Our first meal at Universal Studios was definitely the fanciest - on Friday night we stayed at the Loewes Royal Pacific hotel, just a short walking path away from the Universal Studios park, and decided eating at the hotel would be our easiest option. I called and talked to the hotel concierge, who said that any of their restaurants could accommodate a gluten-free diet. After perusing my options online, I went for Emeril's Tchoup Chop, an Asian-Polynesian fusion restaurant - the menu looked amazing!
They don't have a dedicated GF menu and my options were somewhat limited as their GF specialty items only extended as far as gluten-free soy sauce, but they were very accommodating and knowledgeable about the menu and we had an extremely satisfying meal. We started with a simple, satisfying appetizer - the Hot Iron Seared In-Shell Edamame. It was definitely not the basic dish you get at most sushi restaurants - I really enjoyed the extra flavor the searing added, and the spice mixture was finger-licking good!
I had a lot of trouble deciding on an entree, but finally chose the Garlic Grilled Black Tiger Shrimp after seeing (and smelling) it at the table next to ours. They couldn't do the noodle cake with it and had to substitute rice, but I was able to enjoy the absolutely delectable lemongrass infused wild mushroom crema sauce. The shrimp was flavorful and perfectly cooked, the sauce was phenomenal, and the dish was beautifully presented. I could not have been happier!
Finally, dessert - like the appetizers, this area of the menu was a gluten minefield, but they did have a couple of options. I went for the Homemade Tropical Sorbets, as our entrees had been pretty rich. It was a great way to end the meal - light, cool and refreshing.
If you're looking for a special-occasion restaurant at Universal Studios, I highly recommend Emeril's Tchoup Chop, it was a wonderful experience. Make reservations, though - they fill up fast!