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Jan 23, 2013 12:57 PM

Low Sodium Dining in the SFV

Okay, so... I'm supposed to be limiting my sodium these days - hardest thing I've ever done, besides giving birth and that eventually ended.

Does anyone know of any specific restaurants in the valley that cater to low-sodium but TASTY dishes? Most of the time, I'm stuck with fresh veggies and fruits at home. Even chicken and fish have more sodium than you'd think unless you cook it at home.

Thank you in advance!


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  1. Low-sodium restaurant dining is incredibly difficult, but not impossible. You can usually manage at places that offer fresh grilled fish if you request that they not salt the fish at all. Same goes for steak. I'd avoid ordering poultry unless you're positive they don't use meat that has been treated with any sort of brine or salt solution.

    Chop Stop in Burbank & Encino has one low-sodium salad on their menu - the "Wasabi Veggie Chop" - and I imagine that has a lot to do with the dressing. So you might be able to try some of their other offerings with that dressing or your own.

    I haven't been to Full O'Life in Burbank, but it looks like they would have some options for you.

    SunCafe in Studio City would work if you like raw vegan.

    Madeleine Bistro is probably an option once they return to normal operating hours (apparently they're closed right now while they open a westside location).

    Hugo's Restaurant in Studio City is really accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions. You might want to talk to the manager about whether or not they have a few dishes that you can eat. If it helps, I can tell you that I'm *extremely* salt-sensitive so I always order carefully and request minimal to no salt on my food, and I've never had a problem with Hugo's.

    I hope that helps!

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      obliquely related to goodhealthgourmet's post:

      keep in mind that much of the poultry that is sold as "fresh" poultry in the market, has been brined or marinated or shot up with sodium-containing solutions before ever arriving at the grocery store.

      (i've had the experience of calling Jenny O to ask them about what their turkey contained when i was cooking dinner for a friend who had kidney disease.
      my question to Jenny O was, "what products of yours do not contain any additives that contain sodium or phosphorus?"
      Jenny O's answer to me, "None.")

      i'd bet dollars to doughnuts that the story is the same for the poultry destined for the restaurant business.
      the sodium gives the poultry a longer shelf life.

      also, basically you can forget about any meat or poultry found in a deli case. on occasion you can find "low sodium" deli products, but if you actually look at the sodium content, it really isn't low sodium, it's just lower sodium than the other deli products.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        While I'm sure Hugo's can be healthy, I wouldn't call it tasty, based on my limited experience. I've only been twice, but I found it bizarrely bland both times (how can pico de gallo and sour cream be made to taste bland?) both times. The ingredients do seem to be relatively high-quality, but I can't say that I want to go back.... Still, the breadth of their menu and their apparent ability to cater to a low-sodium request might trump taste....

        1. re: ilysla

          +1, ilyasia.
          despite my MANY food peculiarities, (the ones that i'm always desperately trying to accommodate),

          even though Hugo's, on paper at least, could accommodate said peculiarities,
          i simply can't stand the non-taste aspect.
          cardboard is tastier.

          1. re: westsidegal

            Hugo's is good for brunch, but not much else.

            1. re: SherlockNoms

              Maybe that's the key as I've only ever had breakfast & brunch food there.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Alas, those are the only meals I've ever had at Hugo's.... =(

            2. re: westsidegal

              Hugo's is one of the most over-rated restaurants in Weho or sherman oaks. Its healthiness factor is close to zero.
              Its taste factor is not much higher.
              And do not for a moment think those pumpkin pancakes are anything healthful, but they are good!

        2. You might check out Follow Your Heart Market & Cafe and see if it meets your criteria for low sodium but tasty:

          1. What counts as "low sodium" for you?

            1. Supposed to stay under 2000mg a day. I miss pickles.

              1 Reply