Stranded in the tourist trap that is Anaheim, California, I was desperate for some good, healthy, vegan food. When I asked around, the choice was clear -- Au Lac was the place to go. Au Lac is a casual restaurant located in Fountain Valley, California. From the website, you would think this was a hippy dive with its pictures of angels, mention of essential oils, and odd opening and closing times of 11:33 a.m. and 9:33 p.m., but when you arrive, you realize it isn't as hippy as you might think.
From the outside, it appears to be very lowkey. On the inside, it is a warm inviting atmosphere with red tables and chairs, Asian artwork, and bright lighting. When I arrived there was a slight wait, which was surprising given the size of the restaurant. It was fairly large with two dining rooms and a to-go bar area.
The menu consists of both raw and cooked foods so there is a little something for everyone. And it is 100% vegan. I started with a ginger tea as I tried to decide on an entree. I wanted to try something raw and something cooked so I started with the Chimichurri. This was a thick, spongy, flax-based, raw bread served with olive oil and herbs. It was meh.
For my entree, I ordered the cooked tofu and eggplant dish. This was eggplant and tofu simmered in a peppery shiitake sauce served with brown rice. I liked the dish, but didn't think it was anything particularly special. It wasn't all that spicy so they were nice enough to give me some fresh Thai chilis, which made the dish that much better!
I'd say that Au Lac is a solid place to go for good vegan food, but it won't knock your socks off. With $12 entrees and $6 appetizers, I think the prices are fair and the service, given that they were completely packed, was pretty good. It's a fine place to go in an area with very few options.
16563 Brookhurst Street
Fountain Valley, CA 92708