A Gluten-Free Guide To Dining In LA

Photo of Tatum June
28 November 2016

Choosing a gluten-free friendly place can be overwhelming, but new restaurants are popping up all over the city and others are adjusting their menus to cater to gluten-free diets. The following places are a sure bet when it comes to satisfying those (gluten-free) cravings.

Gluten Free Spots in LA

Hugo’s, West Hollywood

From Macaroni and Cheese to Tikka Masala and Kale Taco Casserole, the ‘New American’ menu at Hugo’s is definitely not limited to boring breadless burgers. In fact, the Hugo’s Burger can be ordered with a delicious gluten free bun. Rather than having to ask for a special menu or scan for a few select items, Celiacs, vegans and vegetarians rejoice over the symbol-coded menu that clearly defines dietary sensitivities of items; nearly all of which are gluten free. Even the pasta plates, including the spaghetti served with free-range turkey meatballs, can come free of gluten. Those with serious food allergies can feel safe at Hugo’s, where the founder’s philosophy ‘to serve and love the community’ is exercised by each of the employees who carefully work to ensure the avoidance of cross-contamination with allergens in the kitchen. With even the Pumpkin Pie and the Chocolate Brownie Sundae offered gluten-free, diners will want to leave room for dessert!
Hugo’s, 8401 Santa Monica Blvd, LA, +1 (323) 654 3993

The Kitchen Mouse, Highland Park

Restaurant, Cafe, Vegetarian, Healthy, $$$
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The Kitchen Mouse is an appetizing option for Eastside dwellers looking for a gluten-free bite. Popular for their brunch items, the cafe offers gluten-free eaters rare indulgences like bagels, French toast and the highly acclaimed gluten-free pancakes, which come topped with berries and toasted coconut. This hip little cafe is packed daily with foodies flocking to get their beloved Moros Cakes, gluten-free cookies and Tempeh Reuben. Additionally, the café offers catering services, offering their decadent dishes to outside events. All menu items are Celiac safe and vegan friendly, and while the facility is not a certified gluten free kitchen, the servers are happy to oblige when customers let them know of any specific allergies.

True Foods Kitchen, Santa Monica

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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For gluten-free eaters with a bit of money to spend, True Foods Kitchen is a great lunch or dinner spot. Catering more toward the health conscious, most menu items are simple and colored with seasonal fruits and vegetables. The Vegetable Crudites (a large bowl of raw veggies with two dipping sauces) is a popular starter, as is the Herb Hummus, which can be ordered with warm gluten-free pita bread. Main lunch and dinner options include the Street Tacos, the Quinoa Burger served on a gluten-free bun, Turkey Lasagna and the ginger-infused Panang Curry over brown rice. Menu items particularly exciting for Celiacs are the gluten-free pizzas, all cooked and prepared separately from flour-based crusts. The staff handles the dietary concerns of their diners with extreme concern, notifying the kitchen of any allergies. The open layout of the restaurant puts customers even more at ease, with the kitchen completely visible from the dining tables, making it an ideal spot for those with serious intolerances.

Breakaway Bakery, (West) Hollywood Area

Bakery, Gluten-free, Vegan
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Fed up with trying to find treats that satisfied her sweet tooth and also followed her dietary restrictions, Janice Lavine decided to experiment with their own recipes. Her experimentation led to what is now Breakaway Bakery, a gluten free certified bakery with a wide assortment of breads and treats that are all certified kosher, made with organic, non-GMO ingredients and prepared in a dedicated kitchen. Additionally, all items are gum and binder free, ingredients to which people with gluten sensitivity are often reactive. The bakery is a heaven for those that do not usually get to indulge in cupcakes, cookies, donuts and scones. Lavine also sells frozen batter dough for customers to make at home and also lists the ingredients of every single item on the bakery website so customers can feel safe knowing exactly what they are putting into their mouths.

Café Buna, Marina Del Rey

Cafe, Restaurant, Gluten-free, $$$
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For Westsiders looking for an all-inclusive dining experience, Café Buna is a ‘mainstream’ restaurant that happens to offer some delicious gluten-free items, making it a place where gluten-free eaters and full-palette foodies alike can find something to love. The menu consists of typical brunch dishes, some of which are naturally gluten free, like the many different types of omelets and egg dishes. Non-dieters can find what they’re looking for with the deliciously packed Breakfast Burrito or Smoked Salmon Bagel, and gluten-free eaters’ mouths will water over the gluten-free pancakes or Neal’s Corn Bread French Toast, a plate so good that everyone will want some. Even when the place is packed and busy, the staff is careful to note customers with allergies and is attentive to dietary limitations.