Serves veggie Chinese and Asian food. Previously named Au Lac Cafe, now a branch of Loving Hut international chain of vegan restaurants opened by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai, an advocate for veg living. Offers a menu of vegan burgers, faux meats stir frys, noodles, and rice dishes. Large portions. Order at the counter, and food is brought to your table. Has parking lot. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan, Vietnamese, Asian, American, Take-out
1495 N Van Ness Ave (Olive, Tower District)
Fresno, California 93728
559-237-4052

Mon-Sat 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-8:00pm

more-less
  • Outdoor seating
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accepts credit cards
reviews

Reviews

First Review by condekedar
notsammi
notsammi
  • vegan
Contributions
+18

bitter thai tea and trader joes Ice cream

4 Posted on 09 / 03 / 2014

all previous times I've gone to loving hut the food was fantastic! huge portions, relatively fast service, and they're always so nice.

however, this time, I wasn't so satisfied. I ordered a thai tea and a cheesecake- but they were out of cheesecake so I opted for ice cream. it took a while for them to come out. the thai tea was a little bitter and watery so that was disappointing, usually thai tea is made to be really creamy and sweet. when the ice cream came out, I was immediately disappointed. Just by looking at it I knew that the ice cream was the Trader Joe's Soy Creamy brand ice cream in cherry chocolate chip. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but not worth what I paid. I was kind of shocked that they'd blatantly serve that ice cream, and only later did I realize that he didn't tell me what kind of ice cream they had- what if I was allergic to cherry? anyways. that was just an off experience, I think. I'm still gonna go back, the entree food is always good.


Lanahexapod
Lanahexapod
  • vegan
Contributions
+113

glad I went

4 Posted on 08 / 30 / 2014

The food was yummy. I love the #4 and their ice cream. They also have pizza but the sign says to order 1 hour ahead for it (I think for a box). Otherwise they have slices but they've been under the heater for don't know how long and the kids I was with said it was dry but it's probably good when ordered fresh. The kids also loved the ice cream as did I. The only problems I really experienced was it was hot inside and there were flies buzzing around. The owner can also be sort of intimidating and come off as rude if you don't know him. The other man who works there however has always been sweet as can be.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday June 10, 2014

Pros: vegan, yummy
Cons: hot, flys
jennamichelle1
jennamichelle1
  • vegan
Contributions
+249

Great Passion, Lack of Cleanliness

2 Posted on 02 / 18 / 2014

I was excited to visit, my mom has taken classes on vegan cooking from the owner, who she says is very nice. We unfortunately had a negative experience, which I'll get to in a minute.

The menu was typical vegan loving hut menu, they had chow mein, fried rice, and soy meat remakes for traditional chinese food. They were cooking with a lot of oil, so this may not be the best choice for vegans who eat low oil. They had a few desserts like flan, cheesecake, and ice cream. When we were there, they were out of the cheesecake, ice cream, and five other menu options. They also had a locked fridge where they sold soy meats. For atmosphere, they had a giant chess board and a checkers set. You can tell the owner is passionate about veganism from his brightly colored car in the back, the the pro vegan signage around the restaurant.

When I asked for the restroom key the owner shrugged towards me and said it was, "right there". I looked around, couldn't find it. Looked all of the the front of the counter, the areas around it, and on the walls. I asked again and he turned around and shouted that it was "right in front of my face". He was kind of acting way too busy, since we were the only people there except for one other couple. =/ I had to ask him again,, and he turned around in a huff and pointed towards the key without saying anything. It was actually behind the corner of a wall, so that really wasn't in front of my face, but whatever. I'm a polite person who doesn't enjoy being yelled at, so I thanked him and went to the restroom.

The restroom was so gross that I couldn't use it. So gross, that I feel queasy thinking about it. They had just opened after having been closed on Sunday, so my guess is that it had been left that way since Saturday. I was so disgusted, that we left without eating. To be fair, the owner was nice and gave us our money back, which we didn't expect him to do. He offered to clean the restrooms, but with the way the restroom looked, it would have taken a long time and the idea of him making our food after cleaning that area was not appetizing. So yeah, maybe he was having an off week. Owning a business is tough. I feel for him, but I won't be going there ever again, as it makes me ill to think of it. =/

