Au Lac

On our way home from Arizona, we took advantage of being further south (Fountain Valley, CA) to visit a raw vegan restaurant. Au Lac is a Vietnamese-Humanese restaurant that serves both cooked and raw vegan. We went there for the raw food because the menu is unlike any other raw restaurant in California. What makes Au Lac different is that their preparation in raw entrees does not consist of mostly fat from nuts and seeds like most raw food restaurants. We’ve grown tired of the same raw dishes prepared with high amounts of unsoaked nuts, and we don’t like consuming a lot of overt fats. Au Lac’s menu is quite the opposite. They are unique because the raw nuts they use are mostly nuts that don’t need to be soaked and the entrees are lower fat than many other raw dishes because they don’t focus on using raw nuts. Instead, their entrees are made up of soaked wild rice, marinated mushrooms instead of nut meat, and corn meal. We didn’t know what to expect from Au Lac, but we were thrilled with their nontraditional ways in preparing raw foods; it fits our standards of how we like to eat our raw foods.

Most raw restaurants we’ve eaten at don’t serve large portions, so expecting that we were surprised when the portions were large. To start with, we shared the Tostada. It was so delicious, this turned out to be our favorite thing we tried. The flavor was just amazing and different, an Asian flair to it that was just so yummy. And we loved that the tostada shell was made up of cornmeal instead of nuts and seeds. It was definitely lighter on the tummy.

Crisp cornmeal shell, shredded cabbage, macadamia cheese, ground mushroom, salsa, dill-ranch sauce and cilantro. Served with spring mix greens in balsamic vinaigrette and topped by hemp seeds.

Crisp cornmeal shell, shredded cabbage, macadamia cheese, ground mushroom, salsa, dill-ranch sauce and cilantro. Served with spring mix greens in balsamic vinaigrette and topped by hemp seeds.

Nick’s meal was the Risotto. This was pretty delicious as well. No other raw restaurant we’ve dined at so far have served anything like this with wild rice. This was quite refreshing to try something tasty and different.

Wild rice, zucchini and coconut in marinara sauce. Topped by avocado, marinated mushroom, carrot and rice paddy herb.

Wild rice, zucchini and coconut in marinara sauce. Topped by avocado, marinated mushroom, carrot and rice paddy herb.

I had the Angel Hair Marinara. I loved that this dish was served with marinated mushroom instead of nuts and seeds as the “meat”. It was really tasty and even had a little kick to it. Having only eaten zucchini for pasta noodles, I thought the squash noodles were better and quite tasty.

Italian squash pasta in marinara sauce, with mushroom meatballs, pine nut crumble and basil.

Italian squash (and zucchini) pasta in marinara sauce, with mushroom meat, pine nut crumble and basil.

All of the dishes were amazingly simple and delicious. If ever in the area, we will definitely make another visit. It’s now our new favorite raw restaurant in the area.

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