Wheel of Life

Orange County, California

Vegan Thai and Chinese Cuisine

The Wheel of Life is a vegan/vegetarian Thai restaurant located just south of the 5 freeway, on Culver at Walnut, in the City of Irvine.

They make most of their own mock meats and all of their food is vegan.

Added by fakey fakerson on Aug 20 03 (last updated Jan 8 11)

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Mark this place closed (permanently).

Most Recent Reviews

rating star

I went there for the first time today having recently decided to become largely vegetarian.
The whole location was under remodeling and boarded up (but businesses were still open). Once inside, it was worth the trip however.

The place itself looks very average (like a typical small Chinese or Thai local restaurant).
The staff were extremely friendly (looks like it was family run).
I was impressed that it was quite full, especially with Thai customers, so I knew I was in for a treat.

I had Tom Yum soup (was delicious) and beef satay (so-so) to start.
Main course I had spicy soft noodles (very tasty) and crunchy chicken (was lightly fried and hence was filling). I would have liked to have seen a few more pure, simple, plain vegetable dishes. They don't have a liquor license, so no wine. For 2 people, total bill was $40 which was reasonable.

Overall, a really nice meal and would definitely go back again!

Image for Jean-Guille

rating star

What can I say about The Wheel that has not already been said? Let me try.

First, the dining experience here is akin to eating in the home of a family member, or good friend, as an invited guest. Victor and Kim are warm and welcoming, and remember your name long after the first introduction. On each visit, Victor will greet you at your table with a clasping handshake, a brief inquiry as to how you are doing, and will close with a sincere thank you for supporting his small family business. He is never obtrusive or loud, and I have never heard any boastful claims, only expressions of gratitude and appreciation. He closes with his trademark, “Vegan power”, but it is always given in a conversational tone. Kim makes small talk for a few minutes when she visits, again, in an effort to personalize your experience. Longtime server May is a wonderful woman who makes our dining experience a real pleasure.

I appreciate that some patrons may prefer an anonymous dining experience, with food simply being brought out to them by faceless, nameless servers, but I do not. I love that the food at The Wheel is being prepared for me, by people who know my face and my name. Additionally, Mrs. J-G and I have recently gone soy-free (exculding tofu), and May and the staff have been gracious and accomodating in making suggestions and substitutions to dishes to help us out.

The atmosphere is soothing and relaxed, and the patrons seem to respect others’ right to a nice dining experience, unlike some veg places where the trendy, lost souls seeking their identity feel the need to impose their will on other diners by wandering in barefoot and conversing loudly during their meal.

On to the food. The menu choices are extensive, and can be found here--> http://www.wheelofliferestaurant.com/menunewitems.html New items are featured regularly, so something fresh is always available to try.

My favorites include the Pineapple Fried Rice, The Green Curry, The Wheel Fresh Spring Rolls, the Pan Fried Spinach Buns, and the Marble Cake for dessert. I have been dining there for years, and have sampled many of their offerings. The soups and curries are amazing.

I am disappointed that a reviewer would be so given to exaggeration as to allege that a dessert was so hard that it could not be penetrated by a fork and that a family member was nearly blinded trying to break off a piece. I also doubt the veracity of the claim of the use of non-vegan ingredients. One only has to know Victor and Kim to agree with my assertion here. I think the rest of the reviews support the good work being done, and the excellent service being given at this restaurant.

I am giving it five stars out of five, for the outstanding service, atmosphere, and because it is my wife’s favorite of our regular vegan restaurants, which does affect me.

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Wheelchair Accessible


$$ - average


  • MasterCard Visa


  • Chinese
  • Thai


  • (Mostly) Organic
  • Buffet
  • Large Group-Friendly


main image for Wheel of Life image for Wheel of Life


11am - 3pm;
4:30pm - 9:30pm
11am - 3pm;
4:30pm - 10pm
11am - 3:30pm;
4:30pm - 10pm
11am - 3:30pm;
4:30pm - 9:30pm

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