Confirmation: Loving Hut in Istanbul is legit »
YOU GUYS THIS IS VERY EXCITING. It’s a dispatch from my sister! Something you should know about my sister — she is a world-traveler extraordinaire/jet-setting juggernaut. She recently lived in Istanbul for awhile and explored many of the tasty vegan eats there with her awesome fiancee and my niece WHO IS THE CUTEST AND SMARTEST AND BEST CHILD ALIVE. I currently have it in the works to baby-nap her but let’s just keep that between us. Moving on!
One of my sister’s favorite places to eat in Istanbul was Loving Hut! The Supreme Master’s cult chain of delicious-ass eats is perfect for when you need a dose of yummy vegan meat in a foreign (to you!) land. Here’s what my sister had to say:
I’m not sure what all the Loving Hut restaurants have in common other than their names and veganism because LH Istanbul bears no resemblance to any of the other ones I’ve been to. That doesn’t matter though, because LH Istanbul is DElicioius! It’s a teeny-tiny little place with maybe five outside tables and a chalkboard menu. It’s known for its burgers and they didn’t disappoint. The burger patty was moist and flavorful and it came with a yummy vegan mayo plus pickles, lettuce and tomato. My VERY non-veg boyfriend even enjoyed it. I had a pasta topped with veggies and seitan sausage. It was delicious, although, I have to say, my American stomach was not happy with the tiny portion. Veggie baby Jane enjoyed both the burger and pasta immensely.
All in all, we had a great experience. On a side note, Turkish vegans are all about respecting animals and healthy living…except when it comes to smoking, ‘cause they were all lighting up! Oh, and absolutely NO signs of Supreme Master. No Supreme Master TV, no pictures of her or of veggie celebrities, no sort-of-Vietnamese food — nothing!
There are only a handful of veggie places in Istanbul and this one is consistently rated the best on HappyCow.com. So, if you’re in Istanbul, head to the Besiktas neighborhood (which is a really fun neighborhood to hang out in) for a meal and some shopping and sight-seeing.
Update: I just asked about SMTV and lo and behold, there’s a teeny-tiny TV screen tucked away inside playing it!
Awesome vegan food trends: Vegan seafood! »
In news that is not actually new and still very depressing, seafood is terrible for human consumption and the environment. These studies serve as such crucial reminders for me, as seafood has been the hardest non-vegan food for me to stop dreaming about. I loved the stuff. I won’t bore you with the gory details of my obsession with raw oysters, but an obsession it was.
Lately, however, I’ve been noticing a plethora of vegan “seafood” around me. I couldn’t be more excited about this! (Maybe with more veggie seafood options, we can lobby for this whole “pescatarian” thing to go away. Every time I check, seafood is still considered meat.) Let’s go over some options, shall we? In pictures, because we all love looking at pictures of food! Isn’t this why we’re all on Pinterest, styling our future parties, houses, and weddings? Yes it is.
Ocean Basket from Loving Hut. Those seaweed patties are my favorite!
You can add soy shrimp to any entree at Thai Idea. Don’t forget about those scrumptious and completely necessary Firecracker balls—they are the best appetizer in San Francisco! Have you been to the new location in the Mission yet?
Fish and chips from Weird Fish in the Mission. Not actually fishy-tasting, yet the batter is perfect, and just what I remember being the best part of traditional fish and chips!
Sea Cake from Real Food Daily in L.A. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but I want it!
What is that, amid all the brunch food at Mohawk Bend in L.A.? HEARTS OF PALM CRAB CAKES. Get me on the next plane to SoCal, I’m sold.
Where else can I get my fix, beautiful readers? What else is out there? I must know! And when do we get a creamy soup in a bread bowl here in San Francisco? Preferably one that rivals clam chowder and is served at Pier 39.
[Photos from Real Food Daily and Mohawk Bend are by my girl Marie Ferrier. Follow her on Instagram @kweenmahreeh!
