Saturday, May 7, 2011

Buddhist Lunch in Chinatown

 The Bird's Nest at Lucky Creation in San Francisco

Chef: Colleen and Lucky Creation

The Menu: The best wonton soup on the planet; shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, and tofu over noodles; sautéed vegetables over a fried-noodle nest; and an eggplant claypot

The Goods: Of all the veg restaurants in San Francisco, I have been going to Lucky Creation longer than any. Back in the late 90s when I lived in SF's North Beach neighborhood, I would stop by this Buddhist-run, hole-in-the-wall Chinatown vegan eatery for a hot bowl of soup or a plate of vegetables over steamed rice. I could walk out having spent no more than $7, and the food was always fresh and delicious. Fast forward 14 years, I relish any opportunity to eat at Lucky, and, thankfully, it has become my mom and her partner's favorite San Francisco restaurant as well. So, yesterday, when they came up for a visit, we immediately headed to Chinatown for lunch at this veggie institution. On order were all of our favorites, including the most sumptuous bowl of won ton soup (freshly made won ton purses filled with mushrooms, carrots, and water chestnuts in a chrysanthemum flower broth), the "Bird's Nest" (a medley of Chinese mushrooms, broccoli, snap peas, and ginkgo nuts over a fried noodle ring), and my mom's all-time favorite, the #11 (shiitake mushrooms, tofu, and bok choy over noodles). In accordance with Buddhist tradition, no onion or garlic is used at Lucky, but the flavors of the food are so stellar that you don't even think about. Have a great weekend everyone—eat lots of great vegan food!

Lucky's wonton soup, featuring wonton bundles filled with mushrooms, carrots, and water chestnuts

The rich, stewed Eggplant Claypot with tofu and carrots


Claire Gosse said...

That eggplant stew looks delicious.

VegNews Magazine said...

Claire, the eggplant tastes even better than it looks. You have to try it!