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Fish: Lent- and Paleo-free friendly near Brentwood (Friday lunch)

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Desparately need casual Friday lunch place has a decent fish option and is able to handle gluten- and grain-free request. No sushi/sashimi-only restaurants for this particular occasion.

I have already called Lemonade in Brentwood Village to see if their fish dishes have gluten. Thought I'd check for other options in the meantime.

The Larder at Tavern?

I'm checking out Restaurant 2117 on Sawtelle, it looks intriguing but I've never been there.

Any other thoughts?

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  1. Santa Monica Seafood cafe. They serve a beautiful grilled trout on a bed of fresh steamed spinach. I think there may be quinoa on that plate, but not certain. Anyway, Santa Monica Seafood is the first restaurant which came to mind.. Not much wheat there

    1. Sea Salt Fish Grill, Santa Monica Seafood and Blue Plate Oysterette all in Santa Monica come to mind. More expensive includes Water Grill and The Lobster.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Plus one for Sea Salt grill or Blue Plate Oysterette in Sa Mo.

        1. re: wienermobile

          These are all great options for subsequent Fridays coming up. Thanks!

        2. Hi Hounds -- so sorry, I should have been more specific. The suggestions in SaMo are all good ones that I will save for another time.

          There isn't a lot of time to drive tomorrow (this is a lunch meeting) so I'm looking for places close to/in Brentwood that are $ and $$ only, not $$$ ones. (There's not enough time to justify that "fancy" of a lunch.)

          12 Replies
          1. re: sablouwho

            Daily Grill doesn't have a plain piece of fish & greens?
            How about Farmshop? Problem there is its a limited menu, and if they're not serving something like that there, well you're s.o.l.

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              Farmshop is a great idea. You can look at the menu online.www.farmshopla.com
              Reservations are essential at lunch.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                Why do I always forget about the Daily Grill? I've only been to that particular location twice in the 13 years I've lived here, and only been to 2 other locations once each in that time. Thanks for reminding me. :)

                I like Farmshop very much. I find it's a splurge to eat on the restaurant side--things always really add up and I'm not sure my dining companion will feel comfortable with that -- BUT I am going to call and ask what is on the menu today and also look into the prepared foods case offerings for the day.

                1. re: sablouwho

                  They don't have daily specials. Suggest looking at the menu posted online and looking at lunch menu. You might also consider Cafe Brentwood at Barrington and Barrington Pl. Good food and outdoor seating on this beautiful day. Menu also posted online.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    The menu seems to change ever so slightly on a daily basis so I was thinking I might be lucky with some "non-meat protein" offered today. And the prepared foods case seems to vary a bit--I was hoping they might have their salmon rillette today...I've noticed it isn't offered every day. That said, I don't think my companion will want to have a sit down meal there given the pricing.

                    Cafe Brentwood? Do you mean the place right a few doors down from the restaurant that is just called "Brentwood"? I have never been there before...that is only a mile from where I live and it would def be easy to get to. Thanks, will look into it. (Would be nice to see a place in that location...if I thinking of the right space...that has some staying power!)

                    1. re: sablouwho

                      That's the one. Wide variety of menu items. I had a very good omelet with burratta and tomatoes recently. Good service. Food is same as Brentwood but cheaper.

                      1. re: maudies5

                        Great recommendation--thank you!

                        I see that they have the truffle bolognese on their menu. I loved that from Cora's (before I got the news that I'm better off w/o gluten and carbs). I can't eat the pasta anymore, of course, but maybe I will get lucky and they would be willing to serve the sauce to me on top of some veggies or something. Not today of course since I can't do meat, but...soon!

                        I am definitely going to go there!

                        Still debating about where to go today. I just realized Farmshop isn't nearly as spendy at lunch as it is at dinner so I am going to run it by my dining companion to see if it appeals to her. I really like it there a lot.

                        So many good choices in the area...the ones in SaMo are on my list for the near future.

                  2. re: sablouwho

                    Yes, I agree it's a splurge.....bordering on overpriced.

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      I think you mean Farmshop, right? I do like it there a lot but always finding that I wish I was there with a lot of people to I could share a bunch of appetizers--they all sound so...well, appetizing! But I'm usually there alone or with only other person, so I wind up ordering modestly because I don't want to wind up with sticker shock when my bill comes. And then the bill comes and I'm usually shocked anyway, lol.

                      I've only eaten on the restaurant side a few times. But I go often to the marketplace/deli. I like their charcuterie, cheese offerings quite a bit as well as some of their prepared foods.

