My next stop was famed vegan and raw/semi-raw food restaurant Au Lac in Fountain Valley, which calls the food it serves "Humanese," whatever that means.
I liked the raw dishes because they truly celebrated the vegetables and used them in unexpected ways. For instance, the rolls you see above aren't made with rice, but with jicama and the creamy cheese-like thing is actually ground tofu. Since kimchi goes well with tofu, Chef Ito added that too although it was a bit watered down (I think he literally washed the spice away to make it milder. Minus points.). Genius.
The last rice dish was had was the fried rice, in a manner of speaking, of course, since it's not entirely cooked. Our server told us the rice is actually "sprouted rice," that's basically rice where hot water is poured on and soaked for a while. It tasted like al dente rice to me -- incredible it was semi-cooked.
The fried rice was crunchy and it made for a winning combination with the vegetables and toppings.
My apologies for skipping the starters. They were good but we liked the mains better so I jumped the gun.
We also had Da Bowl, which had romaine lettuce with some onions, olives, tomatoes, flax and pistachios with a sweet mustard dressing. I didn't like this one as much as the spinach salad as it was too sweet for my taste.
For dessert, my friend recommended the donut holes that looked like any old mochi from the outside but turned out to be these wonderful concoctions made with funky sugars and powders made from nuts. They weren't too sweet and they were delicious.
I know raw food isn't everyone's cup of tea but if a meat lover like me can appreciate it, trust me, you will too. The menu also has full cooked vegan dishes that I didn't try at all for the above mentioned reasons. Enjoy!