Great vegan food! Enough said.
Cons: Location could be better
Great vegan food! Enough said.
I would only recommend this place to someone who was reeeeeally in the mood for mock meats. Otherwise: I'd avoid it.
I've only eaten here once. I brought some friends from out of town here, one who is vegan and the other vegetarian, both enjoy mock meats. I don't but I like to gawk at really passable mock meats when I get the chance, it's entertaining for some reason.
I ordered something not worth remembering. I'm assuming it was something sweet and sour as the sauce was R-E-D red, like melted crayon red, no, like ketchup supernova red. It was crazy! It had balls of some protein source (soy? seitan?) that were breaded and fried then subsequently drenched in red so they got soggy.
My friends ordered meats. One got the mock meat cutlet thing that came out looking like real meat. It was spooky, like being at Ripley's Believe It or Not! It had the stringy, chewy meat texture so spot on it was freaky. I don't remember it coming with a notable sauce. It was so chewy I was reminded of being little and having a bite of steak that my Dad cooked that I had to chew foreeeeever, feeling like I was gonna graduate high school still chewing that bite of steak. I forgot how chewy meat can be! Then I tried the stuff here at Anna's...
My other friend order the drumsticks which were plump little pillows of mock meat on sticks. They were also disturbingly meaty and pretty much tasted like incense to me. They didn't taste smoothly seasoned, they tasted like someone threw the whole spice cabinet in, it was weird.
In summary: I left feeling like I just went in a haunted house rather than had lunch but my friends who like mock meat (and say "I miss meat") really liked the mock meat dishes. I understand this place used to be a Loving Hut but I don't know what the people are ordering now that it's Anna's that they could possibly be leaving 5 and 4 star reviews for. I feel like maybe I ordered exactly the worst thing on the menu!
I've been several times, and loved it each time. It's friendly, ridiculously affordable (appetizer, three lunch specials, with brown rice added to two at a $0.50 uptick each, and with tax the whole bill was just over $20 before tip.)
Most recently we got the Green Bean Tofu, the steak-like Grilled Wonder, and Eggplant Basil.
The lunch specials are an incredible buy: they come with a basically full sized entree, crispy roll, soup of the day, and white rice (as noted, the brown rice is a $0.50 uptick.)
The golden drumsticks are a delicious indulgence.
The service is friendly.
The place is small-ish, maybe 10 tables. Look at the one right in the front of the main dining room, a bright, slightly separated space with a four top and tons of light.
Sure, the bathroom is a little dingy, and some carp about the neighborhood (I went to high school in Oak Park, my favorite homebrew supply shop is nearby, I go regularly on bike and in a car, and have no concerns about it.) But it's well worth it: for flavor, value, and friendliness, Anna's can't be beat!
We liked almost everything: the orange meat (nice change from sweet & sour), pineapple fried rice (not greasy), broccoli tofu (tasty sauce), and Won Ton soup (hard to find good vegan won ton soup). We would probably pass on the Drumsticks next time (as someone else noted) but at least they were cheap ($2.95 for 2 drumsticks IIRC). We ordered this for two people and it was slightly too much food so we had some take home left overs.
We had dinner there recently at 7:30pm on a weeknight, only 30 minutes before closing, and someone else came in right at closing. Both were welcomed. More people came in for takeout at that somewhat late hour however. Overall, very pleasant experience.
Close to UC Davis Medical Center (less than one mile IIRC)
Not sure what is up with the name change. We like the San Francisco Loving Hut OK, but we noticed it was nice in the Sacramento Anna's Vegan Cafe NOT to have a religious TV station running featuring "Supreme Master Ching Hai". Maybe owners of the Sacramento Cafe got tired of the TV too (if that was part of having a Loving Hut franchise).
My husband and I (both vegans) have been here twice and we love it! My brother (meat eater) went with us the second time and he loved it as well. We would highly recommend the crispy rolls. The sauce they come with is delicious. The only thing we didn't like was the drumstick, but that's made from a different "meat" than everything else. We loved the sweet & sour nuggets, fried rice, chow mein delight, mongolian wonder, and the broccoli wonder. The wonder "meat" (brown soy protein) is a little more flavorful than the delight "meat" (lighter-colored soy protein), but we recommend that you try both.
