The Rock- Gluten free at Japonais Chicago
I wonder if any NATO people have googled “Gluten free Chicago?” It is doubtful but just in case—I have a great gluten free friendly find! Japonais opened in Chicago 9 years ago—it is still current, busy, fun and the gluten free options are plenty and divine!
I called ahead and spoke with the manager Bruce. He was so helpful and completely conversant with food allergies and the need to be safe. I called early enough in the day when I knew the restaurant wasn’t yet busy. It only took a few minutes and I pre-ordered the entire meal for the gluten free boy. Bruce told me to ask for him when I arrived. We had a large group and Bruce ensured that the gluten free food was served in a timely manner along with the rest of the meals.
The gluten free boy started with a Bibb lettuce salad (most gluten free people would probably start with sushi) but….I’m dealing with a picky eater.
For his main course the gluten free boy was very excited to have ‘The Rock’. The Rock is thinly sliced beef tenderloin (or maybe its sirloin) served alongside an actual HOT rock anchored on a bed of salt. The perfectly seasoned beef cooks on the hot rock in seconds. I must have asked our server 15 times, “Are you sure this is the gluten free tamari?” At one point in the meal a bus boy turned to me and said, “ I watched the chef- I saw him pour the gluten free tamari—this is safe for your son.” I wanted to kiss him.
We also ordered the Chestnut chicken, modified without the chestnuts and of coruse gluten free. The crispy and seasoned chicken came with a side of really divine fried rice and sauteed broccolini.
The meal was divine and the service was really attentive and professional. Although Japonais does not have a dedicated gluten free menu—they know their allergy stuff. Call ahead, speak with a manager, make contact with the same manager when you arrive—you should have total gluten free success at Japonais!