This winter the popular and family-owned raw, vegan, Vietnamese Au Lac Restaurant in Orange County will expand to Bunker Hill in Downtown Los Angeles, where First & Hope once resided. Owner Mai Nguyen conceptualized the restaurant with a mission to help overcome serious illnesses and promote vegetarianism.
Chef Ito helped develop Mai's vision by adding vegan living foods. Vegan living foods "retain nutrients and digestive enzymes of uncooked veggies, nuts and sprouted grain." Foods like vegan cheese, bread and sauces are made in a no-stove kitchen with the use of dehydrators and blenders.
Their menu includes vegan-cooked dishes like egg rolls with mushrooms, taro and carrots in a crispy egg-less wrap, served with lettuce, mint leaves and soy sauce, or the Chow Fun With Sauce, which incorporates flat rice noodles in a dark shiitake sauce with squash, bell pepper, onion tofu and carrots.
For vegan-living options, the risotto consists of wild rice, zucchini and coconut in marinara sauce and topped with avocado, marinated mushroom, carrot and a rice paddy herb. Or go for the angel hair marinara with Italian squash pasta in marinara sauce, with mushroom meatballs, pine nut crumble and basil. If there's room for dessert, the "Tirawmisu" looks promising, which incorporates fluffed macadamia cheese, cinnamon, espresso, dark cacao, and maple syrup.
Au Lac Restaurant should be an interesting choice for Downtown LA in the Promenade Plaza across from the LA Philharmonic Association. The soft opening will begin late November or beginning of December. Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. All vegan, vegetarian and raw enthusiasts, get excited for this modern plant-based eatery to open its doors.
Au Lac Restaurant
710 West 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012