HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice

Hold the salt...

creamfinger Dec 31, 2008 11:49 PM

I recently got a bit of a cardiac wake-up call and my doctor has me on low sodium diet. No more than 2000 milligrams of sodium a day. To give you an idea of how little salt that is, a can of Healthy Choice Vegetable Soup has over 900 mg of sodium. Remember, I only get 2000 mg for the whole day.

Eating at home is no problem, but I love to eat out and now that has become a real challenge.

So here is my question. Does anyone have a similar problem? If so, have you found any restaurants in LA that do low sodium cooking? I've found that simply asking waiters to have the salt omitted isn't working.

I will take ANY recommendations. Any cuisine. Any area (although I do live in the SFV).

  1. raytamsgv Jan 5, 2009 11:10 AM

    "Low sodium" is relative. Many restaurants have dishes with enough sodium to last you for days, Basically, order dishes that are made from scratch. Here are some pointers:

    1. Avoid soups or anything with lots of broth. These are typically prepared with pre-seasoned stock.
    2. Avoid tomato sauces or ketchup unless they are fresh.
    3. Avoid marinated meats. The marinades often use lots of salt and/or MSG.
    4. Avoid dishes with sauces.
    5. If you like fast food restaurants, you can order fries without salt, even at the chain restaurants. They will fry a fresh batch for you. This is great even if you like salt--you're always guaranteed freshly-fried fries (you can add your own salt later).
    6. At Chinese restaurants, tell them that you don't want MSG and you want less salt.

    1. m
      MarlaPR Jan 2, 2009 02:09 PM

      Any place that cooks to order should be able to do salt free. Spago's, Valentino's, Frachie, etc.... All do beautiful, creative saltfree meals. I've been on a salt free diet for over 25 years, and the place I eat best is in Europe because they use unsalted butter, and unsalted stocks to make sauces. Also, a fine website is healthyheartmarket.com
      which has unsalted pickles and gobs of other wonders to perk up your food. Good Luck!!

      3 Replies
      1. re: MarlaPR
        Emme Jan 2, 2009 09:22 PM

        in addition, Grace and La Cachette will easily accommodate requests.

        i'll also throw in Eat Well, Jack Sprat's Grille, and M Cafe de Chaya.
        in the valley, HealthyCA, the Dressing Room (since you can customize and choose your ingredients), and The Good Earth.

        in the valley, you could go to King's FishHouse and get charbroiled fish with steamed veggies and a dry baked potato. something similar can also be had at Ruth's Chris.

        1. re: Emme
          Servorg Jan 3, 2009 02:56 AM

          Even the Daily Grill out in Studio City will do a very plain grilled fish and steamed veggies plate, which I have had plenty of times.

          1. re: Emme
            Chowpatty Jan 5, 2009 12:53 PM

            Really, M Cafe? Most of their food is pre-made and what I like about it is that it has plenty of flavor, much of which I suspect comes from liberally salting the food.

        2. ipsedixit Jan 1, 2009 12:59 PM

          Aun Deli in Pasadena.


          1. b
            bulavinaka Jan 1, 2009 07:11 AM

            While not in the SFV, this thread on, "A Curious Palate," drew some conversation about the issue of salt.


            I wish you good health and good fortune in 2009!

            1. westsidegal Jan 1, 2009 06:15 AM

              for having a nice fish dinner with 'normal' side dishes, i'd try Grill on the Alley.

              1. Servorg Jan 1, 2009 04:32 AM

                You might give these guy's a call and see what they say about your need for very low salt. They pride themselves on healthy, organic ingredients and they say they will work to cook to your needs.


                Also: http://www.followyourheart.com/ is a possible source for your needs.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Servorg
                  Servorg Jan 1, 2009 01:17 PM

                  Another thought might be Hugo's in Studio City. They offer organic and a lot of healthy options and might well be willing to give you little or no salt.


                  1. re: Servorg
                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 1, 2009 02:00 PM

                    Hugo's is a great call. and really, for a lot of restaurants, it's mostly dependent on ordering properly - some dishes are obviously easier to make without salt. you can always ask to have grilled fish or chicken, steamed or grilled veggies, or salads prepared without it.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      Servorg Jan 1, 2009 05:21 PM

                      One last place comes to mind that would probably be willing to accommodate the OP's low/no salt needs: A Votre Sante in Brentwood.


                      A Votre Sante
                      13016 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                      1. re: Servorg
                        Emme Jan 2, 2009 08:53 PM

                        i was going to suggest this along with hugo's and sante la brea. :)

                Show Hidden Posts