Help save moon bears, get tasty Loving Hut noms in SF! »
Do me a favor: Recall the plight of the moon bear. Then HURRY and write a $20 check to the San Francisco Vegetarian Society, and attend dinner at the Loving Hut at 524 Irving Street from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday, August 29. After dinner, you’ll be treated to a talk from Jill Robinson, founder and CEO of Animals Asia, and she might be accompanied by the organization’s Vietnam Director Dr. Tuan Bendixsen, so that’s cool.
I know you’re broke (me too!), but bring any extra money you have to throw their way to help save the bears. We just received word of this event yesterday, but reservations are needed by today. However, if you email or call Nancy Loewen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-750-0614, like, NOW, you could probably still get on the list. DO IT.
[photo by Will Ellis via Flickr]
The Vegansaurus Diet: Laura! »
Monday, Jan. 24.
Vega shake (chocolate flavor mixed with water) and coffee with coconut creamer. The thing with Vega is, it tastes DISGUSTING but makes you feel SO ALIVE. I’ve never had a protein shake make me feel the way Vega does. Seriously, I feel like I could punch out Superman! I want to puke while I’m drinking it (it does not help that it looks and smells like puke) but afterwards, my head is clear, my eyes are bright, and I have weird amounts of energy. Freaky.
Lunch is my patented “Couscous Surprise.” Actually, Jonas patented it but I innovate on the base so ANYWAY. What I do is, I put Israeli couscous, half a Field Roast Chipotle sausage, some broccoli, a dash of olive oil, a little vegan chicken broth powder, some nutritional yeast, spices galore, and water into my rice cooker and BAM! half an hour later, Couscous Surprise! This dish is very tasty and delightful. Highly recommended. My lunch dessert is a pear. BORING, it’ll get sexier/fatter at dinner, I promise.
For snack I had one of those high-fiber fruit bars from Trader Joe’s. They’re all right-tasting and full of fiber!
Dinner was the new Loving Hut on Irving in the Inner Sunset with the lovely Eve Batey. We split the Ocean Basket (deep-fried vegan fish and green beans and mushrooms), a mango salad, and this tofu veggie vermicelli thing. Oh, and fried bananas and ice cream. Everything was okay, if a little bland. And then later when I got home, I had a piece of leftover Maggie Mudd ice cream cake. Delicious. God, I love that fake frosting flavor, I have such horrible taste in everything.
Tuesday, Jan. 25
Since it probably took you half an hour to read about my Monday, I’ll get more succinct up in this bitch. For breakfast today, I had a vaginal exam. After that, I enjoyed two cups of coffee with coconut creamer, a molasses cookie, an apple, and a pear. Lunch is chia seed gravy with tofu, spinach, and broccoli over quinoa! Love that chia seed gravy. I snacked on TJ’s fruit leather and one of those delicious maple leaf cookies they sell. Dinner was cooked at my parent’s house so we could watch
downloaded legally recorded Big Love. We made spaghetti with a zucchini and mini heirloom marinara and the Trader Joe’s meatballs and a big salad with Sabra spinach and artichoke hummus and some herb slab bread. It was all very delicious and OMG BIG LOVE SO SCANDALOUS.
Wednesday, Jan. 26
A bowl of Trader Joe’s Oh’s (or whatever the fuck they’re “cleverly” named) with almond milk, a pear, and coffee with coconut creamer. BAM! For lunch, I had last night’s leftover spaghetti and two diet Hanson’s sodas. I love soda, one of my new year’s resolutions was to drink more of it and I’m no quitter! Except when things are hard! Then, I had a TJ’s Laxative Fruit Leather. For dinner, homemade Mac and Cheese with quinoa pasta and loads of broccoli (my own recipe, it’s the bomb, one day when I’m feeling less lazy, I’ll share it with you)! The last of the Maggie Mudd ice cream cake which ended up giving my funky tummy. I will also say that I was at Maggie Mudd’s the other night and they only had TWO vegan flavors on the board WTF? Oh, and BEER. I enjoyed some beer.
