Vegan Oasis in Central Neighborhood
Posted on 11 / 30 / 2014
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!
Affordable, All-vegan, Lots of choice