Hello everyone! I wanted to take some time to expand on my gluten-free series, and help travelers find gluten-free restaurants in the Venice Beach area. I avoid gluten and dairy, as well as some of the other common allergens, so it’s important for me to seek out the most reliable restaurant options for those with food allergies.
Over the past year and a half, I have worked in the Venice area, searching out new places to dine with friends. Finding restaurants away from home was initially a challenge, but to my surprise (and luck!), Venice and its surrounding neighborhoods have some of the healthiest and allergy-friendly restaurants around. Thankfully there is no shortage of restaurants that accommodate those with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or those with allergies to gluten and wheat.
Below is a short list of my favorite restaurants in the Venice area. As always, alert your servers before dining of any allergies you may have in order to help them accommodate your needs. While restaurants aren’t always perfect, here are a few places that have been very reliable in their allergy accommodations:
GREEN PEAS CASUAL FOOD
Address: 4437 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90230; (t) 310-397-9815
Online Menu: http://www.greenpeascasualfood.com/GreenPeasMenu_2012.pdf
Favorite dishes: Green Peas, Chipotle Chicken, and Roasted Veggie Gluten Free Pizzas are always great choices. Check out their rotating dinner menu as well.
Details: According to their website, Green Peas focuses on fresh food, healthy options, and fair prices-and they definitely deliver on their promise! I have taken quite a few friends here (most that are not on restricted diets), and they seem to have something for everyone. There is a large variety of gluten free options, and they can also accommodate vegan and vegetarian diets. Their gluten free pizzas have the best tasting crusts, and their dinner options are wonderful as well!
Location: 512 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA 90291; (t) 424-231-8000
Online Menu: http://cafegratitudevenice.com/menu/
Favorite dishes: “I am Comforted” as a starter, “I am Mahalo” for my entrée, and “I am Bliss” for dessert.
Details: Café Gratitude started in the bay area, and started up their second southern California location in Venice. They have a very friendly and spiritual vibe, where your server asks you a very thought-provoking question of the day. They offer a traditional eat-in restaurant experience, although they also have a convenient to-go area on the side. Their restaurant is entirely vegan and mostly organic, and they accommodate most allergy restricted diets. However, since most of their dishes contain nuts, they advise against dining with them if you have severe nut allergies.
Location: 1661 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291; (t) 310-452-6200
Online Menu: http://lemonadela.com/content/menus/LateSpring2013_MainMenuWEB.pdf
Favorite dishes: My favorite is their pineapple chicken, green beans, coconut, and apple jerk dressing dish. Combine a few items and opt for three or four portions for a hearty meal.
Details: Lemonade is set up like a cafeteria, where you grab a tray and order directly at the counter. Check out the menu descriptions when you arrive, as they are conveniently marked whether or not they contain gluten, dairy, meat, etc. The servers are generally pretty good about using separate utensils for separate meal options, although I have seen some cross-contamination when ordering soups.
- (1) 11510 West Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90066; (t) 310-398-6766
- (2) 10700 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232; (t) 310-559-6350
Online Menu: http://www.samosahouse.net/Samosa_House/Menu.html (Their menu isn’t very detailed, although it gives you an idea of the prices.)
Favorite dishes: I generally choose the combo meal, and mix and match according to what is gluten free. I try to get the okra whenever possible, though.
Details: There are two locations, and the larger of the two contains a full grocery store-one of the largest Indian grocery stores in Southern California. Both are setup for counter service. If you choose the combo meal, you can request gluten free crackers instead of the bread option, and soup instead of the yogurt for those that cannot tolerate dairy. All meals are vegetarian, and most are gluten free and vegan! Check with the counter server to double check which options are gluten free. They use separate serving utensils for each side dish, although sometimes I am a bit wary about cross-contamination when ordering the crackers since they sometimes prepare them in the same area as their samosas. Advise them that you have a gluten intolerance or allergy, and they’re generally pretty understanding and helpful.
TONY P’S DOCKSIDE GRILL
Location: 4445 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292; 310-823-4534
Online Menu: http://www.tonyps.com/sites/default/files/Gluten-Free_Menu_%28dinner%29.pdf
Favorite dishes: Try out their Filet Mignon or their gluten-free pizzas.
Details: You should request their gluten free menu from the host or the server. They have plenty of options, and can also accommodate vegan and vegetarian diets. This place is great since it has a fun, relaxed vibe, and it’s right on the water. Their gluten free menu offers cocktails, appetizers, salads, pizzas, full sized entrees, grilled and barbequed options, and more!
Location: 31 West Washington Boulevard, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 (by the Venice Pier); (t) 310-823-9491
Online Menu: http://www.cotrattoria.com/content/menus
Favorite dishes: I love all of their chicken and gluten-free pasta dishes.
Details: Located right near the Venice pier, they have a lot of space for parties, and a sister location named C&O Cucina. They offer several gluten-free options, and know enough about allergies not to cook gluten-free pasta in the same water as their regular wheat pasta. Parking can sometimes be a bit difficult, but their sing-a-longs make dining a lot more fun.