Rae food can pass on. .I've tried it...the raw desrts are excellent tho.
Cons: Raw Food
Rae food can pass on. .I've tried it...the raw desrts are excellent tho.
My omnivore and Vietnamese friend recommended this place to me because they have such authentic Vietnamese food that just so happens to be vegan. I can't wait to go back. Amazing menu, everything we ordered was fantastic. Great atmosphere. I can't recommend this place enough :-)
This place is completely amazing and a whole other level in Vegan and Raw food! I had heard of this place for yrs, and even though I have recently moved down from Pacific Northwest to Ventura- Ojai area (an hour plus north of LA), I made the drive (few times now) Very worth it. Really not overly expensive.
I don't think my words can do justice but let me say:
Chef Ito, Reverse Osmosis water, Professional vibe from all the workers, All Vegan. All Organic, EXCEPTIONAL FOOD!!
This was great vegan Vietnamese food - we stayed away from the raw selections. We had BBQ Pork Rolls, Royal Noodle Soup and Kung Pau with tofu, all great. We tried the donut holes and did not care for them much.
Half the menu here is raw food. Their raw food was spectacular. I was literally mind blown by how delish their Humanese soup was. I also had their curried rice which did not match up to the soup in my opinion. I had their Hawaiian blend juice, that was one of the best mixed juices I have ever had. The service was great they were really busy and I still had my first plate within 15 minutes. I would recommend this place for the soup and juice alone, but the restaurant itself is an experience it is bustling with people, I would recommend people to stop by at least once. I do think they use too much avocado in their dishes. Oh yeah and their donut holes were really good too.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday May 27, 2014
Au Lac is special, especially if you are a raw foodie. The raw dishes here transcend description and not the usual raw burger or rawsagna served at other few food restaurants. It also offers a nice faux cook meat menu with typical tasty dishes from Vietnam and China. The atmosphere is lovely and the presentation is beautiful. It is nice to be able to go to a raw vegan restaurant where I can bring business associations and new friends that has a more upscale vibe. It is a unique experience.
Best tasting healthy food!!!!!
My favorite place to eat!!!!
Friendly helpful staff.
I live in Florida and every time I go out west I make sure to stop by Au Lac for the Paella! The menu is amazing, OMG the raw soups are awesome!
This is one the best Raw Vegan restaurants in the country for sure!!
Au Lac is a little gem in OC. It's tucked away in a little unassuming shopping center in ftn valley and the food is amazing! I've tried their cooked options, but their raw menu trumps it. The ambiance is romantic and quiet. Dimly lit booths make a great mood for a date :)
My favorite raw meals-
Ahn Fries Rice
Great food. We went there in a large group and shared all the dishes. They were all great, except maybe the sweet and sour, but I am not keen on sweet and sour, so it's probably why I didn't love it.
It's hard to pick because there are so many options!
Located in an asian part of town, a little hard to find since it's in a strip mall.
I can't stress this enough:
ASK FOR ITO. IF you do this it will change yoru experience.
Crazy Variety, Best Service. Most Awesome Chef of any restaurant on the planet. It's more than amazing food, it's an experience.
You will meet people, try things, get given things free even, learn things and feeel the energy of a place as though you were in an ashram.
I really can't put the expereince into words. Sounds silly, but this is the best envorioment of any restaurant out there and I can only pray that other owners check this place out and try to mimic it. It would change the dining out experience.
"This restaurant is a different place if Ito is not there at that time."
Love you Ito, keep it real and keep it coming you silent ninja you!
I ordered the bbq vermicelli. It was delicious. The meal was large and had lots of different flavors. I didn't try anything from the raw food menu. The restaurant was clean and decorated well, but still had a casual atmosphere. It was near closing time and there were still lots of people there. It was a little noisy, but not enough to disturb my dinner.
As I am sitting in Au Lac being completely ignored by a waitstaff who cannot answer my request of GMOs in the soy products used in the dishes here, I finally ordered raw dishes without soy products just in case. My dining partner ordered the sweet n sour soy chicken. My food was delicious but I was still perplexed that nobody could answer the GMO question. Finally at the end of the meal, the owner came over & explained that nothing was GMO at which time I devoured the left over sweet n sour chicken. Everything was yum!