Thursday, Jan. 27
Coffee with coconut creamer, laxative bomb fruit leather, and Trader Joe’s Oh’s with almond milk. I totally forgot to have lunch because it was a crazy crazy day and was starting to feel shaky, so I stopped at Whole Foods and picked up some cucumber and avocado sushi (what’s up, Rascal!), a Synergy kombucha, a banana, and a ProBar. Ate everything but half the ProBar but not because it’s gross, just because I was full. I stopped in the downstairs cafe to eat like a proper human and they were doing wine tastings. Nobody else was indulging so the wine lady poured me three giant glasses of wine. No clue what the wines were but this is probably because I had three huge glasses of wine. Cheers! For dinner, I met with two wonderful ladies, Amanda and Leda, for Vietnamese food in the place that’s where Yum Yum House used to be on Valencia (it’s now on Divisadero!), Thanh Tam II; we split spring rolls, tofu with string beans, white rice, and veggie noodles. It was pretty all right. I think if I still lived nearby, I might get it for delivery, but no, in this neighborhood, I prefer Sunflower for Vietnamese food. Sometimes people complain about our mainly positive restaurant reviews but the thing is, we mainly review the places we really love. Or that really suck. Maybe we should do more places that are like, O-KAY. I dunno? Thoughts? I AM VERY SLEEPY, GOODNIGHT.
Friday, Jan. 28
Vega + coffee with creamer! Lunch is chia seed gravy over broccoli and multi-grain crackers with eggplant garlic dip. Late afternoon snack is roasted Brussels sprouts (olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar; roast at 425 for 20 min!). 6 p.m. rolls around and I’m craving chocolate like crazy so I make a pan of Fat Bottom Bakery fudge. Waiting for that cool because I want some before I go see a movie with my mom tonight. I’m gonna fall asleep during it, guaranteed. Now, MORE WORK! Goodnight, sir.
Saturday, Jan. 29
Coffee with coconut milk creamer. A million episodes of Breaking Bad. Made some chickpea “tuna” salad (YUM) and ate that and Sabra Spinach and Artichoke Hummus (YUM) with multigrain crackers. Then, I indulged in some of yesterday’s fudge. I packed it in. I really love FUDGE!! Then, I cuddled Hazel and took a nap—not really food-related but digestion-related. Next, picked up sushi and soba and goma-ae and edamame and miso soup from Cha-Ya in Berkeley and took it to Minty and Damien's house to meet their 3 day old baby, who is named Sally, and is beautiful and perfect in every way. I wish I was a baby, what a life! All just eating and sleeping and people cleaning you and hugging you constantly. It's like I always say: It's a baby's world, we're just living in it! Oh, this is a good time to mention that I also had two glasses of wine. Red wine! Heart healthy! Anyway, delightful visit with delightful people (and dogs and cats) and then so, we came home for more Breaking Bad and cider and garlic fries. GARLIC FRIES!!! Now, fudge? Or, sleep?
Sunday, Jan. 29
Coffee with vanilla soy milk! Then, some dried mango and a carrot. Fast-forward to lunch, which is Souley Vegan gumbo (delightful spiciness with okra, tofu, and seaweed), collard greens, southern fried tofu, and mashed potatoes with gravy, split with Jonas. Followed by some vegan gummy worms. For dinner, we made Red Curry with Rice and Purple Kale. I’m really loving that recipe, except I used hemp seed oil as the oil and it’s my first time cooking with it and it has a gross-ass fishy smell. NO ME GUSTA.
Monday, Jan. 31
Having a down day today so it’s time to eat! Actually, today didn’t motivate me to eat so much as cry in a corner. Anyway, I made myself hot chocolate for breakfast and ate some leftover red curry for lunch. I had an apple and four Candy Cane Joe Joe’s and then I wasn’t super hungry or motivated so I had some chickpea salad for dinner and a big glass of soy milk. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!
Neffy took this photo of this major dinner, and reports that “we had the spring rolls; light, crispy, and delicious. My girlfriend had the BBQ plate [of] soy protein slices with noodles and salad: SUPER EXTRA YUM. I had the Mongolian Delight: soy protein slices with green onions, onions, and bell peppers: OMFG SPICY HEAVEN IN MY MOUTH - I had to stop myself from eating the whole plate seriously. Even my lacto-consuming girlfriend said the Thai tea tastes just like the real thing, and it was able to convince her that vegan food is delicious (she had a bad experience a couple years back).
