This place was really cool. The interior was really nice and welcoming. The menu was a mixture of different Asian foods. The portions they served were HUGE! The only downside is that they were kind of located in a crummy part of town.
I tried their meals when they were still at the older place and I appreciated the experience. The food was of good quality and creative, the staff was friendly and all is vegan. If I come back to SF, I will certainly try this new version of the restaurant!
I was so sad when they closed and was eagerly waiting for them to reopen. The new location is so nice and a perfect place to stop after going to the Asian Art Museum.
The first time I went they didn't have any lunch specials but now they have a very affordable 2 item lunch option.
In terms of the regular menu, it is a bit inconsistent. The first time the food was so salty, so the next time I asked them if they could make it less salty and they said they couldn't. The food seemed less salty but was much spicier. When I mentioned it to the server, she was quite nice and went to talk to the chef and he said that it was the normal level of spiciness, but that next time they might be able to make it less spicy.
The desserts look delicious, but I was too full to eat them. There are so many interesting things on the menu to try, I'm looking forward to going back.
Update 11/30/2014: Restaurant has moved to new location on Golden Gate Avenue, still in the Tenderloin neighborhood but now adjacent to Civic Center. It has just opened in the new building yesterday, with a menu almost the same as before and some of the same staff. They are set up to have a lunch buffet but are starting with just the standard menu.
The restaurant decoration and dish plating has gotten a big makeover; it's now quite modern and a bit fancier than before. They also now have a parking arrangement with a garage so parking should be easier. The service was lacking when I went but it was their first day open so hopefully that won't be an issue.
Golden Era in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, like many of the restaurants in the Loving Hut/Supreme Master network, is a calming, peaceful, welcoming spot where I often see people who know each other saying hello (you could say it's one of the local vegan watering holes).
Parking in this area is difficult -- it's near Union Square, so parking garages are expensive, and street parking may take you a number of circles around the block to get. Because this is the Tenderloin, it's also not that secure. However, it is very near main bus lines and a short taxi ride from many places. Although the neighborhood is not good, the risk of anything bad happening to you as you walk to the restaurant is still very very low.
They don't offer delivery, but I've had great success calling in takeout orders 10-15 min before I arrive there to pick something up. They always get my order right and take cards, making it a quick stop.
The menu is a bit more gourmet than many Loving Huts but follows the same general profile -- a mix of Asian flavors done in their own style, with lots of vegetables and faux meats. Some dishes are very healthy, while others are oily and fried -- your choice!
Be aware that the style here is what you'd expect of a "Chinese restaurant"; staff wear jeans, food is served when it's ready, bathrooms aren't fancy. It's not upscale but has everything you need for a great meal.
I have to also recommend the dessert menu, if you can save room they are quite good!
Cons: Sketchy neighborhood
This was a fantastic find. The menu is huge and varied and they have vegan desserts - bonus! My husband who is non-vegan loved the food too.
I had the pot stickers and the Pho soup - SO delicious!!! Everything tasted to fresh and was seasoned to perfection. The staff were very friendly and gave great advice on meal choices. The only problem with this place was.... you get full way too soon when you just want to keep on eating!
Excellent vegan Vietnamese restaurant. Favorite dishes: fresh spring rolls, tofu salad, vegetable fu young, wonton vegetable noodle soup (a kid-favorite), pan fried vegetable chowfun, spicy sweet potato curry. Delicious desserts. Highly recommended! Also check out Loving Hut at the Westfield Mall in San Francisco (http://lovinghut.us/sf_westfield/contact.html).
Too many great dishes to try! Loved the spicy soup.
I really wanted to love Golden Era and for the most part I did enjoy my experience. However, I felt like they served too much soy/faux meat and found that to be distracting. Personally, I don't really care for or find a need for fake meat and it was in most of their dishes. Despite that though, the food was fresh, the service fast and the price was right. The appetizers were very good and could have made a meal of them in of themselves. I may not have fallen in love with Golden Era, but I did like it a lot and will go back.
