This week’s spotlighted restaurant is Benny’s Tacos in Los Angeles, CA! Based out of multiple locations on the West Side of Los Angeles, Benny’s Tacos set out to bring the authenticity and flavor of true Mexican food to Southern California. They offer a full breakfast menu, as well as various entrees from tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more. The founder Benny and his team spent years crafting his dishes before going public, and have since been awarded with accolades such as a Certification of Congressional Recognition, county of Los Angeles dining recognition, and were even featured on an episode of America’s Best Bites in 2011.
Now to the dishes! Benny’s Tacos menu contains a number of dishes that have common allergens in them, given the nature of the cuisine. Entrees such as Benny’s Nachos, fish tacos, and their chipotle chicken tacos all contain dairy, but picks such as their chips & salsa is allergen-free, as well as gluten-free! Many of their entree dishes mimic the same sentiment, containing dairy or shellfish, in the case of their shrimp tacos. Despite the substance of Benny’s Tacos food, the establishment makes a concerted effort in being allergy inclusive, with management being well-trained in which dishes are allergen friendly, and which of them can be substituted.
When it comes to soy, Benny’s Tacos has some great options that are completely soy-free. Dishes such as the Carnitas quesadilla are soy free (with guacamole on the side!), with ingredients such as flour/corn tortilla, slow-cooked pork, jack cheese, caramelized onion, and poblano chiles. Other soy-free dishes at Benny’s include the Surf’n Turf Burrito, Fish Tacos, Benny’s Nachos, and Tostada Bowls. These dishes prioritize protein with plenty of veggies, including but not limited to beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo.
So what’s Nutripair’s rating? We give Benny’s Tacos a medium rating for their flexibility in accommodating their dishes, as well as the dishes that avoid the top eight allergens. Many dishes are tree nut-free, gluten-free, shell-fish-free, and soy free. Other dishes can be made available for dairy and egg-free individuals, due to substitutions that Benny’s offers guests, and shellfish can be avoided by switching to another easy protein option. When it comes to menu labels, vegetarian items feature an asterisk (*) next to the dish, but unfortunately there is no allergen key. Servers at Benny’s Tacos are familiar with what ingredients can be substituted or omitted for each dish, and can help customers navigate the menu when they have a unique allergy; on the flip side, servers will not automatically ask about dietary restrictions and are not mandated to complete any allergy training courses.
Due to management being well-informed of their menu options, Benny’s can make a solid option for those allergen-friendly individuals who enjoy the authenticity of Mexican food in the L.A. area.
HIGH Pear Rating – Criteria 1/4, Two to Three Menu Items for each of the Top 8 Allergens
HIGH Pear Rating – Criteria 2/4, Accommodating with Substitutes
MEDIUM Pear Rating – Criteria 3/4, How Clearly Dishes are Labeled on Menu
MEDIUM Pear Rating – Criteria 4/4, How Trained Staff Are When Handling Dietary Restrictions
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