Updated from previous review on Sunday February 19, 2012
I've eaten dinner at Au Lac a couple times, both before and after the restaurant had renovated in early 08(?) and was very pleased to see the improvements made. Beautiful interior with both table and booth seating, luscious velvet curtains, two separate dining areas, very warm feeling. Both times we went, the entire restaurant was packed and a line out the door. We had to wait both times, but in the end, the good food made up for the wait.
Both times my husband and I came with friends, and we all left very happy. Both times we ordered from the cooked Asian food menu as well as the raw food menu.
I personally like: the jicama spring rolls, Vietnamese crepe, the soy beef noodle pho soup. YUMMY.
If you are in this part of Orange County, definitely eat here. BUT, the weekend evenings will be very busy, so expect a wait. Otherwise, come during the week or for lunch on weekend.
Aulac is one of the best raw food restaurants I have been
to. The staff are truly kind, and the service is great.
This is one of the best life giving foods, you will will
ever give to yourself. Whenever you are in the L.A. area,
dine at Aulac and you will be happy that you did.
Sincerely - A Happy Customer - Shannon Santos
Between the people, who care for the restaurant, the Chinese herbs they have for sale, the free kitchen tour by Chef Ito himself, free Tuesday night lectures on the benefits of eating living foods, the parking spaces in the front of the restaurant, which reads "vegan," this restaurant is a must visit if you are a vegan out-of-towner and visiting the Anaheim or Los Angeles, CA area. PS I loved the raw vegan cream cheese - see photo of this at aulac.com/raw/AuLacRaw-Munchie-CreamCheese.html
Updated from previous review on Tuesday June 21, 2011
I've been several times and always enjoyed the food and service. I really love the raw menu, even though I am not a raw foody. The chef always comes out and acknowledges the guests which is a nice touch. It's great to know that when I got to Au Lac I am eating super healthy and delicious food!
This is the Best Restaurant on the Planet. Nuff said.
They have both a cooked and raw food menu. I have found the cooked food to be tasty, but the raw food truly unique. I especially like the fryed chicks & mashed potatoes. It is quite expensive, but definitely worth a try as it's unlike anything I've ever tried before.
I've had very little experience with raw food but what I got at Au Lac was amazing! I had the Humanese raw soup and it is probably one of the top 10 favorite things I've ever had. I was in CA without internet access (and thus no Happy Cow) and just happened to find this place on my GPS. The waiter was nice enough to recommend other vegan places in the area to me and I was very happy with his suggestions!
The restaurant has changed over the past couple of years, offering more raw and less cooked food. The prices have also increased. The service can be good at times and bad at others. One time we waited 30 minutes for a booth, which is fine. But another couple walked in 20 minutes after us, and the hostess gave them our booth. We got a "sorry" from the hostess and the next available booth, but a free spring roll would have been nice.
Chef Ito is nothing short of a culinary genius. I have been to many raw vegan restaurants and "Au Lac" takes the prize. Do not pass up the chance to stop in.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this restaurant!!! Absolutely blows cooked food and typical baked deserts away!! Your tastebuds will recognize what real food really is to taste like!! No joke! I miss this restaurant is also the best raw food place by far in the world!!! The only downside are the new hours they should hire more staff to be honest and as much as I love the elixir and raw menu the price increase are a disappointment. When ordering 2-3 items your bill can easily reach 50-60 bucks, let alone ordering one entree can come to 15-20. bucks. For me is steep each time I go eat here and for my friends who want to go more often have mentioned as well. The overall vibe, staff and people very much becomes like a family and home. Excellent energy, welcoming and friendly! :) Two last things, I would like if they could list every nut that is used in an entree or desert because I have deadly nut allergies and for the safety of other people who suffer from nut allergies. Even when the menu lists a nut they are NOT all listed and sometimes not at all when there are nuts in it. The staff at times are not informed what nut is in what entree and have been wrong in giving me information and my mouth began the reaction and I immediately spit out thank goodness I didn't swallow my throat would swell and close! This is so dangerous for people who have a deathly reaction. Please Au Lac list ALL nuts not just one or two by the entree and when there are any nuts in anything it makes it also so much easier when making decisions over what to order because we who have nut allergies know what we can have and feel 100 percent confident when making an order.I love you all at Au Lac. Much Love and Blessings. Light and Harmony!! :)
I have been to at least...14 different raw restaurants across the country, and this is definitely one of the best, if not the best. If you have any interest in raw food, you have to go. Really.