"I’m one of the very few vegan Muslims that I know of so it’s hard for me to find vegan anything within my circle, unless it’s from the internet or Whole Foods…. Thank the stars [my] sister-in-law’s been vegan for 14 years, so I was able to have someone encourage me to become vegan—one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life."
Excellent job! We’re so happy and proud! I guess we’ll have to expand our Sacramento coverage, too—this town is going somewhere, vegan-wise!
Loving Hut in Inner Sunset to open THIS SATURDAY! »
Hey guys! We reported on it going in and now we have word that it’s opening on Saturday, Dec. 18! As in, TOMORROW! Er, or it might be Sunday. EITHER WAY, it’s this weekend.
Who’s going?? Drumsticks for all!
That’s Ching Hai, calling in an order of drumsticks to go for me.
[thanks for the heads-up, Hugh!]
NEW SF VEGAN RESTAURANT ALERT! San Francisco’s third Loving Hut is going in on at 524 Irving St. (at 6th Avenue) in the Inner Sunset. The location used to house Minh Tri, a Vietnamese joint that we’re told was “grody.” Whether you love Ching Hai or hate that crazy, crazy biznatch, more vegan dining is pretty cool. Plus, awesome spring rolls.
We’ll update you as soon as we get word on actual opening date, which involves one of you emailing us that info. Real Journalism.
Guest post: Vegan vacation in Honolulu! »
When on vacation, I find it hard to find something I can eat - on my trip to Honolulu last week, I scheduled these vegan restaurants into my trip! There are a number of different veg restaurant guides online that can help you find places to eat when you’re on the road (or the beach)!
The Peace Cafe has a beautifully simple dining room where they present delicious vegan food, and it just opened in May! The main seating in the dining room is a large communal wooden table, with seats at the window bar, and an additional small table for two. Most of the furnishings are salvaged, like the large chalkboard menu that was a giant door in a former life. The food was so tasty, we went back again the next day—this is the kind of restaurant you could take your skeptical omnivore friends to, and they would be impressed. The Popeye Sandwich, Tempting Tempeh, Moroccan Stew, and Soy Soba Salad were all wonderful, with complex flavors and healthy ingredients. The miso soup is slightly different each day, and the local farms where the vegetables are grown are included on the specials board. The food is served in either cardboard to-go boxes or elegantly wrapped in brown parchment paper—you can eat it in their dining room or take it with you to the beach to eat after a sunny afternoon of snorkeling. They also feature handcrafted jewelry by one of their staff, made of sea-washed seashells and silver from her trips to Molokai and Maui. Since these seashells have been smoothly tumbled by the sea, you can be sure no critters were harmed in the making of this shellwear.
Loving Hut Honolulu is another started by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai, but with a Hawaiian flare. Loving Hut opened in Honolulu two months ago, refining their dishes with customer feedback, and will be having their grand opening soon! Lunches are like a traditional Hawaiian plate lunch—except instead of a big serving of meat with your rice (brown or white), you get to pick two entree options, and the Guru Curry even has chunks of purple taro mixed in with the potatoes, tofu, carrots and onions. The cupcakes are delicious, too—not too dense, with creamy delicious frosting. The staff are entirely vegan too, and they really care about what the customers think of their food.
This post was brought to you by our number-one source for bunny-adoption news, Anne Martin! No, not that one.
[images of cilantro hummus sandwich and assorted baked goods courtesy Peace Cafe]
Why hello, vegan pumpkin cheesecake from Loving Hut in the Westfield Mall in SF. Vegan mall cuisine combines my two great loves: hot plate buffet-style food and mall shopping. What can I say? I’m white trash through and through.
Other treats available include fresh spring rolls, Philly cheesesteaks, and Thai iced teas. Yes, please!
As previously reported, a Loving Hut is coming to Union Square. Lo and behold, that fucker is in Westfield Mall. One shopping spree at H&M followed by vegan feast at delicious cult restaurant, coming up!
[Thanks for the pic, Tessa!]