Cons: Faux meat in most dishes, Staff not all that friendly
Served by its owners, very good service. Polite staff. Inexpensive. Plenty of options, and tasty food.
What are you going to say about this place that hasn't already been said? Amazing food, great service, knowledgeable staff. Even when you raise the bar because you are in San Francisco, this place exceeds expectations. A must visit for anyone in the Bay area.
One of the best tasting vegan dishes I ever had
we ate here twice within the 24 hours we were in San fransisco.
Food was amnazing and portions huge (the soup fed three of us!!!!!)
This restaurant was more than we expected. We got there early and were seated right away. The staff was friendly and professional, though not very talkative. Good selection of choices. We started with an order of Drumsticks $5.95 that were one our favorites of the night, We had a side of somewhat bland brown rice with it. My husband got the Golden Era Tasty Treats $10.50. They were very good although a little dried out for our taste, but good nonetheless. I got the Sweet and Sour Savory $7.95 and both of us agreed we will go back again to get them. Mock chicken pieces with red and green pepper chuncks, pineapple and onion chuncks sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with sweet and sour sauce. We put some of the sauce over the rice and it made a big difference in the taste of the rice. Our appetizers came out quickly and my husbands food came soon after. Nothing was said about my food and when I tried to get the wait staff's attention to find out where it was, I couldn't get anyone to our table. Although it was worth the wait, we felt like some mention should have been made about my food taking longer than the rest of our order and maybe even holding my husbands food so we could eat together. As it was we both shared everything. The worst part of the night was neither of us had room for desert. We had to take some of the food with us
Cons: Food didn't come out together.
While in San Francisco, my husband and I happened to stumble across Golden Era Vegetarian Restaurant. I had never been there or heard of it, but we were hungry and it was close by. And it turned out to be fantastic! Seriously, a new favorite in San Francisco. Everything we ordered was delicious.
I didn't know that Golden Era was a Supreme Master franchise. As with Loving Hut, I am impressed by their quality. Always. The desserts just blow my mind, mostly because I feel that vegan desserts can be tricky. Add the en masse aspect and my expectations drop. However, their avocado shakes come highly recommended and their faux meat, while a bit disturbing in texture, have a nice flavor. The cherry on the experience is that you're not choking on salt. This speaks volumes to me about their focus on flavor and possibly, health! Win, win.
I had read about this place on happycow and decided to eat here on a recent San Francisco trip. Here's my Golden Era Vegetarian review.
We walked over from our hotel, a nice walk. For our lunch we ordered a vegetable steamed bun, the pho noodle, and the yum yum noodle.
The pho noodle was very good and tasty. The broth was authentically Vietnamese, and the side plate of fresh basil, mung bean sprout, lemon, and slices of green jalapeno peppers was a nice (standard) accompaniment.
The yum yum noodle is a standard cold vermicelli noodle sprinkled with fried bits of veggies, accompanied by fried eggless rolls, and topped with shredded fresh lettuce, carrots, and cucumber. It came with a savory tangy sauce that you pour over the noodle. Delicious.
I was very happy that we stopped in for lunch. The food is good!
The space is large and the feel is tranquil, has an old school (but interestingly decorated) Chinese restaurant vibe.
I would definitely come back. Recommended.
The food here is always tasty. It is Vietnamese more than Chinese food and a lot of soy. Some of the dishes are better than others. I still prefer the original 'Golden Lotus' restaurant in Oakland although this has more spacious seating, but, it is a bit dark as there are no windows. Members of the'Supreme Master'LOL Suma Ching Hi cult. I try to over look it as their food is so good. At least they dont sell her personal items/used clothes or material at these restaurants.
They have a fairly large selection but I dont think you can ever go wrong with the Wonton Noodle Soup, Lamb Clay Pot, Garlic BeefSalad, Veggie Pork Buns or Wonton Apptzrs.
