Hey, I didn't make that up! That's what dinner last night at Au Lac, a raw and cooked vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Fountain Valley, was called. I had the pleasure of meeting several people from giveittomeraw.com and of dining on the unbelievably creative Raw tasting menu Chef Ito prepared for us.
Although Au Lac is only 25 minutes from my home, I'd never made it over there before last night. I will definitely return again and again. I can't wait to take Lovely Boyfriend, who's always game to try something different. Of all the Raw restaurants we've visited, Au Lac ranks as Number One for most imaginative use of ingredients. Don't believe me? Take a look at the menu from last night.
PASTA DI AMORE
Apertif: THE LOVE JUICE - Sweet grass, screwpine, frankincense, gold, hhut jolokja peppers
First: CHEF'S HAND ROLL
Nori, natto, sprouts, daikon, mustard, shrooms, shiso, cucumber
Avo, coconut meat, cilantro, chips and thyme
LOVE SONG SALAD
Watercress, "fried" onions, cherry tomatoes, jicama, carrots, teriyaki
Second: PASTA DI AMORE
Sea tangle, kalamata, "fried" onions, holy basil, parmesan, pesto
SHREDDED "PORK" WITH GINGER ONION RICE
Funguy, oregano, chili peppers
HAWAIIAN LOMI LOMI PIZZA
Pineapple, "grilled" onions, zucchini, red bell pepper, melted mozzarella, marinara
Last: CHOCOLATE CANDY, DONUT HOLES, X-TASY
Macadamia, cacao, blue agave juice, coconut base
Yes, we were served all of the above! And yes, it was as good as it sounds! Wipe your lips with the back of your hand, and look up directions to this amazing place. Normally, I sit around restaurants trying to figure out how to recreate the dishes at home. For several of these, I knew my only chance to experience them again would be to come back and hope they're on the regular menu. My favorites included THE LOVE JUICE, sweet with a spicy finish, the hand roll, soup, salad, pasta and dessert. I ended up bringing much of my meal home.
Alyssa & Chris, our wonderful organizers
The company was as wonderful as the food. Many thanks to Alyssa and Chris, who arranged this get-together for us. Philip from Lovingraw was visiting L.A. and made it down to the O.C. as a guest of honor. Matt Monarch was also in town and joined us. I didn't get a chance to chat with Debbie, from Debbie Does Raw. (Debbie- if you see this, I really enjoy your blog!) Gavin and Erica stopped by our table, too. I don't remember everyone's names, but I had the pleasure of dining with Disa, the Unbaker, and Austin, Dan (a raw curious guest), KarmaFree Kale Chips, Vanilla Bean and Pineapple Head, and another guy with a great sense of humor at my table.
Matt Monarch, author of Raw Spirit, chats with guestsI have many more pictures, most of which I will save for blackmail purposes, since I caught lots of folks chewing, and the light was low, casting scary shadows that make people look older than they do in real life. It was a pleasure to meet in person so many of the supporters of Raw food that I run into online. Can't wait to do it again!