First of all, RAW DONUT HOLES! It's been a while since I've had a donut, but these definitely had a strong donut vibe. They're soft, moist, warm, not at all what I was expecting. You won't be disappointed.
I had the pasta di amore made with kelp noodles. This is only the second time I've come across kelp noodles, but I was glad to see them used in this way- served warm like an italian pasta. I have no idea how to describe the sauce, except that it was amazing. I took a bite and I immediately had my boyfriend try it. It reminded me so much of real pasta, it was even buttery! And it came with raw garlic bread that was very spongy and bread-like.
The menu is huge and divided into raw and cooked. I ordered only from the raw, but my boyfriend got the cooked "pork" spring rolls and I tried one and they were great. It was a lot to take in and I wish the waitress could have explained it a little more when we were trying to order, but she was still very nice. And later a different waitress did answer some of my questions.
The raw menu did strike me at first as too expensive, but after I tried the food it seemed very humbly priced. I hope I can get back soon to try the raw "fried" rice.
Visited this place for a quick lunch recently. Heard great reviews and it did not disappoint. Au Lac is pretty easy to find in a strip mall and has plenty of "bicycle" & "vegan" parking in front. :) The interior is just lovely and was well crowded with the lunch crowd when I arrived.
The menu is quite extensive and you can order most items as a small or medium size portion. There are plenty of raw options which all sounded delicious and inviting. I opted for the "popeye" spinach salad with dressing & walnuts (& I forget what else). All of the flavors worked perfectly together, the dressing did not overpower the spinach at all but was a rather nice complement.
There is an extensive "elixer" menu and a page of luscious-sounding desserts...next time! Service was a little slow, probably due to the busy lunch crowd and a few large parties. Food was wonderful. Prices can be affordable to a little steep depending on what you order.
Au Lac is one of the friendliest and most accomodating vegan restaurants that I have ever been to. The food is always fresh, organic, beautifully presented and delicious. I have been a vegan for most of my life and I love this place. My favorite dish is the watercress salad, the tomato broth soup with tons of fresh vegetables and the stir fry which they make special for me with just lemon, no salt or sauce and tons of special vegetables. They are very accomodating. Au Lac is always packed and it is amazing how efficient the staff is. Their vegan integrity and attention to strict vegan standards is highly respected. Being that I don't eat tofu and I am very strict with no salt or anything that remotely resembles sauces, the staff and the chef are always prepared for my special orders. My favorite waitress is Ahn who is a medical student. Please visit Au Lac and you will be amazed. The prices are also amazing.
There wasn't anything that appealed to me personally. I compare the items that I got to the bodhi tree in HB, and this place was lacking for me. However, they did have a great ambiance and polite service. Don't expect your food to come right away.
I've never had vietnamese food so my girlfriend ( a met eater) and i decided to try it. i started off with the Gỏi Cuốn Spring Rolls (rice paper, greens, vermicelli, soy shrimp, soy ham, peanut sauce). I liked everything except the soy ham which was really rubbery. to the point of me gagging. i didnt have my girlfriend try it because shes super picky. their peanut sauce was awesome and the rools were great- if you can get past the rubbery ham. i then had the Ga Xa Ớt Lemongrass Chicken (soy chicken, pan seared chili, garlic, shitake sauce) which was DIVINE!!!! my girlfriend tried it and she thought the same. she said she'd order that if we came again. and that's the first time i've been able to get her to try "fake" meat. im still excited that she liked it! she ordered the vegetable plate and refused to try the tofu (which was delish!) but she really liked the veggies. we both cleaned our plates. for dessert we ordered the chocolate candy and the chocofantasy. the candy we both devoured but the chocofantasy she wasnt too keen on. it was good, but the first bite was a little weird. it grew on me though.
i liked the ambiance of the place- it was a lot nicer than either of us was expecting. the only issue we had was that when it came time for the check they overcharged us. i asked about it and it turns out that they had given us the "old" menus with the cheaper prices and a LOT smaller selection of food and drinks. i explained to them that we ordered 2 desserts beause of the price. i just wanted the difference removed- but the removed one dessert, which was really nice. we both plan to go back, but hopefully well get the "new" menu because there were others things we wouldve liked to try. its too bad that they havent changed out all of their menus. its also a little odd, but....
well be back!
