When I realized Loving Hut was a chain, I looked it up online and there are some strange aspects to the company. It was founded by one Supreme Master Ching Hai, a Vietnamese lady who is a spiritual leader with a large following in Taiwan and meditation centers throughout the world, including the U.S. It's a very odd story, and it would have really put me off if I'd gotten any cultish vibe at the restaurant (at the Phoenix location, apparently, there is a video loop of this Supreme Master, and I would have left immediately).
However, at the Naples location there is no hint of Loving Hut's odd origins. It is an attractive, quietly sophisticated restaurant. My husband and daughter are ovo-lacto vegetarians, and my son and I are open-minded omnivores, so we decided to give it a try after reading good Yelp reviews. The food was absolutely wonderful. (I only took off one star because I'm not sure what my patronage is supporting).
The mango and strawberry smoothies were both delicious. You can taste the soy milk in them, which I enjoy. The service had been a little slow, so we didn't try any appetizers, but our entrees were also very enjoyable. My daughter had the Pho and my husband had the Bun Hue. Both were noodle-based soups with meat substitutes and various forms of vegetables, but their broths were completely different - the Pho had a fascinating 5-spice flavor, while the Bun Hue tasted of lemongrass; both tasted great. I had the pumpkin curry, also delicious.
Best of all, my somewhat pickier son just wanted a huge plate of noodles with a little sauce, and they accommodated him with no problem.
One last word about the desserts - we had the mocha chocolate cake and the pandan cake, and both were worthy of a French patisserie, just delectable! And all without dairy or eggs. We'll definitely be back, maybe even tomorrow night...
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