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Happy's Endless Summer Rolls


Lan & Nico of Happy’s features their Endless Summer Rolls

Introducing Happy’s, a small start-up catering company owned and operated by partners Lan Thai and Nicolas Sariban out of the North Shore of Oahu.

Instead of attempting to further explain what Happy’s is all about, here’s that information from their website:

“Summer rolls, sometimes referred to as fresh spring rolls, are a common snack item or appetizer in Vietnam. In Vietnamese, “goi cuon” literally translates into “mix salad roll”. At Happy’s, we believe the secret to these delicious summer rolls is using the freshest ingredients from local farmers. Since the Hawaiian islands boast a wide array of exotic fruits and vegetables, our menu continually adapts to the seasons offering both traditional and unique fusion delights.

We support local farmers and small businesses with a strong nurture in the arts and the environment. Our rolls are served in banana leaf boats and all our utensils are biodegradable. Our food contains no preservatives, no artificial flavorings, and no MSG. We use organic chicken and local grass-fed beef. We think people have the right to know what’s in their food. We provide complete transparency in our food and track ingredients to its source.

We want to keep ourselves in a state of constant innovation. Occasionally, live music is available at some markets and festivals. At Happy’s, we don’t just offer food, but a new art form of re-establishing strong relationships with the community and creating an environment to feed all the senses.”

– Lan & Nico

Lan is a Tasty Island fan, and personally invited me for a sampling of their menu at their debut appearance this past Friday evening at the Alternative Taste Street Festival in downtown Honolulu. To which I was more than happy to accept the offer.

So, as explained in their company’s mission statement, Happy’s is all about summer rolls and eggrolls using mostly locally-sourced fresh and organic ingredients.

The only ingredient Lan explained she has to ship in from the mainland are the rice paper wrappers, which, unlike those sold at the local markets, the rice paper wrappers Happy’s uses contains NO PRESERVATIVES or MSG. A key objective in their cuisine ideology.

Here we see the Endless Summer Roll production line where it all comes together…

Let’s go right down this colorful line of fresh veggies, fruit and other yum-yums that make up the Endless Summer Roll, starting with the lettuce…

These slices of cooked organic chicken look so moist!…

Yummmmm….mango….

Green Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers and Mango (love the color combo’!)…

Cucumber…

Pineapple…

Carrots…

The ever-popular asian “filler veggie”, cabbage…

Wow, what a splash of colors! I’m already hungry and not one Endless Summer Roll has been made yet! That’s OK, after all, the summer is “endless”!  He he.

Here’s Lan’s super ono Luau Salad…

Now let’s see what’s on the menu at Happy’s…

Pretty straightforward. Now let’s watch Lan assemble a few…

The thin, dehydrated, semi-transparent round sheets of rice paper are quickly brought to life with a brief soak in a bowl of hot water, then transferred to the cutting board for assembly.

Then simply add a little of this and a little of that…

That there was the Lemon Grass Beef Summer Roll. Now here’s the Vegan Summer Roll…

Wrap it up…

The two sides are folded over as shown, then the short side in back is folded over the ingredients, then that’s rolled up into the long side, and voila, done. Just cut in half and serve…

Plate and serve with Peanut Sauce…


Vegan Summer Roll – Red & green bell pepper, jicama, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, mint, cilantro, vermicelli, and chives

While it’s not quite as pretty presented on an eco-friendly disposable plate versus if it were plated on nicely stylized porcelain dishware, these Vegan Summer Rolls still look fantastic none-the-less!

Here’s the Lemon Grass Beef & Pineapple Summer Rolls…


Lemongrass Beef with Pineapple Summer Rolls – Grass-fed beef marinated in lemongrass & red chili, island pineapple, carrot, lettuce, mint, cilantro, vermicelli, and chives served with peanut-curry sauce

Luau Chicken Salad Summer Rolls…


Luau Chicken Salad Summer Roll – Organic chicken with island mango, carrots, red & green cabbage, cilantro, mint, green onion, cashews, and fried vermicelli tossed with a ginger-pineapple dressing

Here’s the sampler Lemon Grass Beef Summer Roll I tried…


Lemongrass Beef with Pineapple Summer Rolls – Grass-fed beef marinated in lemongrass & red chili, island pineapple, carrot, lettuce, mint, cilantro, vermicelli, and chives served with peanut-curry sauce

Also part of my “sampler kit”, I tried Mama Thai’s Eggrolls…


Mama Thai’s Eggrolls – Ground pork, onion, carrot, cabbage, black fungus mushroom, celery, vermicelli, green onion

And how was it? Everything was ONO! Solid 4 SPAM Musubi. Easy.

With the Lemongrass Beef Summer Roll, all the main flavor components are there in one bite: you get the savory from the beef, hot from the chili, acidic and sweet from the pineapple, plus that refreshing texture contrast from all the different crispy-fresh veggies and al dente vermicelli noodles, followed by the earthyness of the peanut sauce. It’s an explosion of deliciousness.

Mama Thai’s Eggrolls also have that same explosion of flavors and textures, albeit leaning a little more on the the savory side thanks to the mushrooms and more distinctive ground pork, accented further by the “richer” deep-fried eggroll shell. The Sweet Chili Sauce was the perfect match with this one. Seriously, if my stomach were empty, I could probably eat 10 of these. YUM!

My only complaint was that the chili beef in the Lemon Grass Beef Summer Rolls was too spicy-hot for my palate. Enough where I needed a drink to chase it down. Luckily they gave me a glass of their scratch made Ginger Lemonade, which was also refreshingly delicious. Lan went on to explain that authentic Vietnamese food is often very spicy hot, and she tries to adhere to that tradition with some of her dishes.

Since this was their debut launch, they had a beautiful cake in honor of that…

They were giving away complimentary slices of the cake with each purchase for the first customers.

Here’s to great success in search of the perfect taste of the Endless Summer Rolls with Happy’s!

For more information  about Happy’s, including a video of a recent KHNL News appearance, their menu and upcoming events they’ll be attending, check out their website here:


www.happyshawaii.com

Happy’s
Endless Summer Rolls and Rock ‘N’ Egg Rolls
Tel. (808) 349-3886
Website: www.HappysHawaii.com

The Tasty Island SPAM Musubi rating:

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

6 thoughts on “Happy's Endless Summer Rolls

  • October 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm
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    Looks delish! I love the summer rolls that they serve in Seattle’s Vietnamese restaurants and I notice that we now have restaurants here similar to Happy’s. I wonder if this is a new trend — customized rolls?

    Reply
  • October 12, 2009 at 3:44 am
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    The support of local farmers, fresh, organic ingredients, and beautifully ornamented food is simply delightful. Can’t wait to sink those tasty rolls in my mouth… of which I WILL do in a short while. I know these rolls will make me happy. Happy rolls are made by happy hands!

    YUMMY!!!

    Reply
  • October 12, 2009 at 7:34 am
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    Pomai, I enjoy making all kinds of summer rolls with different fillings. Kalua pork with cabbage, Kalibi beef with kimchee, ect. It lot fun what you can do with rice paper sheets.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2009 at 9:00 am
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    These rolls are rockin! The chicken salad summer rolls are the bomb – very flavorful and refreshing with the sauce. I also love Mama Thai’s eggrolls! I will definitely have to try the other rolls!
    These rolls are definitely a unique twist to the original vietnamese rolls and offer a healthy alternative with their organic and fresh ingredients!

    Reply
  • October 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm
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    Love the spring rolls. Fresh and low in fat and healthy for you. What more can you ask for? I am Happy!

    Going to have to try the Mama Thai next time.

    Reply

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