I've never seen so many different items on the menu - and there's 2 menus - one raw and one cooked. I was only staying for a few days. It's not fair. There were too many items that I wanted to try. I went 3 times, and tried 3 different things - all great. I can't wait to get back.
I've been raw a number of years and eaten at raw places around the country- I think I count at least 7 now- and this is probably the best raw food I've had.
Absolutely everything surprised me. For instance, I ordered the garlic bread (chimchurri), expecting some flax cracker-type thing to come out, and was absolutely amazed at these two spongy, bread-like pieces of food that came out that were DELICIOUS. How Chef Ito makes them is beyond me, but i've never seen it's raw like. Then my dining partner ordered the norrito wrap and said I should try some, but in the past any nori-wrapped raw concoction I've always found pretty gross, so I didn't try it until the end. I had some of his vegetables, and WOW! The raw sauce, with the mix of vegetables in that wrap is so amazing... bean sprouts, avocado, whole lettuce leaves, cilantro, among other ingredients- very unusual combination of ingredients, but very, very good. The sauce really made it. Yuuuuum. I got the BBQ Chicken Pizza and was surprised at the presentation when it came out- huuuuuge bowl, little tiny circle of "pizza" in the middle. But holy god, just to taste that... absolutely amazing... I've never had anything so good :P And the portion, though it looked small, was surprisingly filling. All the food up to this point was just astounding... I never knew raw could be that good.
Then dessert. Again I expected when we ordered a slice of raw pie (chocolate mint or something), I was expecting something like what you can find in Whole Foods, just a normal raw dessert thing. Wrong again. It was 3-layered pie, with the bottom layer being similar to chocolate cookie crumbs, the middle layer being maybe coconut creme with mint, and the top layer being like chocolate fudge. Frozen, so it's like ice cream cake. And the taste? Heavenly :P I was blown away, it was so good... unbelievable that it was raw. Again, never seen another raw place do what Chef Ito can do. And then I think they gave us another raw dessert compliments of the chef- the chocolate candies with butterscotch flavor. Little, unassuming candies, but once again, the flavor was just out of this world. I was astounded over and over again by this place, I highly, highly, highly suggest it for raw foodies.
Oh, and really neat drink menu too, that I didn't get to.
After my visit a year, I wasn't a huge fan. I wasn't too quick to hurry back. However, out of georgaphical convenience, I went today. It was such a different experience. The place looks way different, very classy, and the staff were great, very friendly.
The food was pretty good. I'm not sure on how vegan their "vegan" options are, having read mixed reviews, and my previous experience of being told a dish was "90%" vegan, so i stuck with the raw food options. I'm not a big raw food fan, so i don't think i am one to give a good in depth description of the food, but it was definitely prepared well. I had the Chef's Hand Roll, which was under appetizers and was around $8.00, and it was pretty good. The place is worth going to, especially if you are a raw food fan. You will appreciate it much more then I. They had a great drink menu, and I am curious to try the raw desserts. The Orange Juice was amazing. Fresh squeezed and organic, and you had to chew through the pulp. The place was extremely clean, the cook was wearing gloves while handling the cooking pans on the stove. Maybe that's common, but i've never seen it. This place is worth going to.
We went there for an early dinner yesterday (4:00), and were greeted within a minute of walking in the door, seated immediately, and had very good service. No more waiting than is normal for any place - and they were fairly busy. The food was wonderful - we shared Spring Rolls - which were good, my wife had a great salad, and I had the hot pot with tofu and eggplant, which was wonderful. We plan to return soon and try more things.