Pros: Unfriendly Staff, Dirty Restaurant, Out of most food items
Cons: passionate about veganism

vegan frog
vegan frog
  • vegan
Contributions
+520

Not a big menu but very tasty food

4 Posted on 12 / 28 / 2013

Who cares if the menu is not large, it's all vegan!
The prices were more than reasonable and the portions pretty large. We had the Blissful (steamed veggies, rice, and lemongrass chickin), fried rice , the Dharma (curry claypot), and curry fried rice on 2 visit during a short trip in Fresno.
The owner was very strict about closing at 8PM on the dot, he was a bit of a character!
The food was really tasty. Shame I probably won't go to Fresno again!


vivahate68
vivahate68
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+20

first Timer

4 Posted on 12 / 07 / 2013

Good experience. The portions were enough for two people or to save for another meal. All vegan menu. Only 18 items offered. All made to order. Didn't have to wait too long for our food. Maybe 5 mins.
The wait staff is easy on the eyes as well!

Pros: location in Tower District, inexpensive
NIBsmf
NIBsmf
  • vegan
Contributions
+188

Loved the food!

4 Posted on 09 / 13 / 2013

Food: 9. I had one of the "paradise" dishes, which was curried fried rice with veggies and tofu. It was extremely tasty, and I felt like they gave me at least 2 meals worth of it! I also had flan, which was also very tasty. My boyfriend's spaghetti marinara that I tasted was only okay, though. Oh, and I loved the thai iced tea I had.

Price: 8. Reasonable prices.

Atmosphere: 7. It was so-so. I feel like it could have been made nicer inside, but I loved the paintings of cute animals and vegan messages on the outside of the building. It was also super hot inside, as the front door was kept open despite it being very hot outside.

Staff: 7. While the staff were very friendly, they made me feel rushed. The place closes at 8pm, and we had gotten there around 7:35. We were told we could sit on the porch for as long as we want but that they had to close ASAP for one of the staff members to catch a bus. They ended up closing around 7:50, which I thought was bad business.

Pros: Yummy food!, Reasonable prices, Friendly staff
Cons: Sort of off the beaten path, it seemed
Bio-Beetle
Bio-Beetle
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Loved it

5 Posted on 06 / 20 / 2013

I was craving some vegan food after my trip to Sequoia & Kings Canyon on my drive to San Jose and was thrilled to find a Loving Hut in Fresno. I had not eaten at this chain before so I was eager to try it. Food was great. I had the Guru and the portion was generous, and I also had the shrimp tempura appetizer. I don't generally like the vegan shrimp but served as a tempura it was great. Looking forward to trying the location in San Jose. It was also easy to find since Van Ness is off the 180.

Pros: great food, generous portions, Pricing and service
Cons: More Bok Choy than I needed, but good
mghosoph
mghosoph
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Very disappointed

2 Posted on 08 / 05 / 2012

Having frequented this chain often in San Francisco, we had hopes for a decent vegan restaurant here in Fresno.

So when we went here for the first time we quickly noticed 2 things: 1) the interior was dirty 2) the menu was very simple and limited.

We were hoping the limited menu would equate to perfected foods, but this wasn't the case. We both got "chicken" chow mein, which is usually a slam dunk for vegan restaurants, but much to our amazement, it was seriously the most bland food I've ever had. Like another reviewer noted, the main ingredient was bok choy. I mean LOADS of bok choy with absolutely no seasoning or flavor. We both threw our food away it was so bad. I hate to write negative reviews, especially for a vegan restaurant, but in this case, the food was so terrible I cannot withhold a bad review.

Try Little Peking - they offer an extensive vegan menu with great tasting food.

We will not be going back.

Pros: Vegan
Cons: tasteless, dirty, lack of veggies
sturkfeld
sturkfeld
  • vegan
Contributions
+21

Only 1 star (maybe)

2 Posted on 02 / 15 / 2012

I have been to The Loving Hut restaurants in other cities (and love them by the way) but this one is nothing like the others.
First of all their menu is entirely different.
It is dirty and the food is horrible! When you get a main dish they give you a big piece of bok choy as the steamed vegetable. It seems like they put this in everything!
The staff was not very friendly or helpful.
I would never go back even though there are very few vegan restaurants here in Fresno.
I think Loving Hut should make the owners be consistent in their menus and quality.

Pros: The offer vegan
Cons: Dirty, Poor menu
Veganchik
Veganchik
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

Good vegan food!

5 Posted on 02 / 13 / 2012

Really enjoyed the food here and it was made fast. Good size portions, had a hard time finishing my food but there was enough for a meal later. Good prices too! Definitely love to come here every time I'm in Fresno.

