Happy Buffet (Santa Ana, CA)

This is a story of two disgruntled college students who just got done failing their respective finals. Those respective finals were reflective of 10 weeks of summer school that they just endured ,while their friends laid out on the beach getting sun cancer. With this mindset in place, you could surely imagine how liberated we felt upon leaving our classrooms in Irvine and traveling back to the northern, more personally favorable and realistic part of Orange County. We were ecstatic, so we decided to try out any eatery we could find…and low and behold, on our journey through Santa Ana, we stumbled upon the newly opened “Happy Buffet”. Join us on our journey:

We didn’t notice the signs outside, but apparently these guys pride themselves on their use of seafood (at a cheap price too! We both ate lunch for under 20 dollars!).

Above, is Mang, wasting absolutely no time diving into his first couple plates. I had a picture of us coming into the restaurant and some of the decor, but Mang must have ate it.

Just a quick comment about the above dish. Just under the shrimp and pepper chicken, you see something wet and fried. This amazing spectacle is fried crab meat, sitting in a delicate mayo sauce. Eat now, die later.

Just as we were getting our dessert on, Mang’s mother did the weekly checkup on her son’s educational status. He had the unfortunate duty of telling her how his final went:

I looked almost as sad as Mang, except, those cookies-of-lies they give you at the end of the meal made up for it…temporarily:

I feel better now. Too bad my last one told me I’d be a millionaire.

In other news, Happy Buffet is definitely one of those spots you wish you could just keep to yourself. It has a huge seating area, Mongolian BBQ, cheap prices for both lunch and dinner (I believe both prices might be under 10 dollars a person)…and as of late, it doesn’t seem like these guys are getting the foot traffic they deserve. I’m sure the next time I go it’ll be packed to the brim and I’ll regret spreading the word…but respect for good eateries is always a must. Check out the good people at Happy Buffet the next time you’re in or around Santa Ana, CA!


2158 S Bristol St
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 241-0388

By Elie Ayrouth

Elie is a product of Orange County, CA. In early 2012, his dentist diagnosed him with 8 different cavities, three of which on the same tooth, as a result of his 23-year Sour Patch Kid addiction.