11 L.A. Restaurants with Whole30-Friendly Menus
Whole30 has gained a cult following for its ability to help people slim down and get a glowing complexion. But those perks come with some sacrifices: The 30-day food plan requires you to eliminate the processed foods that most commonly cause inflammation, skin breakouts and that general logy feeling. Whole30 plan creators say it takes 30 days to stop eating the wrong foods, but who wants to prep all their own meals for a whole month? Here are 11 bistros where you can ditch grain, dairy, sugar and alcohol, and still have a delish meal.
1. Urban Radish
There’s a lot to love at this healthy-eating spot downtown, like the shakshuka verde: two baked eggs in a green tomatillo sauce served with a mixed green salad (and challah toast, but you’ll need to ask the server to hold that to hew to the “no grains” part of your Whole30 diet). Also, we dare you not to reenact the scene from You where Joe meets Love—it was shot here.
661 Imperial St.; 213-892-1570 or urban-radish.com
2. Kye’s Montana
This bright little grab-and-go Santa Monica eatery has innovative wraps where veggies—not bread—hold everything together. The Asian-inspired sweet chicken wrap has organic chicken, carrots, celery, onion and cauliflower, all wrapped in nori. Ask for your server to make one up special for you sans rice and fish sauce, which has a teensy amount of forbidden sugar.
1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; 310-395-5937 or kyesmontana.com
3. Urban Plates
The fast-casual restaurant trend gets a healthy dose of healthy eating at this spot, where each dish is made from scratch but is still on the table in a flash. Urban Plates prides itself on its beef: hormone- and antibiotic-free, non-GMO and grass fed and finished. Get yours grilled and served with lettuce, pineapple mango salsa, jicama, mint and coconut-roasted cashews, all tossed with a made-from-scratch mild jalapeño-lime dressing.
4. Crossroads Kitchen
While the many uses of cashew “cheese” at this high-end vegan restaurant might be anathema to the Whole30 principle of not reshaping approved foods into unapproved ones, this place is unparalleled in its way with vegetables. The roasted baby spring carrots served with peppers and almond “yogurt” is not to be missed.
8284 Melrose Ave.; 323-782-9245 or crossroadskitchen.com
5. Café Gratitude
The pad thai kelp noodles sprinkled with nuts is going to make you rethink adding gluten back after your 30-day detox.
Locations in Venice, Larchmont and the Arts District; cafegratitude.com
When you’re driving all your tipsy friends through this beloved local institution to quell their munchies, you can order something too. Ask for a double, protein-style (on a lettuce leaf instead of a bun). No sauce, but you can enjoy all the raw tomato and onions you like.
7. Flower Child
This restaurant sources as close to home as possible and takes its patrons’ dietary restrictions seriously. So if you’re sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free, you can still have a flavorful and creative dinner. Proof is the Glow Bowl, with spicy sweet potato noodles, bok choy, zucchini, onion, jalapeño, shiitake mushroom and coconut milk—with ground sunflower seeds replacing peanuts to make the sunflower butter that tops the dish.
1332 Second St., Santa Monica; 310-382-2901 or iamaflowerchild.com
Beloved by hipsters and foodies alike (and the foodie hipsters really go crazy here, natch), Kismet has an ever-evolving menu of Mediterranean flavors—hence the ease in getting a dish that’s prepped with oil instead of butter. Pictured above is the winter salad of speckled radicchio with raw beets, pickled shallot and passionfruit vinaigrette.
4648 Hollywood Blvd.; 323-409-0404 or kismet.family
Their lime-cilantro-jalapeño and pesto dressings don’t contain any added sugars, and since bowls are made to order, you can get your entire favorite nondairy, legume-less and gluten-free ingredients mixed on the spot (ignore those chickpeas and quinoa).
10. Tender Greens
The backyard steak salad is the kind of super-simple meal you’d make for yourself at home (but without dirtying that cast-iron skillet): grilled steak over a green salad with a bit of horseradish vinaigrette dressing.
11. California Pizza Kitchen
It seems counterintuitive that you'd go to a place with "pizza" in the name when you're on a no-gluten kick. But the chain's North Atlantic salmon is a signature dish—it's roasted on a cedar plank in the hearth oven seasoned with smoked paprika and lime. It comes with white corn and spinach succotash topped with feta, so ask for a plain salad instead.