I am writing this in hopes that the crew at Au Lac will see this and allow my husband and Me to thank you all for such an amazing meal. We entered and Ultra clean and beutiful place. I have been wanting to eat here for years. We ordered mostly raw food but my husband was crazy for there fried rice. He said it was one of the best he ever had. I absolutely feel that the prices were very resonable. Actually the cream cheese triangles were way to cheap. They are only $6 for three very fancy and most delicious treats. I would easily have paid $10 for them. I ordered three orders to go. MMMM! The chef who I belive has not spoken for 7 years in honor his vow of silence, took such good care of us. Stopped at our table at least 4 times or more to make sure we were taken care of. The portions of the raw food were mind blowing. I took it to work the next day and shared one dish with four people. So delicoius. I love there menu, the staff was so nice to us. Like 4 servers per table. We were well taken care of even being that there was not one empty table in the house and it was a tuesday nite.I am so glad they are doing great. It vibe, atmosphere, service and especially the food get a big thumbs up from us to vegans. Thanks again to the Au Lac family from us. We hope to see you all again soon. Thanks Chef Ito for the Love Juice, it was great. Peace and blessings to you all..
I have been going here every week for about three months and the staff is extremely polite. I am so sad to see that others have rated their service poor. Although some of the staff do not speak English very well, they are always extremely friendly and attentive. We never have to ask to have our water glasses filled, a box, or anything.
The food is fantastic! Everything I have had is amazing. My favorites are the "stir fry" vegetables and curry rice. Each are more than enough and I love that they taste as good or better as left overs. Their raw desserts are fabulous too! Any of the pies are great for sharing and always presented beautifully. I am a raw foodist and it's great to have some where to go with friends that prefer a cooked meal. Also a great date place.
If you've never been to Au Lac, don't pay any mind to the negative reviews. This place is awesome! Food sooo good you'll be licking the bowl of your leftovers the next day! Their head chef (small, smiling asian dude) is an amazing, spiritual man, and one of the TOP VEGAN RAW CHEFS IN THE WORLD!! Their prices have gone up in the last few years, which is unfortunate, but the quality is 5 star. They go the extra mile with their ingredients, using macadamia nuts, organic agave nectar, etc. So one of the reasons it's a little pricy is they pimp it out with delicious/nutritious ingredients! And they have a huge Cooked AND Raw menu! On the Raw Menu, the most expensive things (the Paella and Curry, both around $19+) are actually enough for 2 people! Whenever I go, i finish my plate and the plates of everyone I go with, but I CANNOT finish their Raw Curry! And they put a whole avocado in it, if not 2 avocados! And if you go in to eat alone- the head chef (who does not speak by the way) will sometimes motion to pick you up, escort you to a table where someone else came alone, and sit you two together! May sound strange, but a lot of friends are made at this place! And they donate to charity huge! They used to have lots of palms and tiki-style decor, but recently they made it look more fancy. But the vibe is still awesome! Vegi-mok-meat mastery! Amazing soups! Memorable huge salads on the raw menu, you can order brown rice, they sell Durian smoothies.... This is my favorite restaurant in the world, because it's clean, delicious, and make's you feel good!
I've been to the "Inn of the Seventh Ray" in Topanga Canyon quite a bit, supposedly super high class, expensive like crazy, high-conscious restuaruant.... and lemme tell you, that place sucks bad compared to Au Lac! So remember, it may seem a little bit pricy, but the quality and energy of the food excells beyond those restuarants that only have valet parking and cost $20 just for appetizers!
ps - they even purify their own water!
Friendly service and very helpful. There is a separate menu for the vegans, which is very cool. Definitely going back again.
The food is good. although the times I've been there I have only had the noodle soup (Hu Tieu My Tho) and Vietnamese Spring rolls. They are quite good. Sadly the same could not be said about the staff, they are extremely unpolite and the service left a lot to be desired. It has been renovated in the last year or so and the place is very clean.
Overall, if you want good veggie food, and don't mind having your blood pressure increased, I highly recommend Au Lac.
Been going there for years. Wish I lived closer. Not the biggest fan of raw foods but had not tried it since they first introduced it to the restaurant. New decor is nice but loses some of its cozy charm for me and can see less of the food being prepared than before - although I don't miss the plastic wisteria. And whatever happened to that silly but memorable whistling parrot by the door?
