Gluten Free Avenger’s top Gluten Free Los Angeles restaurant picks. Food allergies are never easy. This is even more so when you want to go out with friends and need to find a place that your friends will love and that will serve you something more substantial than a simple dinner salad. I learned that I had gluten intolerance and a wheat allergy in 2007, well before gluten free was so common. It used to be such an ordeal to go out to eat that sometimes I would just meet friends after dinner so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. Too many times my friends didn’t know how to find a place that would accommodate my allergies, which made for a few awkward moments. Like the time a good friend of mine took me to a famous family style Italian restaurant in New York City and there was literally nothing I could eat, even the salad dressing had wheat in it. I was so hungry and frustrated I almost cried.
Luckily, things have changed in a big way, especially in these friendly gluten free Los Angeles restaurants! More and more restaurants will adjust their menus to accommodate different food allergies or in some cases have entirely separate menus. While it’s very nice when a restaurant tries to accommodate my allergy by offering gluten free pasta or gluten free bread, it’s not something I search for when I go out to eat. Ultimately, I like restaurants with great food and ambience so I can enjoy eating out with friends. I also added some brunch and happy hour favorites for you too.
Here are my Top 10 Gluten Free Los Angeles Restaurants, in no particular order:
- Mar’Sel– I love this restaurant. First the scenery is amazing to say the least. Second the food is excellent and they bend over backwards to make items gluten free. They even gave me gluten free bread with my meal, which was a complete surprise. It may be a bit pricey, but it’s well worth the drive and expense for a special dinner.
- Nobu Malibu – There are so many delicious gluten free options on this menu, including the absolutely amazing miso glazed black cod which is one of their most popular dishes. Also, they always have tamari (gluten free soy sauce) on hand so you don’t have to bring your own.
- Ivy at the Shore – They have a gluten free menu and can make many of their pasta dishes either with risotto or gluten free pasta. I prefer going to the Santa Monica location because of its proximity to the beach but the West Hollywood location is just as good. My favorite items on the menu are the chilled artichoke, chicken enchiladas and swordfish tacos.
- Toca Madera – This is a new-ish Mexican restaurant on the West Hollywood scene. They have very cool drinks and I’m a big fan of their tacos, especially the chicken and short rib tacos. YUM! The flan for desert is not a bad way to end the meal either.
- BOA – You might be asking yourself why is a steakhouse on this list?! Well, sometimes the steak preparations, sides or sauces can have gluten in them. With the gluten free menu at BOA there isn’t much that’s off limits and the s’mores for desert is probably my favorite part.
- Bouchon – French bistros can be tough for gluten allergies, but this is a great place to go for brunch on Sunday and you have so many yummy options, from an omelet to
steak and eggs. I’m not usually a big fan of brunch but when I do it this is the only place I go.
- Cardamom – Like many ethnic foods, several Indian dishes are naturally gluten free…or at least they should be. This restaurant doesn’t add gluten where it isn’t needed, and best of all the food is great! I’m especially fond of the Shrimp Tandoori and the Chicken Biryani.
- Caffe Roma – This place is a happy hour gem. Unlike so many happy hour places that only serve cheap fried or breaded foods, you can eat amazingly clean and gluten free on the happy hour menu. The gluten free options include great salads, grilled octopus and chicken skewers.
- Little Doms – This is a fantastic Los Feliz hideaway. You can get delicious salads, fish and meat dishes and don’t forget the gluten free Tagiatelle.
- ROC Kitchen [no website, but here’s a link to their Google Profile]- You can finally eat that Chinese food you’ve been craving. This restaurant has GF indicators on the menu and there are a surprising number of items. My favorite thing on the menu is the Dungeness Crab Fried Rice.
So there you have it! The Gluten Free Avenger Top 10 Gluten Free Los Angeles Restaurants, where you won’t be stuck with just salad…unless you want one. Do you have any favorite gluten free Los Angeles restaurants that I missed? Please let me know in the comments below.