Who doesn’t love the comfort of some saucy Chinese food and all of the goodness it entails? With the incorporation of soy sauce and breading of many dishes, it can be difficult to find Chinese restaurants that cater to gluten allergy/intolerance. Stress no more – Mandarette Cafe on Beverly Blvd is both delicious and extremely accommodating, clearly identifying its many gluten-free dishes on the menu. The staff is knowledgeable about the fresh ingredients used and the kitchen uses gluten-free tamari as a substitute for soy sauce…
In speaking to the owner, we learned that Chinese food is inherently gluten-free – without the use of flour (except for spring rolls and dumplings of course) and replacing soy sauce with GF tamari. Cross contamination does preside at Mandarette, but only because the spring rolls are deep fried in the same oil as other dishes, so be mindful if you have severe sensitivity.
We chose to share several dishes as most is served family style. As a starter we had Salt and Pepper tofu with a gluten-free sweet and sour sauce. Coated in potato starch, the tofu is deep-fried with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth center; the saltiness paired with the sweet sauce is a sublime combination, and the peppers add a nice kick without overpowering the dish. Their most popular gluten-free shrimp dish is the braised shrimp with spicy garlic sauce. If you like your Chinese food saucy, this is the dish for you. The shrimp had a thick sweet and spicy reduction and was laid atop a bed of crispy white rice noodles. Lastly, we had the Mandarette house fried rice, a combination fried rice with shrimp, BBQ pork, and chicken. We chose to substitute with brown rice, which was barely noticeable – that’s how good it was! Some other dishes that caught our eye were the Sweet and Pungent shrimp and the garlic fried chicken! Portions are filling but not excessive, so we recommend sharing plates. Since we were stuffed, we treated our unfiltered certified-GF sake as our dessert, but those Lychee nuts are calling our name for next time!
We highly recommend this place for all gluten-free folks looking for quality Chinese with dietary consciousness.