Reviews

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rating star

I wasn't very impressed with this particular Loving Hut.

The best dish on the menu, by far, is the Guru's Curry ($9). Don't waste your time with anything else; the curry is savory, spicy and filling. The soy "meat" has great texture. This is a hearty meal.

Their chocolate cake and mocha cake are also both fabulous and sure to impress vegans or non-vegans alike.

Here's a rundown of other dishes I tried: "fresh spring rolls" appetizer ($5.50); avocado BLT ($9); and shepherds pie ($9).

The spring rolls were okay, but nothing great: just raw veggies stuffed into a rice paper wrapper and served with a peanut sauce. They weren't worth $5.50, for sure.

The sheperds pie was okay, but dry. Again, for $9, it was a tiny portion size and felt more like a snack.

I wanted the pesto chicken sandwich, but they'd already sold out of it by 6 p.m., which is why I ended up with the BLT. I didn't like the BLT at all, though my sister-in-law liked it. I thought the veganaise didn't mix well with the tempeh; although this might have been a specific mixup on my sandwich, as they had run out of the maple-paprika tempeh they usually use, and instead gave me a tuna-fish style crushed tempeh with cilantro. Also, the sandwich on this bread was too thick and too hard.

The roasted side potatoes that came with the pie were okay, but would have been better hot (they're served cold). The barley soup that came with the BLT was passable.

My vegan cheesecake slice ($4.25) was above average. The chocolate chip almond cookie, however, was as hard as a hockey puck and not that good (even when I got home and softened it in the microwave).

They also serve bubble tea, which is pretty good, if you like that sort of thing.

While the Guru's Curry and the chocolate or mocha cakes are all great, the rest of the menu leaves much to be desired. If you're looking for good vegan food in Palo Alto, just walk a few blocks and go to Garden Fresh instead.

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rating star

I walked for two hours to get to this place (no joke), but it was totally worth it. The food was satisfying, the prices were reasonable and the service was excellent. Even though Loving Hut isn't a full-service restaurant (you order your meal at the counter and someone brings it to your table), my server was very attentive and brought me take-home containers when she suspected that I was finished with eating.

As for the food, I was quite impressed with the variety and quality of vegan options. In addition to dishes that are influenced by many cultures, Loving Hut also has a number of vegan baked goods and chocolates available in the bakery counter.

For my appetizer, I decided to try the "crumbed sensation." The menu described this as "specially seasoned yam flour crescents, cooked crispy & served with our own vegan tartar sauce." In reality, the "crescents" are shaped and flavored and colored exactly like fried shrimp. If you take the crispy breading off, you will see that the outside is dyed pink and that the flavor and texture very closely resemble that of shrimp. For this reason, I wasn't a huge fan of the dish (I just couldn't get over the fact that I really felt like I was eating seafood).

My entree, the pesto "chicken" sandwich, was perfectly executed. It contained just the right amount of pesto - enough to be delicious without leaving grease spots on my plate. The sandwich comes with a side salad or soup. There are usually 2 flavors of soup and 2-3 salads to choose from. I decided to try the carrot salad, which consisted of shredded carrots, pineapples, raisins and celery, covered in a tangy sauce. The dish was cold and very refreshing for a hot summer day.

My dessert of vegan caramel flan was by far the best part of the meal. I can't even describe how wonderful it was. The flan was gone before I had a chance to think about it. I also saw soy ice cream, bubble tea and vegan chocolate chip cookies on the menu. I ended up breaking down and getting a Thai iced tea bubble tea for a second dessert. I probably would have tried the other desserts if I hadn't been completely full at that point.

In short, if you're in a town that has a Loving Hut, you have to try it out! I really hope that Loving Hut continues to expand its franchise across the country.

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