Review of Copita Restaurant, Sausalito, CA

Finally ate at Copita in Sausalito. Suzi took me for my birthday – thanks Suz! I think I had too high of expectations, this being a “100% gluten free menu”, so I was disappointed. Firstly, our server was terrible. She hardly said two words, was never around & made us feel very unwelcome. Any server who never asks if you want a second drink when your first one is sitting empty for an hour (literally) is just…just…stupid. Even for selfish reasons, such as an increase in the total bill will result in a bigger tip, right? Drinks are an easy way to greatly increase the total bill, right? The busboys were good, but cleared away our food and empty drinks quickly, and then with no server, we felt like they just wanted us to leave. We had to then ask for a dessert menu, of course. Anyway, the food. It indeed seems to be gluten free. Almost. I find it fascinating and very frustrating that they go to the trouble to have a completely g-f menu, and then they use Ommission gluten-reduced beer to make a batter for a few of the fried dishes. (And contaminate the fryer while they’re at it). Why? It’s so bizarre! They add gluten to a gluten-free menu when they could use truly g-f beer or seltzer, which I believe is a perfectly good substitute in fried dishes.  

Seeing Ommission on the food menu gave me a bit of hope for ordering a g-f beer, but then a second really weird thing happened. Not only do they not have g-f beer on the g-f menu, they don’t even have Ommission. SO…. They use Ommission as an ingredient but don’t have it on the beer menu? I wouldn’t drink it anyway, but hmmmmmm.The food tasted really good. There were limited options for me, because of my other many allergies, but I was able to order the carnitas. Unfortunately, compared to Marinitas’ carnitas, well, it didn’t really compare, and it was about 1/4 of the amount you are served at Marinitas. But it was good. Suzi ordered the chicken enchiladas, which I wanted as well, but the sauce is made with ground almonds, another food I can’t eat. BTW when I asked about the almonds and if they could be kept out, our wonderful server said, “No. They’re ground in the sauce.” Then crickets. No suggestions, no questions about my allergies, nothing. Anyway, Suzi said the enchiladas were delicious. The margaritas were also wonderful and shaken at table side, for what that’s worth.  

So, for the price ($9 for guac? $5 for chips?), I expect at least decent service. For a well advertised g-f restaurant, I’d expect them to have a clue about issues for celiacs and other allergens, like most of us don’t drink gluten-reduced beer and don’t want it in our g-f food. But the food and drinks are delicious. Still, I’d rather go to Marinitas in San Anselmo any day of the week….

http://www.copitarestaurant.com

http://marinitas.net

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