Good food Great tasting and Wonderful atmosphere we tried mostly everything on the menu and they were all deliciousooo. Worth stopping by and giving it a try
The food is very good and the staff is very nice. It is a very small restaurant and there is sometimes limited parking at lunch-time. I have a slight preference for the food at the Loving Hut in Elk Grove, but both are excellent and worth going.
I love Loving Hut!!!! the price is right, the portions are great and the People who run Loving Hut are truly conscious people who care about the environment. The daily lunch special has got to be the best deal in town hands down!!!! I highly recommend Loving Hut!
Finally, a place in Sac that has fantastic imitation-meats and great customer service! Food was great, great prices, great portions. Service was fabulous and recommended good dishes. Will definitely return over and over again. Even my kid who tries to stay away from anything vegan liked it.
The is my absolute favorite place to eat. I have been bummed a few times, because it was a Monday, going out to eat...and they are closed Mondays! I make sure to visit about once a month and to get extras for leftovers! I have recommended Au Lac to many people, mostly non-veggies. There are many choices to choose from. My favorites are the curry, chow mein, chow fun and eggplant with basil. If you aren't crazy about mock meats (I don't like fake chicken), then they will gladly substitute w/ tofu. They offer brown rice as well. This is a little mom & pop place with just a few places to sit and they are usually filled up during the lunch hour. Plan on waiting a bit for your food if it's busy as well. It's worth the wait though! The lunch special is $4.95 and portions are big. It's not in the best neighborhood, so it's best to visit for lunch rather than after dark. Make sure to pick up an Au Lac Veggie T-Shirt!
Au Lac really surprised me! The neighborhood is pretty questionable- lots of vagrants and roach hotels, and the decor in the restaurant is reminiscent of a sub-par strip mall chinese buffet, but you'll instantly forget all that when you get your food! I had the Veggie Mongolian Chicken and vegetable egg rolls. The portion was huge, and the flavor was fantastic. I got entirely full twice on this $9 dinner! The menu had at least a dozen things that interested me, so I will certainly be back. It is fairly close to downtown and worth the drive if you want a decent vegan meal in Sacramento. Pay attention to the hours, they close between lunch and dinner.
Terrific and inexpensive restaurant. Lots of interesting and delicious menu choices. Definitely try the veggie egg rolls. The Seaweed Soup is very good. Serves both brown and white rice--costs a bit more for the brown rice.
The $4.95 lunches are served Tues-Fri. A little more expensive on the weekends.
Located in somewhat rough neighborhood but safe during the day. Parking in back inside a fenced in parking lot. If you are coming up from the south on HWY 99, take the 12th Ave exit(after MLK Blvd, Fruitridge and 47th Ave exits) and turn left on Stockton Blvd. It's a few short blocks after that on your left.
The owners are extremely nice, which makes a big difference.
Au Lac Veggie should be on every Vegan's "to go to" place in Sacramento. Do not let the location (next to a "rough" neighbor) detour you from a great meal. The small staff knows the difference between vegan and wheat-free and other diet restrains. And, the lunch specials cannot be beat in cost and taste. The last time my partner and I had lunch at Au Lac Veggie, he kept saying "These fried egg rolls are fantastic! The best that I have every tasted! I cannot believe that the lunch special (he is the all time sweet tooth and ordered the Vegetarian Chicken Sweet-Sour) is only five bucks; it's more than I can eat! (He did finish the soup and the whole plate including that large mound of Asian brown rice - scooping the rice in with the brightly colored red-orange sweet-sour sauce.)
When I explained to the waitress that I could not tolerate wheat or gluten, the staff (cook actually) was quick to accommodate and only served an order that was vegan and wheat-gluten-free. I was quick to note that, as with many vegan Vietnamese restaurants, the mock meat dishes are made of soy and not seitan (hooray, hooray).
Upon leaving the restaurant, my partner asked "Can we eat here tomorrow? There are so many items on the menu I want to try".
I just tried this restaurant for the 1st time and it's GREAT! So yummy and delicious... nice clean, great service, THUMBS UP!
If you're looking for Bay Area trendy chic (and attitude!), if the decor and patron list is a vital part of the dining experience, then you may want to consider elsewhere. However if healthy portions of great dishes at great prices served to you by the sweetest couple who are actually glad that you're there resonates, then Au Lac is the place. A wondereful little no-frills vegan eaterie. We love it!
