Pre-Pageant dinner -- Laguna Beach -- dietary restrictions
My mom and step-dad are coming to visit me in LA this week and (gulp) and meeting my boyfriend for the first time. The four of us are going down to Laguna for the Pageant (My mom and I have been to the Pageant a few times before--this will be the first time for both my step-dad and my boyfriend.) We need a good restaurant in Laguna Beach for a pre-Pageant dinner.
Dietary Restrictions: My mom is gluten-sensitive, my step-dad is gluten and dairy sensitive, therefore we need a restaurant that can easily leave out those ingredients. Neither parent is technically allergic so we don't need a strictly gluten- or dairy-free environment (in other words, we don't need a raw vegan restaurant! :)
A place that has good animal protein/produce choices would be terrific and will please all of us.
Due to dietary restrictions listed above combined with cuisine preferences:
NO--> Sushi, Asian, Mexican, pizza/pasta or sandwich focused menus, no divey places, no 5 star super
Good solid food in a nice environment would be terrific. Farm-to-table would be a plus.
MUST be open on a SUNDAY as we are going on SUN AUG 12
MUST be -IN- Laguna Beach, we're going to park the car once and walk around, take trolley (please, no suggestions in "nearby" cities)
I have always enjoyed Sundried Tomato Cafe. While they have a lot of Italian, they do have fish and meat dishes which I enjoy. They are at the end of the town closer to the Pagent, so walking between the two is a bit easier. I rarely have problem getting a table there, whereas the rest of Laguna can be a bit busier.
Nirvana Grille is just down the street from the Pageant, and I know they have a gluten-free menu. They try to be responsible about sourcing their ingredients. If you call them for a reservation, you may want to ask about dairy-free menu items that you think may work for your step-dad. My daughter is allergic to dairy and she was able to eat their roast chicken (no sauce) without any problems. I think we had to ask for no-dairy in the prep for the accompanying vegetables.
I'm a fan of the Nirvana Grill located in Mission Viejo. Same owners, same exec. chef. Enough variety in the menu to probably please everyone. I agree w/empfam, a call to inquire about dairy/gluten-lite options may be wise. Too bad, to. You'll probably have to skip the goat cheese vanilla ice cream w/pineapple. My fave dessert of theirs. Attentive service and a cozy 'special night out' ambiance.