Loving Hut - Fresno

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 36 reviews )

1495 N Van Ness Ave (at Tower District), Fresno, California, USA, 93728

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. Open Mon-Fri 11:00am-2:00pm, 5:00pm-8:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, American, Take-out, Asian, Vietnamese

36 Reviews

First Review by condekedar

No A/C, dirty, no service - Edit

Not sure what has changed but this was the worst Loving Hut we have ever visited. Dirty, hot, waited 10 mins without even being acknowledged. Food preparation and hygiene questionable. Will never go back.

Pros: none

Cons: hot, dirty, questionable food preparation hygiene

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Great find in Fresno - Edit

I was glad to find this little vegan gem in the central valley. Food is good, service is friendly and efficient.

Pros: Plenty of street parking

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Loving Hut never seems to miss - Edit

This was my second Loving Hut and first visit to the Fresno, CA location. The food was delicious! Went with two non-veg friends and they loved the vanilla cake and Mongolian plate. Definitely will visit when in Fresno again.

Pros: Great prices, Good amount of choices , Educates guests on veganism

Cons: Small dinning area, Better description of each dish

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Now selling more items to take home. (Like a tiny market) - Edit

I love this place. Great sweet hot coffee and amazing cake to go with it. Or if you're really hungry, you can buy something off the menu. Each plate can feed 2 people. They recently started selling more grocery items like fried squid (great stuff), chocolate, sauces etc. They've always sold soy meat from the fridge up front but now they made some room for dry goods. Definitely check it out!

Pros: Great food selection, Friendly service

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loving hut rocks - Edit

good quality food at a great price... good vibes and large portion sizes

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Pretty amazing - Edit

I got the Mongolian stir fry and it was pretty amazing. A meat eater would probably think this was really meat. Huge portion size. Ultra-fast cooked-to-order service. Spicy as promised. Plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Lots of parking. Only downside is that the place is sort of grubby.

Updated from previous review on 2016-12-05

Pros: Fresh and tasty, Huge portion, Fast

Cons: Grubby

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Bang for your buck - Edit

Loving hut is where I first fell in love with Seitan or as they call it, "vegetable protein". This specific location specializes in mainly Asian style food, however they do have a few other options such as veggie sandwiches and pizza if you order an hour in advance.

The food is very tasty, nice sized portions and really great prices. The self serve water area could use some improvement, it often looks unsanitary and located next to a dirty garbage can.

The first two visits were great as far as customer service goes, unfortunately my last couple of visits were abrupt and short. Perhaps it was because the cook was taking both the orders and preparing the food, unlike my initial visits, however it did give off an unwelcoming vibe.

Also keep in mind this location does not have AC. When it is over 100 degrees outside in the valley, make sure you order take out!

Still great food and plenty of options to choose from.

Pros: Great Food, Large Portions, Affordable

Cons: Cleanliness , Customer Service

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really great food!! - Edit

the first time I went was a couple months ago, and it left a really great impression on me. I loved the food! I will definitely be going back soon.

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This place is my sanctuary - Edit

I love this place, I've tried about 6 things on the menu it's hard to try more because I love their philly! Every meat eater I get to try their philly, goes back for more! It's the best! That sandwich has never failed to impress the most Stuborn person in proving we have great food! Lol. The staff is very friendly and supper helpful if you are indecisive. Very chill environment and clean. :) I'll keep coming back! Their choc cake is very good too!
This is my exsperience! :)

Pros: Great food, Philly, Nice staff

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bitter thai tea and trader joes Ice cream - Edit

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.

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glad I went - Edit

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

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Great Passion, Lack of Cleanliness - Edit

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

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Not a big menu but very tasty food - Edit

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!

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first Timer - Edit

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

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Loved the food! - Edit

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

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Loved it - Edit

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

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Very disappointed - Edit

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

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  Contributions +27

Only 1 star (maybe) - Edit

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

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Good vegan food! - Edit

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

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Veg place to support - Edit

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

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A for effort - Edit

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

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Love it - Edit

The Chow Mein is off the hook! I get cravings for this place all the time

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We love this place! - Edit

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

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Garlic Chicken - Edit

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

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A great place to eat and hang out - Edit

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

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Great Food, Great Price - Edit

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

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Great food- and plenty! - Edit

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.

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jojob 09 Feb 2010 - 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.  

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