Vegetarians (and meat-eaters who want a break from the carnivorous lifestyle) can indulge in a hearty and completely vegetarian meal at Redondo Beach’s Happy Veggie. The restaurant features Asian fusion cuisine with a twist – they use soy products to simulate the meat and seafood featured in their dishes.

The tiny restaurant consists only of seven tables clustered together and surrounded by soothing, Asian-inspired décor. Patrons can choose from an extensive menu of appetizers, soups and noodle or rice dishes. If you’re unsure of what you want, there is a picture book to accompany the menu so that you can get a sneak peak at what your dish will look like.

Portions are extremely generous, making the place suitable for family-style dining. As an appetizer, try the spring rolls, which feature a veggie version of succulent shrimp and come with a delicious peanut dipping sauce.

For a hearty meal, order the Chinese Broccoli Noodles. The steaming bowl is filled high with pieces of soy chicken, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts and a hint of ginger. The veggie chicken in this dish tastes surprisingly like the real thing and makes for a filling and healthy meal.

For something a little sweeter, go with the Pineapple Chicken. The pineapple chunks are sugary and present a nice contrast to the crisp onions and peppers accompanying the veggie chicken.

The service here is very efficient – our food came in under 10 minutes. Although it’s small, Happy Veggie certainly has a bustling group of regulars who come to enjoy the healthy and veggie-friendly cuisine. The owners are looking to expand their clientele to students and other diners looking for an affordable vegetarian dining option.

Hours: Mon-Fri, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information, call (310) 379-5035 or visit www.happyveggie.com.