Sometimes I get a mean craving for Thai food. When that happens, my go-to place is Wheel of Life in Irvine. The best part for me is that it’s vegan. This is one of the few restaurants that I’ve come across that offers meat substitutes of surprisingly good texture and flavor. 

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

“Beef” Broccolli

Whether you are a vegan/vegetarian or meat eater, Wheel of Life is sure to please all types of palates. My family’s favorite dishes are the Pad Thai, Orange Chicken, and Beef Brocolli. For a special treat on nights when no one feels like cooking, I’ll order takeout and enjoy dinner at home. You might have to double order the Orange Chicken. At my home, that dish is the first to go! If I plan ahead, I make rice at home. On spur of the moment nights, I’ll order rice with my takeout. If you have a large family, I recommend ordering extra everything as their portions are on the small side.

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Pad Thai

Vegan Thai Restaurant in OC: Wheel of Life

Orange “Chicken”

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Looking for a vegan restaurant in OC? I recommend Freesoul Caffe. Located in the heart of Old Town Tustin, this cozy restaurant offers an array of foods, using only 100% natural, plant-based ingredients. This includes no eggs, honey, or dairy products of any kind. You’ll discover all kinds of healthy entrees, soups, organic salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, pizzas and tasty desserts. Bring your hungry tummy and prepare to be happy! 

I enjoy the relaxed vibe of this place so much. Next time I’m bringing my laptop and getting some writing done at Freesoul Caffe! It’s the perfect place to enjoy an almond milk latte and chia pudding with berries (my absolute favorite dish!) for breakfast or their colorful plate of roasted cauliflower (not pictured, sorry I ate it too fast) and miso ramen for lunch or dinner. They also have an almond milk matcha latte which is so delightful. Another delicious veggie plate is their charred brussels sprouts with Medjool dates, garlic, chili flakes, vinaigrette. Those are my favorite things to eat when I have to opportunity to go. On a cool evening, ask for their chili. You will be surprised how good all of their dishes taste and it’s all plant-based. Whether you are a new or seasoned vegan or vegetarian or one who likes to enjoy a healthy meal, this place is for you. It’s great for some quality time with a girlfriend or a date night. (Side note: if you have any nut allergies, please consult with your server. Lots of vegan foods have nut ingredients.)

vegan restaurant OC Freesoul Caffe

My favorite!!! The chia pudding with fresh berries.

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It’s been over a year since our family has lasted dined at Din Tai Fung at South Coast Plaza. Since we all decided to go vegetarian last summer, we have narrowed down our eating out options to our favorite vegan and vegetarian restaurants. We used to enjoy the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung. Those soup dumplings are all the rage. You can watch the dumplings being made fresh by their staff though a viewing window. It looks like a clean room with laboratory technicians in their white coats making the dumplings. We used to get so excited when the servers were heading towards our table circular bamboo trays in hand, with the steam rising out. Those little morsels were our favorite… until we gave up meat. Needless to say, we haven’t eaten there since. Until…. we had show to attend recently at the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center across the street. Whenever we were in that area, Din Tai Fung was our stop. Hmmm. “What if we had dinner at Din Tai Fung before the show?” We hoped that there would be vegetarian options there, and we were so happy that Din Tai Fung did not disappoint!

Vegetarian Options at Din Tai Fung South Coast Plaza #MeatlessMonday

We started with the Fried Vegetarian Noodles – tasty!

Vegetarian Options at Din Tai Fung South Coast Plaza #MeatlessMonday

Vegetarian Dumplings – If you know the scrumptiously soft texture of Din Tai Fung’s fresh-made soup dumplings, then you will find the Vegetarian Dumplings to be just as satisfying! 

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BEST Watermelon Margarita at Cha-cha's Latin Kitchen

The BEST watermelon margarita EVER at Cha-cha’s Latin Kitchen!  Go get one now!  All of their signature cocktails look amazing made with fresh ingredients; but our server enthusiastically recommended the Watermelon Margarita as her absolute favorite drink.  Don’t you guys love servers with opinions and good knowledge of the menu?  I do!  And she did not steer us wrong!  This was hands down the most delicious watermelon margarita ever!  I am usually a straight forward margarita gal, Cadillac or skinny margarita, on rocks.  I hate the syrupy store bought sour mixes that give a margarita that artificial flavor, and the fruity ones are usually the worst offenders made with prepackaged fruit juice or nectar.  But a well made margarita is a thing of beauty!  You can try to avoid bad margaritas by asking just a few questions.  I usually ask if the sour mix is house made, and if the mix is freshly squeezed lime/lemon/orange juices.  If ordering a fruity mix, is it freshly blended real fruit?  

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Nothing says summer like seafood and beer!  Here is a Mexican twist to that great combo:  Mariscos Mocorito serves Sinaloa style seafood dishes just down the street in Orange.

Mexican Seafood and Micheladas in the OC

If you have never been to a Mexican seafood place, then here are a few pointers and recommendations; and if you have, then come try Mocorito and let me know if you agree or if you have any other favorites.  First, you get a basket of crunchy tostada chips and saltine crackers, with a side of salsa and lime when you sit down.   View Post