Pros: Good prices, Large portions, Fast service
Chia
Chia
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+4024

Veg place to support

4 Posted on 01 / 30 / 2012

I had read about this place on happycow and decided to eat here on my San Francisco trip several weeks ago. Here's my Loving Hut Fresno review.

It's located on a street that's both residential and commercial. Kinda mellow with some traffic. It's a good size space with both indoor and outdoor seating. You walk in and you see can the kitchen. Basically, it's the owner, Truong, and one staff. The prices are inexpensive with each menu item (there are 18) at $6.95, and the portions are huge.

My husband and I shared a pho noodle soup, a lemon grass veg protein stir fry served with rice and veggies, and a pan fried rice noodle. We were so stuffed and couldn't finish the food, didn't expect such huge portions. I felt bad wasting food, because we couldn't take the leftover home since we were traveling onto San Francisco.

Our waitress, a young woman with blonde hair, was very sweet and helpful. She told us that she's been vegan for 7 years.

The food taste is fair, pretty standard fare, filling but not fancy. I like the pho noodle soup broth with the fresh basil taste. The lemongrass flavored veg protein pieces were tasty but salty. The pan fried noodle was tasty, too, but also a bit too salty and saucy for me.

This is one of very few places in Fresno that offers all vegetarian & vegan food, so please support it if you are in this part of California.

Pros: all vegan, low prices, friendly waitress
Cons: needs better ventilation
emilc
emilc
  • vegan
Contributions
+58

A for effort

4 Posted on 09 / 23 / 2011

A small, family-owned vegan joint serving mostly Asian-inspired vegan food. The menu is quite limited, but sufficient. Cash-only. Food is very good, although can be a bit on the salty side. Some of the faux-meat dishes eerily remind me of meat a bit too much (like the faux ribs), which is not really a good thing. However, they get credit for being a fully vegan restaurant in a meat-heavy city like Fresno.

Pros: Good food, Fully vegan
Cons: Cash only, Limited menu
mast
mast
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+15

We love this place!

5 Posted on 03 / 06 / 2010

My daughter, told me about this place after going there with a friend. My three daughters and I have been there four times in the last 2 months and have tried almost every dish. Everything is fabulous and the portions are huge. We always have leftovers for the next day. The staff is very friendly. Service is prompt and courteous.Inside is clean and inviting. I highly recommend Au Lac even if you aren't vegan. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Pros: great value, large portions, friendly staff
mchennault
mchennault
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+14

Garlic Chicken

4 Posted on 02 / 19 / 2010

So my husband and I went there for lunch to eat and study.He got the Vegi delite and I got the Garlic Chicken. Food was SOOOOO GOOD! Staff was nice and the soda was a lot of money so I got free water!!! My husband eats meat and he really like the vegi delite. Two Thumbs UP!!

Pros: Friendly Staff, Great Food
Cons: Soda was a lot
AvocadoLover
AvocadoLover
  • vegan
Contributions
+45

A great place to eat and hang out

4 Posted on 12 / 02 / 2009

I visited Au Lac for the first time a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the yummy vegan food. As opposed to some of the other reviews, I found the prices quite reasonable and the portions were large (I didn't finish my meal). I also thought the staff were super nice. I could see myself hanging out here, enjoying the good food and reading a book. I will definitely be coming back often!

Pros: Great Food, Good Prices, Cool atmosphere
silystarrfish
silystarrfish
  • vegan
Contributions
+24

Great Food, Great Price

5 Posted on 11 / 14 / 2009

I LOVE Au Lac. I have been living in the Fresno area for almost 24 years, and only just discovered it a month ago. I don't know what I did before I knew about this place!

The food was fantastic. I got the eggplant dish and my friend got the lemongrass "chicken". Both were fantastic, and try as I might, I could NOT finish what was on my plate. I was thrilled to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day.

The staff was very friendly, the food was great, and I left completely satisfied. If you are ever in the Fresno area, visit Au Lac.

Pros: Fantastic Food, Great Value, Great Staff
Cons: none
CirceHerbivora
CirceHerbivora
  • vegan
Contributions
+16

Great food- and plenty!

