Any Vegetarian or Vegan knows it can be a daunting task to find a restaurant that serves tasty and affordable meat-free dishes not originating from the salad bar. As a Vegetarian myself, finding a restaurant that serves only Vegan food is an even greater challenge. While out on a surprise date with my hubby recently, we discovered The Loving Hut near North Park, at 1905 El Cajon Blvd. and my view on the subject of Vegetarian dining has now been changed forever.
I was a bit weary of the location, not knowing the area well, and on a Friday night, the small hole in the wall style restaurant seemed packed…people sitting family style at small white tables, elbow to elbow with their chairs backed up to one another. It didn’t initially appear to be much of a fine dining experience. But then…we opened the door. The air was heavy with the most delicious food odors. It was an assault on the senses really…an overwhelming desire to chew the air came over me. We waited patiently for about 20 minutes to finally be seated at a very tiny table in the corner of the room, right up against the storefront window. I didn’t mind the wait, it had given us time to take in the simple, yet charming atmosphere of the place. There were orchids lining one wall, photos of Vegan celebrities on another as well as Vegetarian and Environmentally friendly quotes printed on the walls here and there. Most noticeable though was the people; the diners, not one person appeared unhappy, in fact everyone seemed like one large family. Each dish on every table looked lovely, and the staff were constantly weaving in and out of tables and behind the counters. There was a busy yet somehow relaxing ambiance about the place.
The malt-style water glasses instantly brought me back to childhood which clashed in a humorous and enjoyable way with the proper white dishes and long chopsticks. It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed Chinese cuisine…many Asian dishes in restaurants seem to have meat or non-veggie sauces – no-no’s for a Vegetarian or Vegan.
The evening favorites were the Crispy Rolls, Lucky Chowmein and the Lucky Mongolian…all of them were glory on a plate! I refused to leave our table before personally thanking the head chef, who, coincidentally, had graciously filled our water glasses when we were first seated. We left full, we left happy and we left wanting to return.
On my next visit I plan on trying the Fresh Summer Rolls, the Spicy Cha Cha and the Vegan Cheese Cake. I have no doubt in my mind, my senses will be maxed out in the most pleasant of ways.
Thank you Loving Hut for your masterful Vegan creations! For more info check them out online here or call 619-683-9490 and make a To-Go order. Vegetarians/Vegans of San Diego and those carnivores who want to experience what Vegetarian cuisine SHOULD be about…Enjoy! I know I sure did!