I had the opportunity to go out with one of my mom's groups to the Left Bank at Santana Row for dinner. I was excited to try The Left Bank as I have heard a lot of good things about it. So, several days before I emailed their web site to find out what sort of gluten free offerings they had (if any). I received a prompt reply from someone from their corporate office who then forwarded my request to the executive chef at the Santana Row location. I was very impressed with the prompt follow up and then soon received a reply from the chef saying there were many things he could prepare gluten free.
So happily I braved Santana Row one rainy evening the week before Christmas - I somehow won the parking battle after only 20 minutes. One mom spent over an hour circling around. At any rate, when I arrived I let my server know I had emailed with the chef earlier in the week and that the chef had told me there was a lot I could order. So the server went off to find out. When he returned he basically said the only things he could recommend that would be safe for me that night were one of the salads or the roasted chicken entree. Meanwhile the rest of the table is enjoying fresh bread and appetizers although the server was kind enough to bring me a plate of vegetable sticks.
I ended up ordering the roast chicken (which was billed as coming with pomme frittes but when my meal arrived with the pomme frites on the side my server said they were fried in shared oil so they were not safe but he had brought them for my table guests to share). I thought that was nice of him, and appreciated being told they were not safe, but it was quite disappointing. I would have at least ordered some other sort of starch like a plain baked potato. Then when the dessert menus came out he told me the only dessert that was safe was the sorbet - not even the creme brule or chocolate mousse was OK. So I left the restaruant close to 3 hours later starving as all I had eaten was some vegetable sticks, roasted chicken (w/ no gravy since it was not safe) and spinach (so glad I ordered that side!).
Maybe I should have escalated and asked the chef to come out. I don't know. It was a busy holiday night, I was hungry and tired, and he had told me there was food to eat. I guess I kept thinking as each course went by I'd get to eat something of substance in the next course.
I will not be back.