Nothing about my trip to California was more exciting than the food. As someone who is gluten-free I felt like I stepped into the land of gluten-free. From the first night being offered a gluten-free menu to bakeries dedicated to gluten-free treats I was in heaven.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse
Del Amo Fashion Center, 3525 W Carson St #168, Torrance, CA 90503
This was my first meal in California and it by far set my expectations high for the rest of my trip. While I know this is a chain restaurant it is not where I live so I want to share it with you all. For starters let’s just talk about the fact that they had a separate gluten-free menu, I about had a heart-attack right there. No worries I contained myself to bring you this review.
I started with the broccoli and cheese soup, which was creamy and the perfect temperature. Before then moving onto the salmon and vegetable main dish and the sauce that came with it was to die for—literally I wanted to lick the plate but that seemed socially unacceptable. I dipped the salmon and the veggies into it; I would’ve taken some home if I could.
The atmosphere of BJ’s reminded me of Buffalo Wild Wings a bit, while still family friendly, and the staff was so incredibly kind.
451 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
This was the restaurant I had been waiting to try since I started watching YouTubers who live in Los Angeles. It exceeded any expectations I had set. I know I have said that with so many places, but that just means California is doing it right when it comes to gluten-free restaurants and bakeries.
For starters, no need to ask about what options are gluten-free. Every dish is label with a gf to indicate gluten-free and a v for vegan, can we talk about being on top of things. With so many options you are sure to find something you like and are not limited like at some restaurants.
The quality and quantity of the food was way more than I could eat. What I saw many people doing is even just choosing one or two items. Nothing I tried was bad, or cold when it should be hot. Sometimes at buffet types of places I run into food not being the right temperature, but I was very happy with everything, including the old fashioned lemonade.
The atmosphere is very casual, easy in and out for a quick meal when you are short on time.
735 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Funny story with this restaurant, so I followed my maps to the location but it led me to these stairs. Well in L.A. apparently shopping malls are just put in the ground. Definitely not how it is in the Midwest, everything is above ground and visible.
Mendocino Farms was located at the lower level of this underground shopping mall, which was a new concept to me. Just walking into Mendocino Farms you are met with a friendly blue spotted cow.
I ordered the tuna melt on gluten-free bread and it was amazing. When you eat good healthy food you feel good, which in turn helps you look good. Not only was it good but also the staff was not bothered at all by the fact that I was gluten-free, since that requires more steps for them.
The atmosphere is stellar and a cute rustic décor with chalkboard walls.
Market Place Long Beach, 6451 Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803
Another restaurant that is talked about a lot by YouTubers is Veggie Grill. I had the Quinoa Power Salad and while I loved all the superfood goodness in it the dressing that is on it had too much of a bitter taste for me, so if I went back again I’d ask for it on the side. Still good and I felt amazing afterward but just a bit too much of dressing for me.
8221 West 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
My favrite meal hands down is breakfast. It is the most important meal to me and I love breakfast food. So of course I had to hit an iconic breakfast spot. Toast is pretty well known in the greater Los Angeles area and so I was expecting a long wait since I went on a Sunday, but surprisingly I was sat right away.
I love omelettes and this bacon and cheese omelette was the BOMB! Sure eggs, cheese, and bacon all taste the same, but there is a certain degree of fluffiness for the eggs and amount of melted cheese that made it perfect.
Also, I am sure you are like “Lauren there is toast on your plate, how is this gluten-free?” They had gluten-free toast! I know I was blown away too!
Then my new obsession was matcha green tea smoothies in California. Now I know they are in other parts of the United States but it is not a thing where I live. I would have to ultimately order it online to make it myself.
Of course, there are many restaurants I did not get to in my short stay, but I hope to return and try some more in the future! Where else should I have gone?