We found this restaurant solely based on TripAdvisor reviews, and it's no wonder - it's really a bit of a hole in the wall, and not on the typical tourist route. A few blocks from the heart of (the small) Chinatown, Lotus Pond seems to cater more to people looking for alternative foods than those looking for typical Chinese food. There were no Asians eating at the restaurant while we were there, and it seemed we may have been the only tourists as well. It actually looked like a favored spot for locals looking for vegan food.
We had the special combo meals, which you need to look for on the last page of the menu. It's funny - it seemed to cost the same to get some of the standard dishes as it did to get those same dishes with soup and spring rolls. Go figure. The fancier specialty items weren't available in this excellent combo deal, which is the only drawback.
We ordered the sweet and sour soup, which was good, if a bit strongly-flavored (i.e., not finely spiced), and the spring rolls were excellent. The main dishes we had were the Buddha stirfry (a standard Chinese vegetarian dish) and the soyapork (we thought this would be one of the things to try at a vegan Chinese restaurant). The Buddha dish was good, with lots of vegetables, although it had only a few pieces of gluten, which would be the one thing that made it unique from other restaurants (and the only protein in the dish). We noticed that actually finding options on the menu with a good portion of gluten was hard, and overheard other patrons saying the same thing. The soyapork was, well, amusing. It's basically little balls of fake pork cooked into a sweet doughnut hole. We ate a bit of it and then took it home. I'd almost suggest ordering it as a dessert for a table. Anyone who eats a whole plate of these fried fake pork balls is definitely going to feel a bit uncomfortable!
I'll also mention the service - all of the servers (several waited on us) seemed to be of Chinese descent and knew the food very well, although their English was not perfect. But they were extremely courteous and answered all of our questions as best they could.
One tip: they don't take your payment at the table. We waited about 10 minutes with our credit card out until we waved down the server, who told us to go to the cash register. I don't think they were being rude - just the way they do things.
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