                      1. re: sablouwho

                        Yes, right, I hear ya there!

                      2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        I'm replying to my own query to make mental note of the fact that Il Grano is also probably an option. I know some Hounds seem to like it better than others. I've only been a handful of times but have really enjoyed it there.

                        Dining companion is en route to me now...will be interesting to see which of these options she likes the most.

                        1. re: sablouwho

                          Oh that's another great idea..... Il Grano.

                2. Oh wow--just realized the major typo in my subject line. I meant Lent and Paleo FRIENDLY, not Paleo-free, lol (was thinking gluten- and grain-free friendly)

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: sablouwho

                    What is Paleo?

                    1. re: bringiton

                      Everyone does Paleo a little differently. I am doing what my nutritionist advised which is admittedly a modification of "pure" Paleo:

                      Basically I eat mostly organic, grass fed, and focus on animal proteins and non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds...and avoid gluten (found in wheat; barley; rye; traditional soy sauce because it's made with wheat; and many processed foods), grains (rice, corn, etc), legumes, and even some of the "pseudo-grains" (like quinoa) too, but for whatever reason I do ok with buckwheat. Experimenting with dairy to see whether I can/cannot tolerate it. I limit fruit because I'm finding I'm very sensitive to sugar.

                      It's animal protein/low carb/low starch/low sugar, in my case.

                      I feel a lot better. I am glad I did it though it's not for everyone. Mentally it was a big challenge, I thought I was going to feel deprived. It's turned out to be a lot less difficult than I thought since I was already doing the organic/grass-fed thing -- the big change was giving up starch/carbs and even "natural" sugars (like honey.)

                      Hope that helps.

                      1. re: sablouwho

                        Deprivation! That is what folks think being veggie involves;
                        actually it is the opposite. Vegetarianism is intelligently eliminating that which repels.

                    2. re: sablouwho

                      Paleo-free makes sense. Paleo is all about eating meat like our cave-man ancestors did. Lent is about abstaining from things like meat and dairy (at least in the traditional Lenten fast). So it would be hard to follow both. But you could practice what the Greeks call 'xerophagy', 'dry eating' - dried fruit, nuts, and plain boiled vegetables.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Paul--when I noticed the error in my subject line (I actually meant "Paleo-friendly," and not "Paleo-free") it was too late to edit it. I tried to fix it with a comment in a follow-up post but sounds like it may not have posted. Sorry for the confusing subject line!

                        I definitely have to stay Paleo for health reasons, even during Lent. But I still abstain from meat on Ash Wed and Lent Fridays.

                        One of these days I will do a pizza or pasta night during Lent, but make it Paleo.

                        I've got some tasty foccacia made out of almond flour that I get from Whole Foods -- it's a decent pizza substitute and would make a good Friday meal. Ditto for the kelp noodles I use as a pasta substitute. They're decent substitutes, many Hounds prob might not like them, they're admittedly not as good as the real deal but they're a suitable substitute for someone like me who can't do the real deal anymore. Good enough to satisfy a craving. :-)

                        1. re: paulj

                          I've never heard of abstaining from dairy during lent...only meat. That would totally suck for me if I could eat cheese as well, lol!

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            We were just talking about that in a thread about meat in Greece.

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                              Agree! Though I'm fearful I'm headed in that direction year-round if my no-dairy experiment has good results. I kind of almost don't want to know. :-)

                              Thanks again for your suggestions above! :)

                              1. re: sablouwho

                                Sure! Hope something worked out for you!

                              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                Its an Eastern Orthodox practice. During fasting periods no meat, dairy, fish, wine (alcohol), or olive oil may be consumed. There are modifications; during weekends olive oil and wine are allowed, and occasionally fish. There is even one night late in Lent when caviar is allowed, at least in the Russian church. Roughly half the year falls into some sort of fasting period. Makes for great cholesterol, but would not fit into a Paleo diet by any means.

                                1. re: ebethsdad

                                  Ah, I see. How very interesting! I am Roman Catholic, so I was not aware of the eastern orthodox's practices. Thanks for enlightening me!

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    As always you are very welcome. I have learned so much from you. If you have a chance to attend an Orthodox service the food is usually great afterwards (better in Greek than Russian). Fast then feast, the contrast is wonderful, especially the early morning meal after Easter (Pascha) services.

                                    1. re: ebethsdad

                                      Oh I adore Greek food....that would be fun! I've always wanted to go to that Hellenic festival. Maybe this will be the year.

