About a year and a half ago, I called Revel in Fremont asking if they were able to accommodate the gluten intolerant. I asked the usual questions: Will you be able to point out which dishes were gluten free? Will the kitchen be willing and able to use clean pots and pans and clean parts of their grill to prepare gluten free dishes?
Back then the answer was a clear and blunt: No. That was it. Just: No. I was saddened.
Recently I gave them another chance and was completely surprised by the difference in their response. This time, they confidently listed the gluten free dishes and assured me that they were able to, and happy to, use clean pots and pans, and everything else. What a pleasant surprise –I’m glad I gave them another chance.
What I like about Revel:
- The atmosphere is loud, energetic, and vibrant. The volume somehow doesn’t feel obnoxious and I can still hear my table-mates. The interior is bright and colorful (but not fluorescent) and the open kitchen layout is a lot of fun.
- The food totally kills it. It’s great.
- The service is excellent (Quoin bartenders included) and the servers are very knowledgeable and confident about the menu and about gluten free needs
What I don’t like about Revel (you will notice that these are very clearly outweighed by the above ‘likes’):
- There aren’t tons of gluten free options but the menu is succinct, so it’s understandable.
- The salads have been hit-and-miss.
- The rice bowls have too much rice.
- The pancakes are not well suited for chopsticks.
I am obsessed with the Albacore tuna, fennel kimchi, escarole rice bowl (see picture). I can’t have the egg yolk, which is marinated in non-GF soy sauce, but it is still super delish without it! It’s a little salty (albacore), a little spicy and sour (kimchi), a little smoky (grilled escarole), and a lot of rice. I am similarly obsessed with the garlic shrimp pancake.
I recommend those two dishes, sitting at the counter, a glass of wine, and a few good friends with which to enjoy Revel!
Albacore tuna, fennel kimchi, escarole Rice Bowl
Garlic shrimp, chermoula, white bean Pancake: