I apologize for the long absence, readers! I've been busy with the day job and have just been so exhausted lately...so exhausted, in fact, that I actually came down with a nasty flu bug, which is why I actually have some time to write now! However, I do plan to make more time to write because I have lots and lots of posts to share with you!
First off, I wanted to share with you the lovely birthday dinner I had at Au Lac restaurant in Fountain Valley, California (way back at the beginning of January...that is how far behind I am, yikes!) with my Mister Spooky. Au Lac is a vegan and living foods restaurant that focuses on Asian food. All of their items are vegan and they have a separate menu for their "living foods" or raw foods. They also carry many teas and health elixirs as well as a variety of desserts. It is considered a higher-end vegan restaurant, and their Chef Ito is world-renowned.
It was my first time at Au Lac, and while it is in the middle of a weird little strip mall that doesn't really make you think "vegan haute cuisine", the inside was pretty cool. The dark red walls, red lighting and Asian decor made it feel opulent. We had reservations and were seated quickly. I felt like there was some confusion as to who our waiter was initially, but that was soon cleared up as we had a very helpful and friendly waitress.
Wild Orange Blossom Tea
I really wanted to try some of Au Lac's teas, and with the help of the waitress I selected the Wild Orange Blossom tea, which was excellent! Seriously, it was one of the best teas I have ever had the pleasure of sipping!
Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce
We didn't waste any time ordering our appetizers - we chose the BBQ pork rolls and the Spring Rolls. Their presentation looked identical, so I just included the one photo above. They were both delectable and that peanut sauce, mmmmmmmm! The BBQ Pork Rolls are described on the menu as "soy pork, cucumber, chive, daikon, carrot, lettuce and mint wrapped in rice paper. Served with peanut sauce." The Spring Rolls are "vermicelli, soy shrimp, chive, lettuce and mint wrapped in rice paper." Both were amazing and I would easily order them both again.
We sipped tea and enjoyed our starters before moving on to our main entrees. We choose the Dragon Roll off their "living foods" menu and the Chicken Lemongrass off their vegan cooked menu. The Dragon Roll contains "jicama, basil, mint, and macadamia cheese wrapped in nori. Served with pickled ginger and jalapeño-spiced tamari sauce." I loved all the flavors, the mix of spicy, crunchy and creamy. The macadamia cheese (made from macadamia nuts, in case you needed clarification) really added a wonderfully creamy texture to the roll.
The soy Chicken Lemongrass was a delight as well, and was "pan-seared chili and garlic sauce over soy chicken served with house salad and brown rice." I know this might sound like a typical Asian entree, but I cannot stress enough how melodious the flavors were and how they worked so well together! The soy chicken itself was perfectly tender and perfectly seasoned, and for a "typical" dish it far exceeded my expectations! I could have done without the house salad the soy chicken was presented on, but the brown rice was absolutely the best rice I have ever had! Next time I go I need to order some to take home!
For a finale, we decided to order some dessert! I tried to order their "Tirawmisu", but they were already out of it, so after a suggestion from our waitress I ordered the Choconut X-tasy, which is a "chilled pie with layers of raw cacao, coconut and macadamia, over a crust of cacao, coconut flakes and pecan." They even wrote "Happy Birthday" on the plate for me! And, OMG, this raw dessert was the stuff dreams are made of! It was so light and fluffy but at the same time it was also so decadent and chocolate-y! I'm practically drooling thinking of it now. Ecstasy, indeed, and a perfect ending to a perfect night!
Thanks to Au Lac and Chef Ito's fabulous vegan creations, I had an unforgettable birthday dinner. Everything from the service to the decor and especially the food made me feel so pampered! I absolutely treasure the night I had with Mister Spooky at Au Lac, it made my birthday so special!
For more info, please visit Au Lac's website and Facebook page!