A Night Out

10 Restaurants for the Low-Key Gluten-Free (And Everyone Else, Too!)

No one has to compromise here.

Photo courtesy of Bar Amá/Facebook

Dining out with dietary restrictions can be tricky. In this city, though, there are plenty of options if you or someone in your party has given up gluten and doesn’t feel like making the whole table go in on it, too. We’ve rounded up 10 beautiful, lively restaurants in town that are happily (and low-key) gluten-free, so no one has to compromise.

Photo courtesy of Kismet/Facebook

Kismet
It almost feels like there should be a small disclaimer on the bottom of Kismet’s menu reading: All substitutions very politely accepted. For a James Beard–recognized spot, it is more than accommodating, so that anyone and everyone can enjoy the restaurant’s casual, farmers’ market–meets–Middle Eastern flavors and inspired natural wine list. If you’re a first-timer, you must try the bottomed-up Jeweled Crispy Rice, which was named L.A.’s most essential dish and lauded by the national foodie press and Instagram influencers. 4648 Hollywood Boulevard

APL Restaurant
Anchoring the historic Hollywood and Vine corner, this contemporary chophouse is as swank as it is laid-back. The beautiful Art Deco gem from chef Adam Perry Lang has guests sitting in deep tufted booths, surrounded by very cool modern art, tall mirrored columns, and a lovely ambience created by dimly lit lights. Diners at this 143-seater have a choice of grilled steaks—all dry-aged in the massive basement—and throwback sides like creamed spinach and asparagus with hollandaise. It’s pretty old school here, borrowing recipes and cuts from late-1800s through early-1900s America, and the majority of the menu is naturally gluten-free. 1680 Vine Street

Photo courtesy of Tatsu Ramen/Facebook

Tatsu Ramen
One of the few ramen places in town with proper gluten-free noodles, Tatsu attracts a nonstop stream of Angelenos of all dietary persuasions. In fact, locals will shiver outside in a 45-minute line in the rain to eat here—that’s how good it is. Order ramen from a touch-screen pad and wait for a spot to eat. If you can snag a front-row perch at the little counter in front of the open kitchen, take it. The chefs are mostly women, and it’s fascinating to watch their noodle-making orchestra. 7111 Melrose Avenue

Photo by Emi K./Yelp

Mh Zh
Here’s one of those places that make L.A. so special—and is rewarded for it with lines from open to close. It’s a no-frills spot where the dishes of the evening are handwritten in Sharpie on a paper bag and you have the option to enjoy outdoor seating. Everything on the Israeli-inspired menu is incredible, and most of it just happens to be gluten-free. 3536 Sunset Boulevard

The Tasting Kitchen
Tucked behind a garden, away from the busy thoroughfare of Abbot Kinney, this inventive and slightly upscale farm-to-table Venice restaurant has been a longtime Los Angeles favorite for several years. With a glowing vibe, dreamy indoor-outdoor seating environment, and a simple yet clever, ever-changing menu focused on sharing, this spot is a winner for everyone. If you think you can’t find something that works for your diet, ask your server. The staff here is patient, pleasant, and eager to find guests the perfect sip and bite. 1633 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Photo by Sydney Yorkshire/Courtesy of Atrium

Atrium
With a globe-trotting menu, this Los Feliz hidden gem—with arched-beam ceilings, skylights, and ample greenery—has an extensive plant-based menu (the cauliflower shawarma is a must-try) but stuns with a gluten-free panko-crusted pork chop. Other standouts include grilled focaccia with kimchi butter, oysters with Negroni mignonette, and crispy mushrooms with eel sauce—and a large portion of the rest of the offerings is also gluten-free. 1816 North Vermont Avenue

Photo by Megan R./Yelp

Hippo
This is what happens when Silver Lake Wine teams up with Mozza alum Matt Molina. Tucked between the wine shop and Triple Beam Pizza, this Highland Park spot is bustling, big, and extremely communal. Try not eating everything on the menu, which ranges from seasonal starters to handmade pastas (like tagliolini with duck ragu and corzetti with clams) to pancetta-wrapped quail with honey. It’s all fantastic—even the gluten-free pasta: light, perfectly chewy, and stuffed with a little burst of handmade ricotta. 5916 1/2 North Figueroa Street

Kettle Black
Whether you’re dressed up or dressed down, posting up early at the bar solo, meeting for a first date, or celebrating a special event, Kettle Black’s idiosyncratic Italian dishes and incredible wood-fire-oven pizzas are major pleasers for everyone. With flour flown in from Italy, everything here is great—and most of it can be prepared vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free—though you can’t go wrong with the creamy and spicy Italian street corn, pappardelle with Bolognese, or bubbly golden potato and escarole pizza. For the gluten-averse in the group, keep it simple with a perfect bowl of gluten-free, house-made aglio e olio linguini. 3705 Sunset Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Bar Amá/Facebook

Bar Amá
This Tex-Mex spot is busy around the clock for a reason: Everything here is delicious and roughly half of it is gluten-free. The mole enchiladas and the squash blossoms are must-tries, but if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you have to try the vegan queso and the cilantro pesto cauliflower. Bar Amá also offers stellar drinks—go to Super Nacho Hour for a great deal plus, yep, nachos. 118 West Fourth Street

Photo courtesy of Akasha Restaurant, Bar & Cafe/Facebook

Akasha
A Culver City standout, Akasha offers up New American cuisine that everyone can enjoy. Simplified and rustic, there’s a current of down-home warmth that runs through everything, from the seasonally changing menu to the Bauhaus-meets-farmhouse decor. Those who do eat gluten will want to try the skillet mac and cheese, while those who don’t can dig into the quinoa pilaf or grab one of the grass-fed burgers with a gluten-free bun. 9543 Culver Boulevard, Culver City