Jimmy Carter Boulevard is, like Buford Highway, a living museum of cultural variety. I've eaten at Chinese restaurants and BBQ joints within a few minutes of each other on this road. Happy Valley is near the intersection of Jimmy Carter and I-85. Like many Chinese restaurants around Atlanta, this one seems to be run by Vietnamese purveyors; this sort of thing bothers some of my Chinese friends but not me. Seafood is a specialty of Happy Valley but I've haven't yet tried some of their more interesting specialites. They have a large number of fish tanks in the restaurant's entrance but I usually end up succumbing to the dim sum. The regular dishes are well execyted, The peas in my mapo tofu were full of chlorophyll flavor; the peas in such a dish would have be easy for the cooks to skimp on.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.