It’s no surprise that in a metropolitan area such as greater Los Angeles, a multitude of gluten-free dining options will abound. But what’s less expected is to find those dining opportunities at restaurants that, historically, don’t serve cuisine that’s especially friendly to the GF crowd. Such as French. With the use of flour to make a roux, not to mention all the croissants, baguettes, and pastries, going to a French restaurant is probably one of the last places you’d think of if you’re gluten-free. And yet, Anisette Brasserie, in Santa Monica, succeeds.
After explaining my dietary restrictions to my server, he – in turn – proved surprisingly knowledgeable, and was able to guide me through gluten-free dining options on the brasserie’s decidedly French menu. He even knew, without needing to go back to the kitchen to confirm, that the french fries are gluten-free, because the only other thing the restaurant cooked in its fryer was the duck confit. Impressive.
My dinner was the Moules Frites, a truly massive bowl of PEI mussels with onions and parsley in a delightful sauce. The mussels were paired with an equally large paper cone of french fries. This dish could easily be shared by two people as a dinner.
Anisette also has a noted raw bar, not to mention a wealth of items on its menu procured from the nearby Santa Monica farmers market.
Dessert included a frozen vanilla custard, topped with chopped pistachios, and accompanied by an assortment of fresh berries. Anisette is also known for a divine, house-made lavender ice cream (which I highly recommend but devoured too quickly to take a photo of…).
Anisette makes all its stocks, sauces and soups nightly in-house, so confirming exactly what’s in a dish to determine its gluten-free status is a pretty straightforward task. All in all, I was quite pleased with the service, the food, the atmosphere, and most importantly, the gluten-free friendly nature of Anisette. When in Santa Monica, I wouldn’t hesitate to return.