I would eat their Sweet & Sour soup and fried rice every day if I could.
Went there a few times... each time the wait staff was rude or they just tossed the food on the table without telling you what it was. Ordered a spicy dish and nobody would refill my water-- won't eat here again...
If any of you are a fan of curry, then check out this restaurant! Their soy chicken curry is DELICIOUS... and even my parents (who aren't veg) absolutely loved it.
Their menu may seem a bit repetitive but I managed to find a few good dishes through it all. The spring rolls are a must for anyone who was a fan of the regular spring rolls with shrimp. The soy chicken noodle soup is also very good.
I never got to try anything from their raw menu, but a former co-worker of mine always told me how good it was. I saw a few raw dishes served during my visits... it did LOOK good... does that count??
Every time my family and I ate here, it was a very good experience. There was one *negative* experience with finding a piece of hair in my food, but they were very quick to apologize, and gave me a new plate. Hey, it can happen anywhere!
Au Lac is definitely worth a visit. :)
The last time I visited Au Lac a few months ago I was pleased to notice a change in the overall decor and appearance of the restaurant. It looks like a completely different place...they've added a bar area complete with marble counters and colored glass light fixtures adjacent to every booth. Luckily, this change has not affected the delicious menu items that many patrons have grown to love.
Every time I go to Au Lac the restaurant is crowded so you might have to wait a few minutes to get a table. The fresh, raw food menu is worth the wait. I usually order the vegan "salmon" rolls which arrive loaded with crisp veggies and a slightly sweet dipping sauce.
In the past, I used to order off the regular menu until I found out that the majority of the items are not vegan (the faux meats contain whey). Many of the servers seemed confused when I asked which regular menu items were vegan. On the plus side, the staff was very attentive and kept refilling my water glass and checking up on us.
The waiter informed me that the menu would be changing in the spring to reflect the new, improved decor. Try Au Lac before the switch to a new menu because I anticipate an increase in prices to attract a more "up scale" clientele.
I have been going to Au Lac for a very long time, about 10 years. I used to go much more often because as of late, things have taken a turn. How they stay in business is beyond me. If you run out of water, good luck. If you need your check you better stop the waiter and ask for it or else you will be sitting there a very long time. The food is passable, with dishes that are fairly tasty, but most of the dishes have vast quantities of uneatable ingredients included to make it look like you have more on your plate than you actually do. An example would be that they have more orange slices with rinds attached than they do pieces of chicken in many dishes. If you take the risk of ordering a pick up order, be sure to check it before you go. I hope things improve. It would be nice to be a regular once again, but for now i will only go back to Au Lac on the random occasions.
This place has a raw food menu, and a non-raw food menu. I love the raw food! It really is amazing that this food is completely raw. its very well mad. i reccomend the green pyramid, the rice dishes, the salad song and the pasta prmavera. As of raw deserts, you must try oneof the pies, i really recommend the chocolate Xtasy pie, it tastes like a mud pie!
As of the non-raw menu, i've only had a few things, which were all good, but BEWARE, the raw menu is all vegan, but the non-raw menu is not all vegan! You must ask to speek to the manager to find out exactly what is vegan and not vegan.
The food is very tasty and the portions are generous. The prices are very reasonable. Unfortunately the service isn't very fast. So just chill and enjoy your company at your table.
of the 2 times i've been there, i can't say that i had an amazing experience. it was ok the first time.. and not so great the second.. veggie egg rolls were alright but i don't think the soy meat was all that great
Au Lac is my favorite restaurant. The food is amazing, and the staff is great. I always have cravings for their food, especially the vermicelli dish.
This business supports the service that HappyCow provides :o)
If you are the Owner of a listing on this site, we invite you to join our highly successful Priority Friend program today. click for details >>
While your business is currently a free listing on HappyCow, there is so much more we can do to further promote your business to the millions who visit this site every year.
Here's how you can take advantage of HappyCow's Internet popularity:
Your sponsorship will keep the HappyCow service strong on the Internet. Thank you.Close
Last updated: 2014/12/15
Added by: Guest