It is located in the Tenderloin which isn't the best 'hood in SF so I would just tell tourists to be aware of your surroundings if you are walking.
Cons: Basement setting, Cult
This was definitely one of the better vegan Asian-fusion places to which I've been. We had Truly Sea and Okra's Lover, both of which were very unique. Truly Sea was nicely pan-fried with a refreshing garlic sauce on the side. Okra's Lover had a nice lightly spicy Singaporean curry sauce and soy protein cubes. However, I thought it didn't have enough okra to call itself okra lover though. The first two desserts we ordered were not available and ended up have to settle with the third one - the mocha cake. It was decent.
Cons: dessert menu items not all available
The food was really delicious. The place was very busy even late on a weeknight. The lemongrass 'chicken' was delicious and probably my favourite dish (although the szechuan 'beef' was good too and spicy). The restaurant is entirely vegan and the staff were attentive without being annoying. The veggies were perfect and not overcooked. For something different try the crepe off the appetizer menu. It comes with a pile (and I mean a pile) of lettuce and mint and parsley. I'd definitely return.
Cons: no liquor
We ordered lots of choices to try as much as we could. As another reviewer said it was a little ' hit or miss'. But the hit was right on. The crepe, soup, eggplant and desserts were fabulous! A good, cheap, fresh meal.
Cons: Sort of dingy, Tenderloin area sort of smelly
I have been to this place once before, and thought it was awesome.
Going back in Jan 2011 I found the food and service both to be bland and lacking.
Next time will go to Loving Hut.
Generally I'm not a huge fan of vegan Chinese food, but since this place was footsteps from my hotel I decided to give it a shot. I ordered the spicy chicken/potato dish and absolutely loved it! I could not believe how good my meal was. It was well cooked and the fake chicken tasted fantastic. Golden Era is part of the Supreme Master group - based off of my experiences, this group really knows how to make some delicious food! Definitely try this place out if you're near it (as well as the other SM places)!
Wonderful food, super sweet waitstaff, lovely atmosphere
Amidst all the dizzying restaurant options surrounding Union Square, few of which accommodate vegan choices, Golden Era was a refreshing alternative, offering vegan dishes that even meat-eating folks can enjoy. The portions are large and reasonably priced, and the menu offers a lot of options, from starts, entrees, and deserts (the flan was exquisite). The service was kind and well-informed, and the space was gentle and clean. The pot stickers were deep-fried, which was surprising (since.. aren't they, by name, suppose to be fan-fried until they're crispy on the bottom and stick to the pan?).. and many other choices could have been made in the preparation of the food to make it healthier (be it less oil, soy, or salt).
Decent Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant in the 'Loin. Their largely vegan menu is good except for a few misses. I like the Buddha Bun, the Vegetable Fu Young, and the Vietnamese crepe as far as appetizers go (the Spring Rolls and Pot Stickers too). The Wonton Soup is good, and the Vietnamese Sweet and Sour soup is incredible. The Pho is good, cheap and filling. Most of the entrees are pretty soy heavy, (a good number of them have tofu PLUS two or three types of soymeat) but most are pretty tasty. My favorite is the Eggplant Mushroom. I would recommend AVOIDING: the Tay Ho rolls(appetizer), the Seaweed Soup,the Indian Rice and the Curry Vegetables. The fish isn't very oceany in flavor, but it ranks high with many of the processed soy enthusiasts I know. Oh, and the Shrimp is not vegan, but the Carrot Cake is and it is delicious!
Cons: A few menu misses, A little too heavy on the soy...., If only they'd use wheat-meat!
Golden Era is one of my favorite restaurants. I love the Buddha Bun (Vegetarian Pork Bun), Fresh Veggie Rolls, Pho, Mongolian "Chicken", Lemon "Chicken", Caramelized "Chicken" and Avocado Smoothie. The menu is primarily vegan. The fresh veggie rolls are among the best I've had and the pho is probably the best I have had, filled with yummy noodles, veggie ham, tofu and the fresh mint. It's truly soothing. They also have a lot of animal rights/welfare literature and helping to further our cause.
