How Allergy Inclusive is Top Tenders?

Sarah Baxter
March 2, 2023

This week’s spotlighted restaurant is Top Tenders & Wings in Torrance, CA. The Karame family, who are South Bay natives, opened the restaurant in 2006, and have been serving freshly sourced chicken ever since. They carry rigorous standards and promise to deliver quality products to every patron that visits Top Tenders. Their menu carries options varying from fresh fried chicken, to chicken sandwiches, to seven different types of sauces, and various types of fries and sides. They currently have two locations: one in Torrance, and another one in Redondo Beach. The real question remains: how allergen-friendly can Top Tenders really be?

Let’s evaluate what allergies Top Tenders accommodates to. They have many dishes on their menu that do not contain the following allergens: egg, shellfish, soy, fish, peanut, and tree nut.  You can omit ingredients to avoid certain allergens, such as foregoing cheese on a sandwich in order to make a dish dairy friendly. Unfortunately, there are no substitutes for ingredients such as buns or breading, which creates difficulty for celiac (or gluten-free) patrons. Tenders cannot be made without batter, adding to this same difficulty. Overall, it is not a very allergen-accommodating establishment, but there are plenty of dishes offered that avoid six of the top eight allergens, making Top Tenders an easier choice than most.

As for this week’s spotlighted allergen, which is fish, If you have a fish allergy, the only item you should be beware of is the Asian sweet chili sauce, which contains fish sauce. Besides this one add-on, every other dish at Top Tenders is safe to eat as a fish-free consumer. You can order the rest of the items on the menu, which include but are not limited to, Lemon Pepper Wings, the Tender Sandwich, the Buffalo Tender Fries, the Sweet & Smokey BBQ Wings, and the Buffalo Tender Sandwich. Another great item is the Jalapeno Poppers, which contains only jalapenos, flour breading, and cheddar cheese. Top Tenders is an easily accessible place for a strong amount of allergen-friendly people, especially those that are fish-free.

So, how is Top Tenders overall? We at Nutripair give Top Tenders a Medium-High allergy friendliness rating. A highlight of this popular food spot is that the employees are aware of each of their main ingredients, whether it be in their entree dishes or one of their seven sauces. On the other hand, their menu could appear to be more transparent when it comes to a legend key or showing the top eight allergies that are included in each item; besides that, their menu is easy to read and navigate.

Below is our rating breakdown:

HIGH Pear Rating Criteria 1/4, Two to Three Menu Items for each of the Top 8 Allergens

LOW Pear Rating Criteria 2/4, Accommodating with Substitutes

LOW Pear Rating Criteria 3/4, How Clearly Dishes are Labeled on Menu

LOW Pear Rating Criteria 4/4, How Trained Staff Are When Handling Dietary Restrictions

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