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Sep 18, 2007 04:25 PM

Gluten-free AND good?

I am recently gluten-free, and my husband and I will be spending a day on the westside (eating mostly) to celebrate our anniversary. I don't want to focus on all our favorite places that I can't eat -- so where can we enjoy great food that is also gluten-free, no dairy, eggs, or soy? Thanks in advance...

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  1. Can you qualify your definition of "Westside" so this thread doesn't turn into another geographic flame war. People who live in Hollywood generally think of Santa Monica/Venice as the Westside. But people who live in San Gabriel, for example, might include Culver City, Westwood, West LA, Beverly Hills and even West Hollywood.

    9 Replies
    1. re: wutzizname

      I was thinking culver city, westwood, west la, beverly hills, but I am open to nearby places (as far as santa monica/venice if we have to).

      1. re: twopyros

        Good, well, Angelini Osteria is not only one of the best (if not THE best, opinions vary) Italians in the city, it is also entirely gluten-free. There's no better way to celebrate your anniversay and new diet.

        Angelini Osteria
        7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

        1. re: wutzizname

          wow! never knew angelini was gluten free. very cool.

          1. re: wilafur

            God I hope I'm right. I just know that a friend tried to convince me of that after I ate there and I refused to believe it until he showed it to me somewhere in print...though I don't remember where.

            1. re: wutzizname

              Gluten free classic Italian pasta ???
              You must be kidding.

              1. re: RicRios

                I know, I know. That's what I thought.

                Did I dream this?

                1. re: wutzizname

                  are you sure you're not thinking of fritto misto in santa monica? they're known for serving gluten-free pasta...but i have a hard time believing angelini osteria does.

                  although if it's true, i'll be one VERY happy celiac :)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet


                    I have the most vivid memory of arguing with someone about the impossibility of this, and then being shocked when they "proved" it to me somewhere in print. But an exhaustive search of the web leads me to believe that I may have literally dreamt the entire exchange. Quite strange considering I have little knowledge of and no personal investment in the gluten-free lifestyle.

                    Lest someone can rally to my rescue, I must offer my sincerest apology to twopyros and the lot.

                    By way of atonement (for those who recognize the season) allow me to tender this tidbit as a future offering:

                    Babycakes, an acclaimed New York based gluten-free bakery is slotted to open here in L.A., on the corner of Beverly and Spalding (four blocks east of Fairfax). And this I can substantiate. The coming soon banner is hung from the roof.

                    It won't work for your anniversary of course, but I'll leave the rest of those recs to the more gluten-free experts, the ones without the egg on their face.

                    1. re: wutzizname

                      well, the effort is still much appreciated. after reading your post last night, i, too, performed an exhaustive google search, and came up with nothing. hey, it was a lovely fantasy while it lasted.

                      regarding babycakes, i've read just as many negative as positive reviews of their offerings...which, in all honesty, is no disappointment to me, seeing as they'll likely be my company's biggest competitor! plus, it means less damage to the waistline :)

                      anyway, thanks again for the thoughtful effort and good intentions. never fear, your ch cred remains completely intact.

    2. how about going to the grill on the alley and getting chicken or steak with a salad and a side of rice or corn?

      1 Reply
      1. re: westsidegal

        you can eat a good gluten-free meal at pretty much any upscale steak or seafood place, you just have to be sure to ask if they dust their steaks with flour before cooking. MANY places do, but would never think to mention it. [much like the way places often use chicken stock as a base for vegetable soup, but don't realize that poses a problem for unsuspecting vegetarians.]

        here's a thought for a nice, relaxed lunch...get a table outside and have salads at the ivy at the shore in santa monica. the grilled veggie salad has always been my one reason for going there [it's topped with either grilled chicken or shrimp], but on my most recent visit my friend ordered one with beets & cheese...i think it may have been some sort of cobb salad, and it was also delicious.

        both salads are absolutely gluten-free - i've confirmed with servers & management more than once. HOWEVER, if you do go, ask about the dressing because i never get it. just a squeeze of lemon & drizzle of balsamic and i'm in heaven.

        they also have great unsweetened brewed iced tea, and they do a beautiful fruit platter that makes a perfect light dessert when the fruits are in season.

        happy anniversary!

      2. Certainly the Newsroom Cafe has snacks and lunchy items (since you'll want nicer for dinner) to accommodate.

        Real Food Daily and Juliano's Raw have options.

        Second the Fritto Misto rec.

        Betcha Inn of the Seventh Ray could help out if you call in advance, as might La Cachette.

        For steakhouses, Ruth's Chris is a nice option.

        1. My husband and I took our friend who has celiac disease to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian churrascaria on La Cienega in Beverly Hills. It has a prix-fixe menu which includes a fabulous salad bar, a fantastic selection of fire roasted skewered beef, chicken, lamb and sausage along with various side dishes such as fried bananas, polenta and mashed potatoes. You can eat as much as you want. They have an extensive wine selection and scrumptious desserts. I don't know if the wonderful cheesy bread they serve is egg free but it is gluten free. We had a creme brulee which was the best one we've ever tasted...I know, you want to avoid dairy but I'm sure you could request something to your desire. Our waiter was incredibly helpful as was the restaurant manager when my friend notified them of her condition. The only caution is pace yourself there because the food is so filling and the salad bar and cheesy bread is so tempting!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jojoma

            I'm told the Sensitive Baker is phenomenal. If you join Yahoo Groups Los_Angeles_Celiac there are lots of recommendations re restaurants and grocers and products, however it seems to focus more on the Westside and the SFV. (Okay, so "westside" may not be the term everyone is comfortable with, I probably mean a larger area than that may imply for some.)

          2. Thank you all for your suggestions!