Vegan restaurant makes animal-lovers happy

(Joseph Espiritu)

Natalie Ekstrand

Ladera Ranch has jumped on the vegan bandwagon with the opening of its latest restaurant, Loving Hut, whose mantra, “Be Veg, Go Green…Save the Planet,” is clearly reflected in the restaurant’s vegan menu.

Although small, the eatery is surprisingly open and bright, thanks to its high ceilings, large windows and luminous white paint job. Gold-cushioned booths line the walls of the restaurant, while an array of white chairs and tables are available both inside and on the quaint outdoor patio.

When it’s time to eat, guests can either pay at the counter initially, or seat themselves and ask for the bill. As the restaurant only accepts cash, make sure to bring pocket money when stopping by. The menu offers unexpectedly inexpensive dishes: nothing exceeds $13. Most of the food is Vietnamese, although there are a couple meatless burgers and spaghetti dishes on the menu for less adventurous palates. Compared to the franchise’s other locations, the Ladera branch offers a more limited menu; however, this may change with time.

The spring roll appetizer ($5.95) was crispy and fresh, similar to an eggroll. The Spicy Cha Cha ($12.95), a yam-based meat substitute with bell peppers and spices, was tender and infused with flavor. All dishes are strategically spiced and tasty, and can be served in either a regular or large portion. Both brown and white rice are available.

Loving Hut is the fastest-growing vegan food chain globally. Its locations span from Indonesia and Vietnam to Singapore and our nearby town, Ladera. Overall, Loving Hut boasts delicious low-budget vegan food – ideal for students.

Loving Hut is located at 27522 Antonio Pkwy. Suite P2, Ladera Ranch and can be reached at 949.365.1077.

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