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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegan Journey: Dining Vegan—in Little Vietnam!

I have been surprised by the number of people that follow my blog who are vegan or vegetarian. I had no idea! My friend Seth, who I know from my synagogue, is one of them.

Seth sent me an email last week with a photo of his vegan dinner at Au Lac, a vegan Vietnamese restaurant in Fountain Valley, California.

He wrote:

“This place is amazing! Vegetarian food elevated to art. I'm sitting at the bar watching all this beautiful and healthy food leave the kitchen. My Asian Nori Roll salad was incredibly tasty. The dressing had a subtle ginger undertone. The chimichurri bread is RAW vegan, "cooked" in a dehydrator. I'm going back tomorrow night if you want to join me.”



We arranged to meet on Friday night and I didn’t really know what to expect. I went to their website and was quite surprised that the restaurant has been there since 1997 and offering raw foods since 2002. Actually, when you look through their menu, items are designated by an (R) for raw and (C) for cooked. The entire restaurant serves vegan foods with an Asian twist, because both the owner and chef are from Vietnam.

It was quite an interesting dinner!

We started with the vegan bread dipped in a chili garlic oil sauce, and then had a Sea Vegetable Salad. Next, we had the Asian Nori Salad, which was incredible. I tried a Cali-Roll, which had young coconut slices in it instead of fish! Lastly, we had stir-try vegetables with tofu on a bed of thick, Udon-style rice noodles. This was so yummy, as it had Jicama in it! I have never had chunks of Jicama in a stir-fry before, and it was great.

I think Au Lac must be well-known in the vegan community because two other friends have both suggested I go there.

It was so good, that my daughter Alex and I are going there this week. I will be getting that Asian Nori Salad for sure!

As we were leaving, we saw the chef in the parking lot. I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed our meal. He smiled and nodded when I commented to him. Then Seth said, “I forgot to tell you, the chef does not speak.”

Hmm – will have to find out more about that on my next visit.

Enjoy!

Karen

2 comments:

  1. Asain food is ideal for vegans! In her book "Real vegetarian Thai", Nancy McDermott works around the ever present Nam Pla (fish sauce) in Thai cuisine.
    Substituting a combo of vegetable broth, soy suace and salt does the trick nicely! One of my favorite recipes is for Pineapple Fried Rice http://www.healthymealsmadeeasily.com/blog/?p=126

    ReplyDelete

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