It was a big moment for vegans in Orange County when Eat Love opened a permanent restaurant location in Fountain Valley yesterday!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get this vegan fried chicken to be served at Plaza Inn at Disneyland?! Let’s all write emails, and stop at City Hall while in the park, to let them know that we want that! If you have a moment, please use this link to write a polite and positive email to Disneyland to let them know that Eat Love chick’n would be a perfect addition to the Plaza Inn menu!
I have had some of their food from their truck at various vegan festivals before, but they are always so popular that the lines get so long, and they tend to sell out pretty quick, so you can imagine how excited I was when they announced that they are opening a permanent location where you can get your vegan fried chicken without having to wait for a festival to come around! They invited me to come check out the new menu on the first day!
The address is 17870 Newhope Street, Suite 103, Fountain Valley, CA, in case it doesn’t show up in Google maps yet, since it’s brand new! It is a short drive from Disneyland, only 12 miles.
Here are the hours:
Friday and Saturday: 11am-10pm
I didn’t even realize this until today, but you can also order from their website for delivery! And they also do catering. Now I’m trying to think of an event to plan just so that I can order buckets and buckets of vegan fried chicken!
Their fried chicken is made with seitan. Here is the allergen information from their website:
Allergens: Our house-made chick’n is made with gluten, almonds, garlic & very small traces of soy sauce.
Base Ingredients: Gluten, Whole Wheat, Almond Milk, and many secret spices.
If you have questions on specific ingredients, you can email them to ask.
Their vegan fried chick’n has become their most iconic dish, but they have tons of other dishes as well. Here is what is on their restaurant menu:
Breakfast (served all day):
- Breakfast Biscuit: Vegan buttermilk biscuit filled with house-made fried chick’n, bacon, Just Egg, and vegan cheese. $14
- Hash & Dash Burrito: House-made fried chick’n, tater tots, vegan cheese, Just Egg wrapped in a flour tortilla. $14
- Chick’n and Waffles: House-made chick’n, crispy golden Belgian Waffle. $15
- Buffalo Fries: House-made fried chick’n, fries, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing. $15
- Chix & Stix: House-made chick’n with nutzarella sticks (by Nodoh) with ranch dressing. $15
- Chick’n Mac-n-Cheeze Bowl: House-made chick’n, mac-n-cheeze and chipotle sauce. $10
- Chick’n Kale Salad: Kale & spring mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, avocado, house-made fried chick’n topped with house-made croutons & ranch dressing. $15
- Chick’n Caesar Salad: Romaine heart leaves & spring mixed greens with house-made croutons. $14
- Fiesta Salad: Spring mix & spinach, shredded carrot, black beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, avocado, with chipotle dressing. $15
(Add extra piece of chick’n for $3)
- Self Love: 3 pieces of house-made fried chick’n (1 side included), feeds up to 2. $15
- Give Love: 6 pieces of house-made fried chick’n (1 side included), feeds up to 3. $29
- Share Love: 8 pieces of house-made fried chick’n (2 sides included), feeds up to 4. $36
- Family Love: 12 pieces of house-made fried chick’n (3 sides included), feeds up to 6. $48
- Coleslaw. $4
- Kaleslaw. $4
- Sweet Corn. $3
- Mac-N-Cheeze. $6
- Potato Salad. $6
- House Salad. $6
- Caesar Salad. $6
- Waffle Fries. $4
- Tater Tots. $5
- Corn Bread. $4
- Biscuits with Apple Butter. $4
- Roasted Garlic Mash Potatoes. $4
(Add fries & soft drink, lemonade, or iced tea for $4)
- Chick’n Lovers Sandwich. House-made fried chick’n, lettuce, tomatoes, vegan cheese on a toasted bun. $13
- Hot Chick Sandwich: Spicy house-made fried chick’n, spicy mayo & pickles. $13
- Bee-Free Sandwich: House-made fried chick’n, lettuce, tomatoes, vegan cheese, house-made bee-free honey mustard sauce on a toasted bun. $13
- California Love Sandwich: House-made fried chick’n, bacon, avocado, chipotle sauce.