                          2. Any of the restaurants owned by Houston's do fantastic fish options (e.g. I had a delicious grilled tuna burger at Gulfstream in Century City). They also do grilled fish very well. You could also try Hillstone or Cafe R&D in Santa Monica which are part of the same ownership, or South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bringiton

                              Hi bringiton~

                              Good thoughts re: Gulfstream and the entire Houston's portfolio of restaurants. I really enjoy each one for different reasons. The R+D Newporter Salad (I think that's what it's called) is delicious but alas I can't eat it today b/c of the chicken and the bacon!

                              I am now dreaming of Gulfstream's tomato soup...

                              1. re: bringiton

                                But they make you remove your HAT!

                              2. Lemonade in Brentwood is a good paleo-ish option BUT ridiculously bad acoustics unless you eat at the few outside tables. The Larder has a limited menu and it's ok food-wise, not great.

                                Restaurant 2117 has been there forever (15-20 years maybe?). I haven't been in quite a while. I guess they're still open for lunch. It is light French food cooked by a Japanese (maybe French-trained) owner-chef. It's quite good and used to be quite a deal price-wise. Worth trying, and would work with your dietary preference.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ThatPat

                                  Hi ThatPat~

                                  Ah, I never thought about the acoustics at Lemonade but I bet you're right. (I usually eat outside because it's cold inside!) I was thinking my friend might like it b/c she wants to "keep it healthy" with fish and veggies today (and she isn't gluten- and grain-free like I am, so she has a lot more options from their salad/veggie/pasta offerings than I do).

                                  I was kind of liking the idea of the Larder due to the informality of the place. I agree the options are limited but boy I love their cavolo nero sauteed kale, and they have a nice poached salmon in their cold case. And they have cheese...nom nom.

                                  Thank you for letting me know about Restaurant 2117. Somehow I never heard of this place until earlier this year, even though I've lived in LA, not all that far away from Sawtelle, since 2001. I keep forgetting to go there and somehow remembered about it for today. I love French food, and love Japanese food too. And it seems very organic focused, which is great for me since I am too. And I can see that their menu mentions "tamari" which is a total god-send for me because regular soy sauce has gluten in it (and it's a popular ingredient even in non-Asian restaurants). And while I am not 100% certain, I do think that the designation of "tamari" means, by definition, that it is a soy sauce that isn't fermented with wheat.

                                  My friend speaks Japanese and has lived there...so I am thinking that 2117 could be a place she'd enjoy.

                                  Either way, now that you've given me some background I will definitely go there soon.

                                  Thanks!

                                  1. re: sablouwho

                                    In addition to Lemonade and The Larder, there is also A Votre Sante, Gaucho Grill and M Cafe. The only protein they serve at M Cafe is Salmon and Tuna and you can get a side of veggies. A Votre Sante is a healthy-leaning restaurant. All pretty affordable.

                                2. Where did you end up having lunch?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: maudies5

                                    Hi Maudie~

                                    We went to Restaurant 2117. It was the first time there for both of us. We liked it. Very easy to do fish and they were very nice about my gluten- and grain-free request.

                                    Also, we went for a later lunch, got there around 1:45, so it was very quiet. That was great because it meant we were able to hear each other, not feel rushed, etc.

                                    I wasn't sure how hungry I was and I almost always can never finish my food, and I do love "creative" sashimi type items in general, so I decided I would just start with a japanese tai snapper carpaccio appetizer. After that I was still hungry so I got the peppercorn crusted salmon, which was done with some sauteed onions (very tasty and sweet yet there seemed to be nothing on them), balsamic vinegar and a nice assortment of vegetables.

                                    My friend got the prix fixe lunch which was 3 courses for $18. She got vegetable soup (I tried some, it was solid but not remarkable), then cilantro crusted shrimp over risotto, which she said was really good. Then crème brûlée for dessert, which I tried and really liked because it was nicely caramelized on top (and it was almost flan-like in that there was a little bit of "syrup" -- that may not be textbook for crème brûlée but I liked it) and most importantly for me, it wasn't overly sweet. That was a pleasant surprise as I find most desserts overly sweet. (I have to be careful around sugary foods--can only have a taste, too much of it and I need a nap).

                                    I would really have also loved to go to the Farmshop, though. I so rarely eat on the restaurant side there, but when I have I've really liked it. At least I am able to enjoy smaller treats from their prepared foods and/or cheese case frequently. (Might even go today.)

                                  2. McD's is selling it's fish sandwich for $1.49 on Lent Fridays