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Mar 19, 2014 10:46 PM

Gluten Free Breakfast options near LAX?

I have an old friend flying through LAX on Friday and I'll be meeting her for breakfast and to chat until her next flight. She is allergic to gluten (actually allergic, not just avoiding it) so she needs a gluten free friendly restaurant that either has gluten free options, or has no problem making menu substitutions to accommodate her allergy. I was thinking of Panns (I've never been) but are they accommodating? Any other places we should consider within a 10 minute drive of LAX?

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  1. Panns is a great breakfast choice, but definitely doesn't specialize in anything gluten free - more in the fried chicken, biscuit and gravy, waffles direction. But the menu is large, so it's possible to put together a meal for almost anybody. I think they're pretty good about substitutions.

    I don't know of any place in the LAX area that has gf breakfast - depending on how long you have, there are options a little farther away.

    Venice - Cafe Buna, on Washington: GF pancakes, GF cornbread french toast, amazingly good

    Cafe Gratitude, on Rose: several GF options; good food, if you can stand the being asked things like "what are you grateful for today?"

    Culver City - Cocos, on Sepulveda (near target): surprisingly good GF pancakes

    1 Reply
    1. re: arb

      She's OK if the place doesn't have special GF items, as long as they aren't going to be annoyed if she orders an omelet and asks them for fruit instead of toast or something (and pay for the sub, if needed). I think we'll end up at Pann's since we only have limited time and would prefer to spend the time chatting instead of driving.

      That being said, what should I (the gluten eater) order at Panns? :)

    2. Oh so many choices! ;)

      Many hounds think Panns has the best corned beef hash in town - but you never know when they'll have it, and probably not likely on a weekday. But if that's your thing, worth it to ask! They had it on St. Patrick's day.

      Great fried chicken, which you can definitely get for breakfast. Chicken and waffles, chicken and eggs, chicken and chicken.

      Biscuits and gravy, also great. I've actually never had a breakfast food there that wasn't good. For later in the day (although I think you can get anything on the menu at any time), the patty melt gets a lot of love.

      I guess they probably have some healthy choices too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: arb

        Mmm... I love corned beef hash and I love biscuits and gravy. Sounds like my kind of place! I'll eat a salad for lunch to balance out my breakfast carbfest.

        thanks for the help!

      2. Not the most exciting restaurant, but The Daily Grill in Westchester has a gluten-free breakfast menu:

        4 Replies
        1. re: MaladyNelson

          Thanks Malady - I'm not a big Daily Grill fan, but I will still mention it to my friend and see if she'd prefer to go there instead.

          1. re: boogiebaby

            I'm not a fan of The Daily Grill either - too boring and bland for me. It's probably been 20 years since I last went there.

          2. re: MaladyNelson

            Take a look at the menu - it's just omelets, fruit, etc. In other words, they don't actually have gluten free options like pancakes, bread, or really anything - you can just choose to not eat the items with gluten. Might as well do that in a place that's not overpriced and uninteresting.

            1. re: arb

              Yeah, I did look at the menu. They might have chosen non-carby items to avoid cross-contamination. Indeed, eating at Pann's would be more fun and economical. John O'Groats, M Cafe de Chaya, or Cafe Gratitude would probably be my picks for a gluten-free breakfast, but they're too far away. A Mexican restaurant that serves breakfast could be a good option for you; they tend not to use too much gluten with the exception of flour tortillas.

          3. I have CD and I think that the closest place I have eaten to LAX is Dinah's. 10 minutes is tough because it can take you that long to get in and out of the airport.

            1. Update: I did a little more research online last night for GF options as I wanted to present my friend with another option besides Pann's. I found Cafe Buna in Marina Del Rey through a gluten free registry online. The Yelp reviews sounded promising too, with reviewers saying they had great GF pancakes and french toast.

              My friend asked to go to Cafe Buna over Panns, so we ended up there. It was a great place -- it was about 1/3 full when we got there at 7:30 but by 8am, it was packed and there was a line of people waiting to be seated. I had the Denver omelet with egg whites (ham, peppers and onions), hash browns and a pancake, and my friend ordered their Buna omelet (black beans, avocado, rice, plantains, salsa and mozzarella) with sweet potato tots (GF) and a GF pancake. Everything was delicious, including the coffee. Portions were generous too -- we couldn't finish our food. Total without tip was $35, which was a bit more than what I usually spend for breakfast, but the food and service were both good, so I can't complain. I'd definitely come back here if I was in the area!


              8 Replies
              1. re: boogiebaby

                Thanks so much for the review. I've been meaning to try this place. Is it table service or do you order at the counter? They open early so one of these Sundays I'll give it a go.

                1. re: Servorg

                  It's table service. It looked like they had a bakery counter too further in, but I didn't check it out so I can't say for sure. We sat in the front part of the restaurant so I didn't see what they had towards the back.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    You do need to get there early on weekends, or there is a long line!

                    1. re: arb

                      I'll go at 6 AM when they open.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        I was the only guest for breakfast this morning at opening (6 AM) and when I left I was still the only patron.

                        This is such a great find that I have to give many thanks to arb above. They were just open when I rolled up. Such a nice vibe, even at that time of the morning.

                        First of all, great coffee if you like it strong. I decided on the hot links with eggs over easy and home fries, plus a short stack of the red velvet pancakes with white chocolate chips.

                        This isn't the cheapest place in town, but it just clobbers Norm's and it isn't as much as Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica. I've found my new "regular" early breakfast spot in my local area.

                        Oh, one last plus. The lighting is great for reading the paper, even though it was still dark out. At times when I've gone to The Kettle (for instance) for early breakfast the lighting is so low that it's a struggle to read the paper.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Glad you liked it! I frankly don't remember what I had except that between us a friend and I ate a lot of things, all of which were delicious. And I agree, nice atmosphere - it was pretty crowded when I was there, but still felt like you could have a fairly relaxed conversation. And I do remember the gluten free corn bread french toast - heavy, sweet, and really really good. And so convenient for a weekend morning Costco trip!

                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      Went for breakfast a little after 6 AM yesterday and there were already a few customers (summer weather brings people out earlier).

                      Tried their soy chorizo omelet with veggie cheese. The soy chorizo was very good. I thought the veggie cheese was less successful as it didn't really melt. I also thought for some reason the cheese would be white, but it was an orange color and the flavor didn't go as well as a more "jack" like flavor profile would have. But the real problem is that their cook doesn't know what the order for an "easy" omelet (I also said "soft" to reinforce how I wanted the eggs cooked) means.

                      Since the filling is cooked and sits below the omelet part I don't see why it couldn't be done properly. Their breakfast potatoes are good (they are definitely NOT hash browns). The sourdough toast was pretty meh and the coffee is still quite good.