The Loving Hut | Tasting notes
It’s ironic that a takeover from a spiritual idol can suck the soul right out of a restaurant, but that’s essentially what happened with Alice & Friends Vegetarian Cafe. It was no secret that its owners have long been followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai, but recently the controversial multimillionairess has brought the restaurant into her Loving Hut fold, an international chain of vegan franchises that contribute funds back to the Master herself. So how’s the Master’s food? Actually, exactly the same. The thing with Loving Hut chains is that they’re typically existing restaurants that keep the same menu, acquire a new name and undergo a face-lift that, in Alice’s case, replaces any former coziness with a stark decor that amounts to eating in a dentist’s office. Regardless, North Side vegans are still likely to get their meatless bibimbop and mandoo fix here (although the popular unchicken drumsticks and smoked veggie unduck have mysteriously disappeared). Though if you’re looking for flavorful Korean fare, there are plenty of other options around town that won’t remind you to get that cavity filled. 5812 N Broadway, 773-275-8797.