Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oh Happy Days

Please allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite spots, located in the heart of Altadena, CA - Oh Happy Days Healthfood Cafe & Market!  

What is it like to visit Oh Happy Days you might ask?  Well, imagine going to your grandfather's house for some good, home-style cooking, except that your grandfather is vegan and knows a lot about health.  

That's what you can expect at Oh Happy Days.  It's rustic food is pure, hearty, nutritious and filling.  You can't go wrong with the soup!  With brown rice, beans and vegetables, it's a full meal in itself for less than 3 bucks... and all organic!!!  The Lomein noodles are also good. 

 I discovered this place one night several years ago, when I stopped by with my mom to purchase some supplements.  Opening the door for the first time, I was met by the turning heads of the locals who were sitting at communal wooden tables over steaming hot plates of food.  The owner was very friendly, and I didn’t fail to notice the hand-painted sign on the front window advertising a bowl of vegetable soup - for a mere $2.50!  

The heart and soul of Altadena 

Upon my second visit there, I decided that the soup was too good a bargain to resist.  On this day, the sunlight brightened up the store’s yellow painted walls, and the classical music playing in the background created quite a cheerful atmosphere indeed.  There were African paintings, statues on display, buddhist prayer flags, and interesting things to look at all around.  A truly worldly place, the cafe walls displayed an eclectic mixture of cultures and influences.  I tried the soup, loved it, and have been coming back ever since.  

Oh Happy Days has become a place where I feel comfortable passing the time. It’s the kind of place where strangers will introduce themselves and start a conversation with you.  It’s a place that brings people from all different races, ages, and backgrounds together.  

Someone caught me in a pic!  The author, at center - a regular at “John’s"

Like everyone who frequents this establishment, I became friends with the owner, John - who is one of the best people I know and an inspiration to me.  A vegan for over 30 years, John has run his store in Altadena for about as long.  Now in his sixties, he goes on long bike rides, cooks all of the food, and works tirelessly maintaining this peaceful little spot - a true gift to the community.


For the highly affordable price, John's homestyle cooking really hits the spot.  Oh Happy Days is a community gathering place, and John is such a caring guy.  I've seen him give a free bowl of soup to the homeless before, and get the sense that he helps a lot of people out.  Definitely a place worth supporting!

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