- Chick’n Littles: Chick’n nuggets, fresh fruit, drink. $6
- Mylo’s Meal: GF grilled cheese, fresh fruit, drink. $6 (Mylo’s Meal – 100% of proceeds from these meals will go to a different autism charity every month)
- Ice Cream Sandwich. $10
- Cookie. $4 (100% of the funds from one cookie flavor will be donated to a different animal charity every month.)
- Brownie. $5
- UFO. $12
- Minteor. $12
- Pizookie. $12
- Cobbler. $9
- Slice of Cake. $10
- Soft drink. $4
- Fresh Lemonade. $4
- Ice Tea. $4
- Hard Kombucha
So that is the menu, on to the photos! I had a couple of friends with me to help me eat, so I was able to try a few different things!
First, the iconic chick’n bucket! This is the Self Love, the 3 piece bucket. It comes with waffle fries on the bottom as well.
The chick’n is so satisfyingly crunchy, it is hard to describe. The breading and spices and the seitan and everything come together so beautifully. It comes with various dipping sauces — I had the bbq and it was fantastic! Just sweet enough, and nicely smoky.
If you typically don’t eat very much salt, the chick’n might seem salty to you, but for those who eat an average amount of salt, it would probably seem under-salted if it had any less salt.
It is fried chick’n, so there is obviously a lot of oil involved, but it’s not overly greasy — the perfect amount of oil in my opinion.
By the way, I get a lot of comments and messages on Instagram whenever I post anything with oil, so I should address it here — obviously oil is not a health food, but veganism is primarily about animals, not about health, so there is no requirement for vegan food to be healthy. As we move toward a vegan world, we need to have vegan options of every type of food, both healthy and less healthy, because we need to appeal to everyone’s diverse tastes and moods. Some days I prefer to eat more nutrient dense whole foods, and other days I just feel like treating myself with some vegan junk food, and there should be no judgement about that.
Vegan fried chick’n is a super important step in catering to everyone’s tastes and moods, and complaining about how it is not healthy only harms animals by making veganism look like a not fun group to belong to and dissuading potential vegans from joining.
I also get comments and messages often about how plant-based meats are only for those who are transitioning, but not for “real vegans.” I’ve been vegan for four years and I love plant-based meats and cheeses of all kinds, and I have friends who have been vegan for over 20 years and also enjoy plant-based meats and cheeses regularly. No one is more or less vegan based on whether they eat plant-based meat. Animals do not care whether our food is healthy, or whether it mimics meat; they only care that we don’t eat them.
Next up is this epic sandwich! I chose the California Love Sandwich because it has vegan bacon and avocado on it! The bacon is from All Vegetarian and it is the best vegan bacon I’ve had! So savory and smoky and just the right amount of salty!
The fried chick’n goes amazingly with the chipotle sauce! So good. I can’t wait to try the Bee-Free Sandwich with the vegan honey mustard sauce, and of course the Hot Chick Sandwich, the spicy version as well! I lived in Nashville for 5 years, so Nashville Hot Chicken was a big deal (there are vegan restaurants there that do amazing vegan versions), so whenever I see anything that resembles Nashville Hot Chicken, I’m all over it!
Next up we have the Hash & Dash Burrito! I don’t think I’ve ever had fried chick’n in a burrito before, so it never occurred to me that it was something I needed in my life, but after the first bite, I realized what had been missing from all the burritos I’d had before!
In addition to the fried chick’n, it has tater tots, vegan cheese, and Just Egg. Such an epic burrito! I feel like this would satisfy even the most staunch “carnivore.”
Speaking of self-professed “carnivores,” I think that Eat Love is one of the best vegan restaurants in Southern California to bring that type of person to open their minds about vegan food. All of their recipes I’ve tried are so well executed and I can’t imagine a meat-eater not thinking they were delicious. They might not be 100% indistinguishable from the animal flesh versions, but they are just as delicious, if not more delicious, and I think that anyone who likes fried chicken would be super impressed by Eat Love.
Keep an eye out for a new blog post where I summarize the best vegan restaurants and restaurants with extensive vegan options in Orange County! I’ve been meaning to do that for a while, and I should have some time coming up to put that together.