SAN DIEGO — “Be Veg, Go green, Save the Planet.”
What a mantra for a fast food chain! Loving Hut at 1905 El Cajon Boulevard in the Normal Heights neighborhood, is a 100% vegan fast food chain which advocates the vision that “all beings could live in peace, love and harmony with each other, and the planet.”
Loving Hut promotes itself as the fastest growing international vegan fast food chain in the world, with California branches in Milpitas, Palo Alto and San Francisco and international branches in Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Hong Kong.
Loving Hut’s promotional literature defines its food and overall dining experience, as an “invitation to gourmet cuisine made with wholesome vegan ingredients, offering an accessible starting point for those making the noble transition to a plant-based diet.”
The “green” franchise’s owners have come to the conclusion that as more people around the world adopt a plant-based diet, Loving Hut will become a beacon of light for an alternative way of living. “It’s healthier, it’s compassionate, it’s peaceful and it’s the only way to a sustainable planet.”
As the self-claimed vegetarian foodist I am, I ventured into the “hut of love” with a dear friend last weekend, and was quite pleased that the ideological vision coincided with the great taste of vegan cuisine.
The restaurant isn’t much bigger than what one could imagine for the space inside an actual hut, nevertheless, it gives off a very intimate, laid back, and commune type of ambiance. Pictures of famous vegans such as Albert Einstein, Natalie Portman, and Anne Hathaway adorn the walls, bringing awareness to whom is within the “family of plant eaters,” if you will.
After being seated I began to delve into the diverse menu. A few of the many items include:
• Drumsticks made from mushrooms, soy ham, and tofu.
* Jackfruit salad, which is a vibrant tossed mix of that tropical fruit combined with onions, mints, and carrots.
• Summer rolls, with jicama, carrots, tofu, and soy ham, with hoisin sauce and peanuts.
• Golden wantons, made with vegan ham paste, dried mushroom, and a lovely plum dipping sauce.
These are just a few of the options they have for starters.
They also have an array of rice and ocean dishes such as chow mein and grilled seaweed.
Some of the staple noodles and soup dishes include:
*Pho, a classic soup of rice noodles, soy protein, white fungus flower, bean sprouts and cilantro.
*Au Lac sweet and sour soup, celery, tomatoes, pineapple, bean sprouts, taro stem, and soy shrimp.
During our visit we ordered the summer spring rolls, lucky chow mein, and tangy orange mock chicken with brown rice. For dessert, I indulged in a slice of vegan strawberry cake; guilt free of course.
I fully enjoyed my experience at Loving Hut, and plan to be a frequent visitor. The vegan cuisine is not only quick, appetizing, but affordable. Our bill was a little over $20, so even the starving student can eat at Loving Hut.
The Loving Hut gets the “veggie-head” approval and I encourage all Grossmont veggie heads and lovers of good eats alike, to dine inside the hut of love and become acquainted with the diverse variety of vegan cuisine that is good to your body, the planet, and yes—even your pocket!
That’s all love.
Jackson is a student in Media Comm 132