Below are my recommendations for fast food, casual, date night, and celebrations for gluten free and vegan options. Each restaurant features Asian inspired food with healthy options, great taste, artistic presentation and ambiance.
Location: 820 Manhattan Ave #105, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, Table Service
Parking: Street metered parking, 2 hour metered public parking lot entering off 9th or 10th within easy waking distance to RICE
Hours: Please note that on the weekdays they close in between lunch and dinner.
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 2:30pm/5:30pm-10:00pm
Friday: 12pm – 2:30pm/5:30pm-10:30pm
Description: RICE offers an intimate Japanese dining experience serving sushi and cooked fare in a warm softly lit environment.
Concept: Healthy Japanese dining using highest quality ingredients that are organic and natural whenever possible. Everything is GLUTEN FREE! No artificial ingredients are used and sauces are made from scratch. All sushi and rolls are made with organic brown rice and organic sweet brown rice (never mixing vinegar and sugar like sushi rice).
Menu Favorites and Standouts: Miso Cod (Roasted Wild Alaskan Black Cod with koji miso), Yellow Submarine Vegan Sushi Roll (Asparagus, avocado, cucumber roll with pumpkin and garlic sweet soy sauce on the side), Kabocha pumpkin and organic white miso soup with a side of brown rice.
Other: The restaurant is within easy walking distance to the beach. Stop by some of the shops nearby such as Pages – an independent bookseller offering fiction, nonfiction & children’s books plus gifts, greeting cards and author events.
Locations: 2 Locations in Los Angeles, Table Service
DOWNTOWN LA -Little Tokyo
333 S Alameda St Suite 310 (3rd Floor)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: (213) 617-0305
Mon, Wed & Fri: 5:30pm – 10pm
Sat: 3pm- 10:30pm
Sun: 12pm – 9:30pm (open for lunch)
Parking: Free 2 Hrs w/ validation in parking garage off Alameda St
Park on 4th level for direct entrance
Description: Shojin is an authentic Japanese restaurant featuring food that is delicious and well presented. Everything on the menu is gluten free and vegan so there is no cross contamination. The menu is also labeled for other allergens such as soy, nuts, garlic, onion, sesame. All macrobiotic dishes are original creations and are made from scratch. Vegetables and ingredients are all organic wherever possible. No chemical preservatives or artificial coloring is ever used. All sushi rolls are made from Lundberg organic brown rice.
Menu Highlights: Rainbow miso soup (Japanese style hearty miso soup, seasonal colored vegetables, tomato, snap pea, green and yellow zucchini and basil.) Crunchy Tiger sushi roll (avocado wrapped soy “chicken” and asparagus roll topped with crispy potato
Other: Shojin’s Online Store has take-out sushi platters of their 100% vegan and gluten-free sushi. Order at least 3 days in advance. Perfect for a party with food everyone can enjoy!
Locations: 4 Locations Southern California, Fast-Casual Chain Counter Service
CENTURY CITY WESTFIELD MALL
10250 Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90067
Located on level 2 next to Chick-fil-A and Chipotle in the dining terrace
Counter-serve w/ shared seating
Phone (310) 203-9702
Monday-Saturday 11am – 9pm // Sunday 11am – 7pm
Description: 100% Gluten Free Menu. Asian Box strives to offer authentic and tasty food that is made with healthier and fresher ingredients sourced locally. The website states they use pesticide and hormone free products and proteins.
Menu Highlights: Create Your Own Box with a base (brown rice, jasmine rice, Asian salad or chilled rice noodles), the protein (white and dark meat chicken, pork, beef, vegan tofu or shrimp), toppers (pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, chopped peanuts etc.), and sauce.
You can also order one of the spring rolls or suggested boxes like “The Workout” that has chicken, brown rice, extra steamed veggies, bean sprouts, pickled veggies, herbs and tamarind vinaigrette.
Location: 7119 Melrose Ave Hollywood, CA 90046, Casual Counter Service
Parking: Parking can be tricky during crowded times. 7 Parking Spaces in front or 1 hour street parking 8 AM – 6 PM
Hours: MON – SUN 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Phone: (323) 525-0588
Description: Experience nutritious macrobiotic and creative dishes drawn from Japanese and world cuisines for inspiration at M Cafe. The entire menu is dairy-free with other allergens clearly labeled on the menu. The majority of the menu is gluten free or has a gluten free option. All of the soy is organic and non-GMO. All of the mixed greens and herbs are from Scarborough Farms.
Ordering: You can order at the counter yourself using the touch screen to select your food off the menu options listed and pay with card. I like how pictures of the food are included. A helpful employee can help you through this process or take the order for you.
Menu Highlights: Organic gluten-free and nut free miso soup with silken tofu, shiitake, wakame & scallions. Teriyaki bowl (gluten free) with heirloom brown rice from Koda farms, choice of plant protein or sustainable seafood, seasonal vegetables, pickled carrot & daikon, shiso leaf, teriyaki sauce (get it on the side) and sesame. Brunch is served until 3pm daily.
Other: I love the deli and sushi case where you can grab a salad like the M Chopped, a seasonal selection or gluten free sushi. There is a farmer’s market on the 1st and 4th Sunday of the month from 10am-1pm.
Delivery and Pick Up Options: Postmates, Order Online for Pick up. I like how on certain menu items you click the special request button for sauce on the side, soy allergy alert (no mushrooms) or mushroom or capsicum allergy (no peppers).
Location: Westfield Century City, Level 1, Table Service for celebrations and special date nights, Attire: Nice Casual-Dressy Casual for Evening
10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067
Parking: 3 hrs free w/ validation. Enter parking garage off Santa Monica Blvd.
Hours: Sun – Thu 11:30AM – 10:00PM, Fri – Sat 11:30AM – 11:00PM
Phone: (310) 552-9988
Description: RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchen showcases the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Unlike fusion cuisine, each dish on the extensive menu is authentic to its country of origin. The ambiance is dramatic as if you were transported into a gorgeous forbidden city with elaborately decorated dining rooms. The entrance and walkway sets the tone for this unique ambiance as you enter this unique dining experience.
Master Chef Mohan Ismail captures the spirit and authentic flavors of Southeast Asia by incorporating the finest ingredients to bring greater subtlety to the traditional dishes of the region, as well as more creativity in their presentation. In 2016 he appeared on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and was the winner competing with a noodle dish reminiscent of a recipe he grew up with in Singapore.
Ask your waiter for gluten free options and modifications. However, due to the vast menu selections and the busyness of the restaurant be careful for the possibility of cross contamination. My suggestion is that you come near opening where it is not crowded and greater attention to your gluten free requests have been met.
Green Curry Chicken (Eggplant, Sugar Snap Peas, Chayote, Thai Basil, Cilantro with Jasmine Rice), Cocunut Chicken Soup: (Shiitake Mushrooms, Galangal and Sugar Snap Peas), Grilled Chicken Tikka Skewers (Mint Raita with Mango Chutney), Noodles with Wok Fried Vegetables (Snow Peas, Carrots, Shiitake Mushrooms, Chilies, Bean Sprouts, Cilantro and Fried Shallots)