Saturday, October 20, 2012

Loving Hut

The Loving Hut is an international chain of vegan restaurants with about 120 locations. There are 18 in California, restaurants in 18 additional states, and other countries including, Australia, China, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and China. We visited the Loving Hut located at 903 West Foothill Blvd in Upland, CA 91786 (909-982-3882). 
Apparently, each store location can have their own unique menu and several Yelp entries said this location was better than the one in Claremont. We went there for our anniversary (poor Judy putting up with my vegan twist) and were a little disappointed that it did not have more ambiance. It is very strip mallish, with tight space, close tables and spartan decor. But the menu is quite extensive and there were a number of food items I was interested in. For appetizers we got the B.B.Q. Peking, a marinated seitan with homemade sauce. 
I'm still a novice at the fake meat thing, and so far I'm not a big fan, because it generally is saturated with so much extra oil that if I ate the real thing I would get better taste and about the same level of fat. I do avoid the cholesterol of real meat, which is important, and this is better on the environment. This dish was a little moist, a little crispy and quite oily. The flavor was okay, a good approximation of real bbq. I'm trying to avoid most extra oils, so as I weigh the taste against the calories and fat, this dish is probably not something I would get again. The veggie pancake was a mixed bag for me. 
The listed ingredients include cabbage, green onion and tomato. Unfortunately, it was not like a good Chinese pancake which I adore, this had a harder, crisper texture and was not as flavorful as I'd hoped it would be. However, if I go back, I will probably try it again, as it is the kind of item I miss on my vegan diet and an approximation is better than nothing. Judy got the curry masala which included broccoli, carrot, cabbage, tofu, bok choy, mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper, snow peas and coconut milk, stir fried with onion in curry sauce. 
It was better than a similar dish we would obtain from a chain restaurant in our area, such as Chili's, but it is not on the same level as the wonderful vegan restaurants we've been to in Los Angeles with Andrew, which seem to have fresher ingredients, better looking vegetables, less oil, a better presentation and a more sophisticated combination of ingredients. I got the Heavenly Garden, which looked like a mirror-image  of Judy's dish. It had stir fried broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, snow peas, zucchini, cabbage, potato and tomato with garlic sauce and the same thing I said about Judy's dish would apply to this dish.  
Judy got rose lemonade which was very good 
and we got two desserts, the chocolate truffle pie 
and chocolate coconut creamy pie, 
both of which looked outstanding, but were pedestrian. We ate a few bites and left the rest. I liked Loving Hut better than Judy. I'd go back if I was in the area, and I'd probably eat there fairly regularly for lunch if it was close to work, because there are not many vegan restaurants in our area. But it is not worth traveling a long distance to get too. 

1 comment:

  1. My general complaint about vegan restaurants is that there is way too much frying going on. I come out with that "greasy food in my tummy" feel that I sometimes get at Chinese take-out places. Cafe Gratitude in LA is so much better than this restaurant.