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Mar 16, 2008 03:05 PM

Chinese Vegetarian in Orange County


I have some friends who live in Santa Ana and are anxious to try Chinese vegetarian, but they are not anxious to give to the San Gabriel Valley.

Is there anything decent down that way?


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  1. Jamillah Garden, on Walnut (South of Tustin Ranch Rd. ) In Tustin is Chinese Islamic and has a lot of vegetarian dishes on the menu. It gets rather good reviews here. I used to eat lunch there when I worked aorund the corner, years ago, and it was always very good.

    Jamillah Garden
    2512 Walnut Ave Ste 1
    Tustin, CA 92780
    (714) 838-3522

    4 Replies
    1. re: Midlife

      Is it still open? I was under the impression that it closed and that she opened Mas Islamic on Orangethorpe.

      To the OP -- Chinese vegetarian I can't help with, but Au Lac on Brookhurst Avenue in Fountain Valley is Vietnamese vegan...

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        It's open as usual. Just ate at Jamillah Garden tonight.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          no i think the people that opened Mas are from Tung Lai Shun not Jamillah

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Just to mention, while Au Lac has a lot of vegan stuff, as with most vegetarian Asian places, a lot of the processed soy meat at Au Lac may contain milk products (usually whey or casein) or egg white. If you are vegan, I would let them know and ask specific questions. While it's possible to get soy ham without dairy, they have told me on several occasions that the soy ham they use contains dairy; I believe the same is true for the shrimp. The soy ham is used in a lot of their dishes; some (like the banh xeo) can be made without it; others (like the fried egg rolls) cannot.

        2. I believe there is a Chinese Veg place in Irvine across the street from Trader Joe's on Culver. Sorry, I haven't tried, but my cousin did and she really liked it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: justagthing

            It's Wheel of Life. a vegan Thai-Chinese place. Pretty good food, although they seriously screwed us on a seating this weekend. Waited 20 minutes for a four top and finally left after their mismanagement of customers waiting outside in the cold.

            We moved on and ate a Lenten Friday meal at Chef Chen's instead. Ate great without meat at Chef Chen's.

            Chef Chen's Restaurant
            5408 Walnut Ave, Irvine, CA 92604

            Jamillah Garden
            2512 Walnut Ave Ste 1, Tustin, CA 92780

            Wheel of Life
            14370 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604

          2. I've never lived in OC, but I do try to check out the Chinese and Vietnamese places down there on the rare occasions I must step behind the Orange Curtain.

            Not sure if it's around, but I remember Alisan in Fountain Valley being pretty good.

            I think you'll have more luck with Vietnamese or Chinese / Vietnamese in that area, because OC has such a large Vietnamese population. Au Lac in Fountain Valley (Vietnamese, but a number of Chinese style dishes as well) is quite good. They have branched out to a little of raw food which is weird (but the chocolate vegan / raw cakes are great). Haven't been there, but Thuyen Vien in Garden Grove looks pretty good - There's a place in HB called Bhodi Tree Café; not sure if it's Vietnamese, pan-Asian, or what.

            I went to Lotus Vegetarian Café in Orange a long time ago and remember thinking it was at least Ok. Again, not 100% sure if they're still open. If memory serves, it's not strictly a Chinese menu.

            Thuyen Vien
            1740 S. Euclid St, Anaheim, CA 92802

            Au Lac Gourmet Vegetarian
            16563 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

            Lotus Cafe
            1515 W Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92868

            Bodhi Tree Cafe
            501 Main St Ste E, Huntington Beach, CA 92648