This place is all vegan which is awesome since the name leads you to think otherwise. There is lots to choose from on the menu. The first time I went I was with a large group of people so we were able to order (and share) a number of menu items. The vietnamese crepe is amazing. I was a fan of the lemon tofu chicken, but I would recommend ordering it with a side of vegetables so that you don't just end up with a plate of tofu for your meal. A few of our dishes weren't as good so it is a bit hit or miss but if you go with a large group there is something for everyone. They have a lot of seating so it is good for groups.
Cons: some items fail
As a lifelong vegetarian, I have had many good and bad fake-meat experiences at restaurants. Golden Era is one of the "good" examples and is one of my favorites places in S.F. Lots of choices, featuring fake meat, tofu and vegetable dishes. Very nice service staff and a clean, bright environment (even though it is in the Tenderloin). I would not hesitate to recommend it.
Cons: Difficult parking, No dairy options
I've eaten here several times..although I only get the chance when visiting San Francisco...um obviously. I've always had a good experience here..and tend to end up at this place on Halloween..two times as a matter of fact. It was unusual seeing children come in for trick or treating. I live in a city where that's just not the case. So that kinda added to the excitement..I mean that in a very non-dorky way. Anyway all dishes I've tried have been worth getting again: from the dumplings to the lemon chicken. I wish there was a restaurant like this in Houston.
My family and I ate two times at Golden Era while we were visiting San Francisco. It is a close walk from the Hilton Union Square where we were staying. The food was delicious and plentiful for a reasonable price. I had a dish that had tofu and asparagus in it with a garlic sauce - heaven! My husband had one of the hot pot specialities with ginger and that was also great. The blueberry "cheesecake" was fantastic for dessert. The second time we went was on a Saturday night, but there was no wait. Great prices and good service!
I really like this place. I got the sauteed basil mushroom, it was really good. Also I was with someone who thought they ate meat. I told them they didn't eat meat and they were shocked. They also really enjoyed it here a lot. They gave lemon water instead of water. Just a hint of lemon, it was really good.
I loved this place when I lived in SF and I always make sure to go back when I'm in town. Even my meat-eating husband loves it. I suggest trying the wonton soup!
I just had lunch here today... it was great. I had the Szechuan Pineapple Beef and my date had the Lettuce Wraps... both of which I would highly recommend. We also had the vegan blueberry cheesecake for dessert. Yum yum.
i was here a couple of years ago, and i 'm glad to say the place hasn't changed.
still good staff, and a wide selection of dishes. variety of mock/tofu and veg dishes. the food was still very fresh and several specials. maid dishes were between us$7 and us$12. the tofu cheese cake was the business.
This restaurant is my favorite in the whole world. The only negative thing I can say is there is only one Golden Era! If you go, you must try the Vegetable Foo Yung and Sweet 'n' Sour Chick'n. They are yummy, affordable, generously portioned, and amazing. Their desserts are fabulous, and you can eat a bunch and not feel like a slob. The neighborhood is cleaning up a bit since some buildings have been closed and a new, more upscale saloon has been put on the block. Don't let the Tenderloin scare you off! This gem of a restaurant is fantastic and everything tastes great as leftovers!!!!
Cons: Closed Tuesdays, Only one location, Only one location
The restaurant was open, clean, and the decor was nice. Unfortunately, I got a recommendation from the water boy which was lemongrass chicken (at $11 a pop). It was served with slightly steamed broccoli and romaine lettuce that was cold (well, it was cooler than room temperature). There was no sauce so, I wasn't even sure what to do with the extra steamed brown rice I ordered. Geez - I could throw weird stuff together at home - so why go out at all??? I was really disappointed and would have to try it again to be fair. They had mango and sweet sticky rice dessert which was excellent. Not all the desserts were vegan including flan and cheesecake.
