Celiac Disease / Gluten Free Restaurants / Uncategorized

Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Mandarette, Home State, Mama Shelter & A Cautionary Tale

IMG_1281I’ve figured out the secret to hanging onto the fun, carefree, anything goes life we all had, or attempted to have, before kids. It’s called a week at Grandma’s house and I highly recommend it. The kids go to Grandma’s, that is. You stay put and do you.

Of course you can’t be footloose and fancy free about everything when you’ve got a bad case of the sprue. You do have to watch what you eat, sadly, and that means not getting so loaded you don’t care if that donut isn’t gluten-free because it looks gluten-free, dammit! That will not end well, and the point of the child-free week is make every non-mac and cheese making, carpool driving, moment count. Don’t spend it on the pot.

With that in mind, let me guide you around my week of freedom, which also meant not cooking a gd thing. NO DISHES, PEOPLE. I’m telling you, it was epic. 

Mandarette Cafe

IMG_1295.JPGI somehow had not been informed of this very old school traditional Chinese restaurant on the edge of Beverly Hills. Apparently they’ve been doing this gluten-free thing for years and are fully committed. As seen on every table in the joint –

IMG_1290You guys, I had garlic fried chicken like it was nothing. See the hubs enjoying it too? We both could enjoy that business without anyone crapping her pants!!!!

IMG_1289We also got down on this ginger-scallion tofu as an appetizer.

IMG_1291.JPGAnd BBQ pork fried rice to die for, ya’ll.

ALL GLUTEN FREE. All delicious and very much in the Chinese take out vein that I’ve missed so much. That was the best find of the week, in the “I’ve been missing this” way.

Mama Shelter



I’ve been here for brunch and dinner on the roof before, and I keep coming back because it’s kind of the ultimate LA spot. Inventive, but still classic cocktails, a great Mediterranean inspired menu (but with a burger if you’re all, I NEED A BURGER) and all-around cool vibe. The menu has a lot of delicious sounding options that are totally not gluten-free, so I’d recommend going for drinks and snacks and hoover up all those delicious dips with cut vegetables instead of the pita. Bring your boo, and watch the sunset. Or sunrise if you go that way.


Home State

UPDATE: I am very sorry to report that I recently discovered, as I was pushed up next to the kitchen on an incredibly crowded morning, that on occasion the peeps at Home State heat up the corn tortillas on the same surface as the flour tortillas. And repeat. I have gotten sick on occasion when I ate here, but was tempted to blame something else. Anything else. Alas, no tortillas for us celiac types. Go to town on the queso, tho!

IMG_1296.JPGIf you follow me on Instagram (@peveteaux) you’ll notice I hit Home State about once a week. I can’t help it, I’m a former Texan who fell in love with breakfast burritos and this place makes them with corn as well as flour. Yee, freaking haw!!!!! And their queso is Texas perfect and also gluten-free. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m not there every day. This is the bomb, you guys. The burrito bomb. GO.

Dana’s Ziti

IMG_1304.jpgSo this was amazing. My friend Dana hosted book club, which admittedly could happen with or without the kids in town, and as host she made us all dinner. Lo and behold that lady made me my VERY OWN PAN of gluten-free ziti. And then sent it home with me. Yeah, so that not only helped me with my “no cooking” goals of the week, but damn it was good. That’s a true friend, you guys. MY PERSONAL ZITI.

Bar Marmont

IMG_1298.JPGChateau Marmont’s darker, cozier, less fancy cousin, Bar Marmont is a great place to grab a drink and a meal if you find yourself on the Sunset Strip and don’t want to get your eat on in weird theme restaurants. Of course, we did see a Bentley loaded up with dudes on their way to Pink Taco, so what do I know? (I know not to go to Pink Taco.)

Every time I’ve been to Bar Marmont my waitress has totally known how to navigate gluten. Maybe that’s a Hollywood thing, but it makes it easy to order. Hence, my lettuce boats of a lobster roll, sans bun. I also couldn’t have the truffle fries, which is sad, but not as sad as winding up in the john all night.

Musso & Frank

You know, I’ve been to this Hollywood standby a number of times and this was the only time I went home and absolutely knew some cross-contact had happened back in the kitchen, or god knows where. At white table cloth, all male waiter type of joints like this I always order a steak and potato because I know that’s the best chance I have of avoiding a sauce that might have gluten. This time, however, something snuck in. Not a lot, as I was able to feel normal in less than a week, but it’s definitely a risk one takes when the waiters have been there since the 1950s and the menu hasn’t changed at all.

I love these old Hollywood spots, and probably will go again for the atmosphere, but it is not the place where you can have a comforting talk about your gluten-free diet. Still, they make a mean gimlet at the oldest restaurant in Hollywood.

Alas, my week of freedom must come to an end and next week I’ll be back to making pretzel dogs and forcing my kids to go to Home State with me again and again. So, yeah, I guess that’s not too bad either.

Happy summer, peeps!!!

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