Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hot Potting and Much More at Happy Sheep Cafe (Rowland Heights)

The chill in the air reminded my of an overdue post about a hot pot meal at Happy Sheep in Rowland Heights. Wandering Chopsticks had blogged about the Happy Sheep location in San Gabriel, and the owners wanted to thank her in some way. That way ended up being a (free) lunch for a group of her (mostly) blogger friends.

Hot Pot

Now, since it's been a while since this meal, I had forgotten all the prices. Luckily Wandering Chopsticks had blogged it, complete with all the price information, so I referred to her post for it.

As this is a newer location, the decor and furniture are nicer than the other location.
Happy Sheep Rowland Heights

Boiled peanuts
Their staple complimentary boiled peanuts.

Hot Pot Most people that come here will probably get the spicy Mongolian broth, but I can't eat spicy. Luckily, these places let you split up the broth bowl with a metal divider. Call it "yin yang" hot pot. Our table ordered the "Nourish and tonic" and "Mongolian mildly spicy" (the hot pot costs $3.50 per person, plus the dishes you order).

The first thing to get, of course, is the meat. From your choice of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken, the meat dishes run around $4-4.75.
But there are plenty of other selections too, from offals to seafood to vegetables (the vegetables run about $2.50 per plate) :
Hot Pot Dishes
Tripe, tendon, oysters (frozen), and more.
Hot Pot Dishes
Meat balls, bean curd skin, fresh greens

The one thing I really liked about this location was the variety and quality of non-hot-pot dishes which I didn't find at the other location.
Of course, all of the locations have the spicy cumin lamb skewers ($3.25 for 2)
Lamb Kebab
The lamb was pretty tender, and encased in wonderful spices.

There were a lot of Taiwanese dishes, though, and we tried many of them:
Scallion Pancakes
Crispy scallion pancakes $3.50.

I originally thought that I didn't really like Taiwanese oyster omelette since I didn't like the one I had at Sinbala (I knew I loved the ones in Singapore though), but the oyster omelette here proved me wrong!
Oyster Omelette
Oyster Omelette ($4.25)
While the one at Sinbala was too gelatinous for my taste, this one was a denser, pancake-like version full of oysters. Texture and flavor-wise, it agreed with me much better.

Spicy Wontons
Spicy Wontons ($4.50)

The House Noodle with lamb ($5.95) at first didn't seem that enticing to me, but we all ended up really enjoying it.
Lamb Noodles ($5.95)
It looked like it would be bland, but both the thin noodles and the lamb had strong flavors.

Hot pot and shabu shabu are perfect for a cold day. While Rowland Heights is a bit far for me, and I end up more at the Monterey Park location, I like the bigger selection available at this location. If you're in the area this winter, you should definitely stop by for hot pot and more!

Happy Sheep
18414 E. Colima Road #T
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 810-3688
Happy Sheep on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: This meal was free (hosted by the restaurant) to thank Wandering Chopsticks, but we each left $10 for our servers.


Charlie Fu

The blatant trademark infringement by this restaurant is hilarious!

"If you are looking for "Xiao Fei Yang" Flavor Mongolian Style Hotpot in Southern California (*More Info Later*) you're probably thinking about Happy Sheep"

(from their website)

Little Fat Sheep (xiao fei yang) opened about 5-6 months ago in Hacienda Heights. They are the original Xiao Fei Yang made popular in Asia. They had to go around with their attorney threatening law suits due to so many different restaurants using the same moniker/name and infrining upon their name. I find it hilarious that this restaurant is still trying to make money off of another business.

Happy Sheep is good for hot pot as I've tried it before but the blatant infringement irks me.

(no affiliation with the original other than it being owned by a friend.)


Hi Charlie,

If you read Wandering Chopstick's post, you will get the whole story. Little Fat Sheep didn't *just open* 5-6 months ago. The Happy Sheep locations used to be Little Fat Sheep before they stopped the franchising and changed the names.
But if we want to get into similar names, then we'll have to get into the whole red mango, pinkberry, orangeberry and whatever deal ...

Charlie Fu


The specific little fat sheep location he speaks of that is now called Hot Pot! Hot Pot! was told by the Little Fat Sheep company to stop the use of their name. They altered the english name but kept the chinese name. It wasn't into legal persuasion was used to have them change their name. From the information I was given, they were never affiliated with Little Fat Sheep and were trading on the goodwill of the original.


The hacienda heights location is the first one in Los Angeles. Every single little fat sheep on that page has the same logo and wording as each other. If you note the prior Little Fat Sheep off atlantic had a "similar" but not exact logo. Notice the sheep itself is different, not winking, different horns. If it was truly a franchise location they wouldn't alter the sheep to put a look a like.

Feel free to email me, don't want to clog up your blog with this =) Otherwise love you pasadena recs! Thx for Luggage Room.. it's a staple on our rotation now!


Hi Charlie
How interesting .. I have to admit I don't remember the sheep on the logo winking when I went to the one in Asia!
( btw I couldnt find ur email so Im still replying here). I've also thought the old ones here were franchises but maybe not ... I don't know why they would feel like they needed the name since the other hot pot places are doing well (e.g. Lu Gi)


nice. good to know. I actually found a green caterpillar in my usual hot pot place and was starting to grow bored of them so this sounds like a good change-up.

do you know if they had that bland creamy sesame sauce on the table to dip stuff in? I love that stuff!


Glutster: wait, you found an *actual caterpillar? That's rather scary!
Btw are u talking about the sesame dipping sauce that they usually have in Japanese/ shabu places?

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