Cons: Nasty Special, Kinda expensive, Cold broccoli
Three times now I've taken very nervous meat-eater to Golden Era, and all three times they've dragged me back there the next day for seconds!
Cons: Stairs (not wheelchair-friendly)
My husband and I were traveling in SF and we found this place through this website and we were really greatful. The food was really great, we ended up going there twice! If you love soups, hot and falvorful, try #17. Ubelievable. The service was very friendly and the prices also. Have fun, most of the things on the menu look tasty.
This place was so good. I had a good time there and did not leave hungry. The setting was very traditional chinese compared to the "Chinese"(vegetarian) ones I've eaten at, so that was a huge plus. The staff didn't seem interested at all.
This is a great place in the heart of the city! the location was the reason why we tried it, even though an Asian Vegetarian restaurant is getting a bit boring, but this was rather exiting. i loved the spacious dining room and i enjoyed the well restored interior with the high ceiling and wood-carved moldings! Decor is always a big plus, because it adds to the ambiance of the whole dining. The service was fast and attentive and the menu is rather classic, a lot of mock meats and tofu, classic Chinese and Vietnamese dishes but well made and delicious! i loved the wonton soup! nice clean broth with balance and rich vegetable variety! the vietnamese crape was awesome too. Definitely recommended!
Cons: not cheap
The service was friendly here, though the interior is a bit dreary and dark. I found the taste of my dish, the Ro Ti Chicken, to be nothing special---it seemed like your average vegan Chinese dish in a thick soy gravy---but the quality of the ingredients seemed a bit higher (the fake chicken was huge and had good texture). Next time I'll try some different dishes to get a better sense of their range of flavors.
Cons: Ambience, Indistinct
I found this place when I was looking for last minute dinner plans. It was good, felt like a traditional Chinese setting. Not the fanciest place, but the prices are inexpensive. The wonton soup was very good. They have a vegan thai iced tea that was delicious. The tofu and vegetable was good but pretty bland, I had to add a lot of soy sauce. Would try again and get a different entree.
Cons: didn't look like the cleanest place, some food too plain, not enough detail on menu
Just went there tonight. Really enjoyed the meal. The flavours were exceptional for a Chinese fake-meat meal. Hot and sour soup was delicious, and like the caramelized chicken. Price fair too. If there was a downside, it was exactly what an earlier reviewer listed: they do not "nail" the fake meat. I have had much better beef and chicken then I had here, though every other part of the meal, including the lovely sauces, were delicious.
I've been here three times, and always left happy. The sweet and sour chickyn is extremely delicious, but it could pass as a dessert. I've liked just about everything else that I've tried there. Everyone that I've gone with has always had really good things to say about it. The service isn't the fastest, but it's not too bad, and that's usually because they are busy, so what can you really expect? Oh, and try the fresh squeezed orange juice; it's amazingly tasty!
Cons: crummy part of town
First, just so you know, I am extremely happy to have another veg restaurant to add to my ever-growing list. However, their food has room for improvement. Some of it is greasy, the fake meats tasted pretty fake (which some might actually prefer to those that really nail the taste of animal), and the service was a bit slow.
Having said that, I loved their coconut water with coconut meat floating in it, and their soup was TO DIE FOR. Highly recommend the veg soup -- you don't just get a cup, you get a pot of it! Very delicious.
Overall, I'm happy they're there, but wish it could be better.
Cons: Food could use improvement, Cupcakes weren't very good, Slowish service
ever try to order something vegetarian at a non-veg chinese restaurant only to learn that you've been served pork or another mystery animal? not a problem here! large dining area with traditional decor. great family restaurant.
Cons: basic flavours
A reliable and consistent restaurant that delivers good quality vegan Chinese food. Go for it.
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