Amazing gluten free meal in West Hollywood, CA,
December 28, 2014
South Riding, VA
This was overall an outstanding gluten free dining experience. In fact, Hugo's impressed us with their amazing array of gluten free options, the likes of which we haven't seen at many other places. While this restaurant isn't a dedicated gluten free facility, it may as well be. Almost everything on the menu is naturally gluten free -- or can be made gluten free.
Let me give you an overview of the gluten free options: salads, starters, sandwiches on homemade gluten free bread, tons of burgers on homemade gluten free buns, entrees (all 14 of them are gluten free!), and desserts (8 out of 9 of their desserts are gluten free). They also have some very cool "elixirs," both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as well as smoothies, specialty teas, and cocktails (and wine, of course).
They serve breakfast all day and offer gluten free pancakes. They also have a "Create A Pasta" section of the menu where you choose a pasta (gluten free), a sauce, 3 toppings, and a protein. They make their regular (non-GF) pasta in-house but not their gluten free pasta. They buy that, and it's a red lentil based pasta. Our server said it was very good, but as curious as we were, we didn't try it. Too many other things on the menu sounded good. There was also a seasonal menu with many great-sounding items, including a gluten free spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer.
The gluten free items we ordered were the nachos as an appetizer, BBQ pork sandwich (served on homemade gluten free flatbread) and served with gluten free fries, chicken Tikka Masala, and the Chicken Carciofi, which is chicken breast served with a delicious sauce of artichokes, spinach, tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, white wine, butter, and garlic. All were excellent, especially the chicken.
Probably my favorite thing, however, was the salad I ordered: the Beet and Quinoa salad which was made up of organic field greens, carrots, walnuts, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, beets, and quinoa in a sherry vinaigrette. Wow -- probably the best salad I had ever had.
I love how they take such care in choosing their ingredients. Everything is made from scratch, and all menu items are labeled as gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, etc. to make ordering easy for people with Celiac, allergies, sensitivities, and dietary preferences. All their salad dressings are gluten free. Although we didn't order them, the gluten free Tres Tacos were tempting, especially because they were served with gluten free corn tortillas that were also non-GMO. That's rare to find -- and important to me.
We did save room for dessert and ordered several gluten free selections. I ordered the Flan De Almendra, a vegetarian and gluten free flan prepared without eggs or cream. Even though I eat both eggs and dairy, it intrigued me, because I love flan. Their particular variety is made using coconut milk, almonds, mango puree, and vanilla beans and is blended to a creamy consistency and topped with mango (and vegan) whipped cream. It was incredible. My son ordered the gluten free chocolate mousse, a very generous portion, and my husband and other son split an order of the gluten free sticky buns, more like deep fried donuts topped with pecans and syrup. I tried a couple bites, and it was unlike any other gluten free dessert I'd tried. Naughty, but delicious!
Their fryer is dedicated gluten free. Nothing with flour or gluten goes in there.
I can't recommend this restaurant highly enough if you're in Los Angeles. It was nice to find a restaurant that was so accommodating for gluten free diners, as well as reasonably priced (rare for L.A.), convenient, and comfortable (kid-friendly, too).
They have two other L.A. area locations: one in Studio City and one in Agoura Hills. We would have liked to have eaten there another night during our trip but couldn't change our other plans.
Oh -- and to top it off, we saw a couple recognizable actors dining in the restaurant while we were there. Seems word of Hugo's great food has gotten around.