4 Posted on 04 / 19 / 2009

I'm looking at the other posts where they say they didn't get big enough portions, and I am floored. How much can you people EAT? My plate is always heaping- and I loooove the garlic chicken and happy burgers! He won't take credit, but if you're a regular, you can write a check and that might help. I do wish it had a little more ambiance, but the staff is always very friendly and its a nice place to grab a bite and do a little homework.


  • jojob jojob

    I think the portions tend to vary by dish. I used to go here all the time when I lived in Fresno and sometimes I got a TON of food and other times I was left hungry. It was a little hit or miss, but that was over a year ago.

    more-less
flickertheflame
flickertheflame
  • non-vegetarian
Contributions
+4

Not bad

3 Posted on 02 / 26 / 2009

I thought the prices were reasonable and the food is good. I specially liked the barbque chicken. However, I went to Lubys restaurant and have found a new favorite place. As long as Lubys is open I will never go back. The portions at Au Lac are small for the price.

Pros: tasty, friendly staff
Cons: small portions, pricey
grigorexxxcore
grigorexxxcore
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Crappy Portions

2 Posted on 02 / 21 / 2009

After visiting Luby Chinese, a few friends and I decided to hit this joint and see what all the fuss was about. And not what we expected. A neat place, but we read they had "vegan deserts". They don't sell that anymore and when we tried to order off of the 12 menu item, there was only like 5 things available that day. The price was out of my budget and the portions were terrible. It came with some exotic vegetables that had no taste. The lemongrass which was great though, but also their drinks? It was 2 bucks for a tiny cup of Apple Juice.

Its worth the try only ONCE. But other than that, stick to Luby or Little Peking.

Pros: Empty, Friendly
Cons: Price, Portion
dsonari
dsonari
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

My new favorite vegan restaraunt.

5 Posted on 12 / 08 / 2008

This is Fresno's best kept secret. The food is amazing (my favorite is the terriyaki burger). The prices are reasonable and the staff is great. I will definitely keep coming back.

Pros: Food, Staff, Environment
Cons: No credit or debit accepted
HereGoesNothing
HereGoesNothing
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

So good.

5 Posted on 12 / 06 / 2008

Au Lac is definitely one of my favorite places to eat, I sometimes eat there every day. It's a very cool, clean environment and the people who work there are always very helpful and nice. It's affordable and fast. My favorites are the Garlic Chicken and Teriyaki Burger, although I've liked everything I have tried.


Humanicide
Humanicide
  • vegan
Contributions
+90

Sweet

5 Posted on 09 / 21 / 2008

This is my favorite place to eat, because it's fast, affordable and everything on the menu is goddamn delicious.

more people need to be going here, they're not getting a whole lot of business.

Pros: Location, it's in the tower district, prices, good sized portions
Cons: hours are strange
vegan munster
vegan munster
  • vegan
Contributions
+19

my favorite!

5 Posted on 05 / 06 / 2008

almost everything i tried on the menu is good. i highly recommend the fish and the lemongrass chicken.

Pros: good food, good prices
srh.crawford
srh.crawford
  • vegan
Contributions
+22

Great food, location, and prices.

4 Posted on 03 / 03 / 2008

Near the heart of the tower district sits an amazing vegetarian restaurant. The menu is varied from hamburgers and chow mein to pho and changes constantly. The food is delicious and the prices are great (5.95 to 6.95 a plate). All the menu items are vegan or can be made vegan. I've had the teriyaki burger, chow mein, happy burger, and special tofu. All were scrumptious.

Pros: Great location, Great food, Great prices
Cons: Weird hours, Some food can be salty
anastasia
anastasia
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

iced thai tea lac!!

4 Posted on 12 / 13 / 2007

we stayed in fresno just for one night but didn't like it at all!! the only positive thing was au lac and the amazing food we ate there. we shared the garlic chicken which tasted GREAT and some very rich and comforting noodles with tofu 'ham' and veggies.
plus we had iced thai tea and it was the best thing I drank ever, I want the recipe!!!

Pros: cheap!, fresh
condekedar
condekedar
  • vegan
Contributions
+1049

Great food, friendly service

5 Posted on 03 / 20 / 2007

This is a great restaurant with the best soy chicken I've ever tasted (lemongrass chicken). The food is fresh, healthy and nicely-seasoned with a tasty side salad, too. The service is amazingly friendly and they also have superb vegan cakes. Really low prices, too, considering the value of the food. Highly recommended.

Pros: Taste, Value, Service
Cons: Doesn't take credit cards

 

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Last updated: 2014/06/15

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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