the time we got to eating them. Could have been much better. AND they were like $80/lb!
Crispy Durian Cake. The lard based “buttery” pastry was solid and the durian custard very durian-flavored and reasonably nice.
Overall, Happy Harbor was very “B”. None of the dishes stood out as great. Most of the normal dim sum was okay, but not only below the top A tier, but also below the better (but not top) A-/B+ places in the SGV proper. Still, Happy Harbor was better than the meh places, they have a huge menu with many good options, so it would be enjoyable if the location was convenient.