So...I moved to Sacramento from Pasadena...and from Oregon to Pasadena...and lemme tell ya...compared to Oregon and helLA, Sacramento SUCKS for vegetarian fare.
But this place is a bright spot. Admittedly, not everything is good (as in, the hot and sour soups SUCK...), but the chicken dishes ROCK!! The chicken salad is great...the curry stuff is great...etc...!!!
As in, some of the best I've ever had (been veg*n for 19 years...). It is hit or miss, but for the stuff that's good...it's GREAT!
Heck - I've even caught food poisoning here once (December 31th, 08 - went w/ a coworker for lunch - we both were sick the next day, so we know it was from the restaurant...), and yet I still have gone back. I figure it's been good the other times, so I'll forgive 'em the one bad time... And I usually would NEVER go back to a place where I've had a problem...but...here...YUP...been back and will continue to go back!
The staff is great too - service is pretty good, and everybody is always smiling and happy.
So...if you're in town...give it a shot!! I wish the menu was online so I could make recommendations, but it's not... Still, try the 'chicken' dishes on the back page if you get a chance - lots of food!
Oh...and the lunch deals...great deals!!
This is one of my favorite restaurants EVER! The food is delicious, the prices are great ($5.95 lunch specials!) and the owners are so sweet :) Definitely check this place out!
Wow, I fell in love with this place with the first bite and was not disappointed all the way through lunch! The lunch came with a soup that was excellent. The dish I ordeed was the eggplant with basel, with brown rice. Perfectly cooked, Good portion size. There were alot of dishes on the menu with "Meat" on the title, but they are made from Soy products. The waitress, though she had an accent, was excellent, and knew about Vegan and Vegaterian eating. The place only holds 20, but we got there early and there was plenty of seating. The restuarant is simple, but extremely clean. I would definetly go here again.
A wonderful little casual resturant. The food here was excellent, and the variety of vegan options was almost overwhelming! I will definately return if I find myself in Sacramento again.
I've been to about....10-15 vegan restaurants throughout CA, and this rates amongst the top 3. It is by far the cheapest vegetarian restaurant I have ever been too, and you get plenty of food for your money. The food is delicious and sooooooo realistic it's almost scary. I went there with my mom, we had the beef chowmein, chicken roti, and for the last dish they brought us the wrong one, not the one we ordered.....but it was sooooo delish we ate it anyway. My mom, who hates vegan food in general and loves meat, she said she couldn't tell the difference with the mock-meat. Great for meat-eaters and longtime vegans alike!
With that said, I think health nuts and Chinese food junkies will agree with me when I say that Au Lac is SO YUMMY.
Examine the following:
The lunch special is a great deal ($4.95 for soup, vegan egg roll, rice, AND an entree), and always so fast. The eggplant tofu is melt-in-your-mouth delicious (this coming from a professed eggplant hater). The menu has a perfect variety of healthier veggie, tofu, and soup dishes and a few fried mock meat and noodle dishes. The staff is super-friendly and I've never waited more than 10 minutes for my order.
This tiny restaurant has a nice selection of dishes, is neat and tidy and the service is quick and friendly. The prices are very reasonable, and the lunch special is a major bargin. It's not a fancy place, but you will feel welcomed and comfortable. Au Lac has one restroom, which is large and well stocked. The restaurant's only drawback is the location; its not in the greatest part of town. It's certainly safe during the daytime, though, and there is a parking lot in the back with a rear entrance into the building.
This cute little restaurant has some great lunch specials. The staff is wonderful and the place is clean. Its right near the UC Davis Medical Center and the Sacramento Primary Care Clinic.
I highly recommend this place.
Small (20-25 seat) Restaurant with many menu choices and excellent prices. Imagine 9 Veggie Lunch Specials that include Soup, Rice, Egg Roll, and Entre for $4.95. Not fancy but very clean and friendly. A worthy substitute for Andy Nyugen's.
I havent been here before, but I called the restaurant and asked if I can celebrate my Bday there with the number of 25 people. A really kind man names Manh answered the phone and said that if we want, he can close the restaurant at 5pm on my Bday, so all of us can fit in.
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