Bad news: Painfully slow service,ridiculously high prices,and even though we specified no mayo with every order we placed,the last roll to come out (the one I’d been waiting ravenously for) was filled with it. The waiter did take it off the bill,which was nice,since we sent it right back. But by that time,we didn’t have time to get anything else and three large carafes of hot sake had gone straight to my head…and I was so hungry!
A perfect time to go fake being hypnotized for an hour and forty five minutes.
Recommendation: Avoid but if you’re super hungry and can’t get in anywhere else,you *can* eat here even if you forgot to bring your own soy sauce.
What a treat! My dad was in LA yesterday on a 20 hour layover between meetings in NorCal and Vegas. He came long enough two meals before he has to head back to the airport. Luckily,he’s kind of a foodie,too. We went to one of our favorite places in Venice,Joe’s Restaurant and got a nerdy kick out of the plan since Dad’s name is Joe,too. Different Joe,but he did pull out that “I didn’t give you permission to use my name”joke that only dads can [almost] pull off. Twice. The eternal twelve year old in me kicked him under the table the second time. He’ll probably have a bruise. Sorry,Dad! If you haven’t been to Joe’s,I highly recommend it. The food is outstanding. And Joe’s has never gluphed me! The food is eclectic,French-Californian fare and is beautifully presented. There is a diverse and interesting wine list that has yet to disappoint. And every time we’ve been,the waitstaff hasn’t batted an eye when I mention gluten. They teasingly mention I might want to stay away from the brioche. Considering all the restaurants I’ve been to where the waitstaff have nodded as if they knew what I was talking about and then brought me bread having no idea that bread contains gluten –that is usually a sign that I’ll probably get gluphed. Never happens at Joe’s. And it’s great to walk around Abbot-Kinney before or after.
This post has nothing to do with New Orleans…this time.
This post is about easy ordering when you’re Gluten Free. There will be followups to this post and as soon as I understand how to make that work (Is that a trackback? Or a pingback? WTF?),it’ll be on here. In the meantime,a quick blurb about what I had for lunch today.
Where:The Farm,Beverly Hills What:Corn Chowder (omg amazing and possibly the first time in my life I’ve ever ordered it),with a side of broccolini and a side of spinach. Did the server know what I was talking about when I said I was gluten free? YES! And she asked the kitchen if the chowder was safe. Gluphed:NO
Many thanks to Lisa P. (in the pic below) who dined with me,shared with me,and unknowingly signed an imaginary release to appear in my blog. YOU ROCK!
I’m sitting at a new find for me,“Prosecco,”in Toluca Lake,waiting to meet the ladies,one of whom is a fellow celiac. I’d been so good for so long (sorta) and today I really want cheese. The great thing about is place is when I was here last week,the manager told me of I bring in some GF pasta,they’ll prepare it for me! Not that I can’t do it myself,but there is a lot to be said about going to an Italian restaurant and ordering a pasta dish…Even if the pasta is coming out of my purse. I dropped the ball for today,but I definitely plan to do that soon. Now I have to find a favorite neighborhood Italian place that’s actually in my neighborhood,and not over the hill.
So…Today I think I will start with the caprese salad with the buffala mozzarella,and follow that with the “Eggplant Prosecco”–oven roasted eggplant with mushrooms,spinach,marinara sauce,baked with fontina,mozzarella,and parmesan. I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. Barely.
Even though I’m dining at Prosecco,the last thing I want is Prosecco –if you’ve never had Prosecco (Italian Champagne,essentially –I’m so gonna get a beat down for reducing it to that because it’s really so much more),then you simply must dash out and pick up a bottle –it doesn’t have to be expensive! One of my cheap and cheerful faves is at Trader Joe’s of course! It’s called Zonin and it’s usually around $8.00. That’s a bargain! One thing I love about Prosecco is that I never get that all too familiar champagne headache from it. It’s delightful. Sigh. So how can I not even be in the mood for Prosecco to toast to Anna’s big news? Maybe something’s wrong? I must have a fever. All these cravings for cheese but none for wine? Cheese and wine go together (like ramalama blah blah blah) and I just have no interest these days. Maybe my body isn’t completely done with the cleanse? I’ll let you know after all the cheese.
Love sushi but don’t want to get Gluphed?! It’s easy. Bring your own soy sauce! And avoid the tempura (and anything fried in that vat even that delicious and seemingly innocuous crispy rice –if it’s in the tempura vat,it’s verboten),wasabi,and anything that has mayo or mustard in it. Weird,but I’ve seen mustard. And mayo,well that just seems to be everywhere. IMPORTANT ADDENDUM It was brought to my attention by my friend,Chef Alan (who went to summer camp with me a gazillion years ago),that I unwittingly left out a major Gluphing entity that is in abundance at all our favorite sushi joints:“krab”–the fake crab meat that’s frequently used in California Rolls. I completely forgot about the faux crab thing even though in the months after I first went GF,that was the biggest Eureka! moment I had because after the soy sauce debacle,I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was making me so sick. Steer clear of the fake crab! At some fancy schmancy and uber hardcore places when I’ve asked I have been told that the crab meat is real,in which case,bring it on. Yeah,I said that. I’ll say lots of nerdy things on here. But just make sure it’s 100% real crab! Unless you have an allergy to that,in which case,please…don’t eat it. Thanks,Alan,for reminding me about the dreaded Krab!
There are several GF soy sauces on the market and they’re all good. My personal fave,though,is the Wan Ja Shan Organic Wheat Free Tamari Soy Sauce. It’s only ingredients are:“Water,Organic Whole Soybeans,and Salt.”It’s USDA Organic Certified,Non-GMO and QAI certified,Kosher certified,has no artificial flavors,preservatives,or MSG and is generally just delicious. I sporadically find it at Whole Foods at Third Street and Fairfax or on Crescent in Beverly Hills. When I do find it,I buy tons of it. And it’s usually inexpensive (under $3,unlike the $8 GF soy sauce –enh). An even better place to get it is on Amazon (Associate Link) where you can get a pack of 6 delivered to your door.
I have been known to carry an entire bottle with me to dinner,and no one seems to mind,although I do have to explain sometimes. Lately,though,I fill a little travel bottle from The Container Store and just bring that. This method also helps me put a cap on the amount of sushi I eat because,frankly,I might actually have a black hole in my stomach for sushi. Or a hollow leg,but I’m pretty sure I could eat more than just a leg’s worth. San-J also makes a terrific line of GF Asian Sauces –the GF Teriyaki is really terrific. And,that’s just fun to say. Terrific Teriyaki. Anyway.
The San-J Gluten Free Soy Sauce is a favorite of my fellow Celiac friend,Anna,and when we met up for sushi lunch last Friday,she had her bottle in tow and modeled it with grace.
My very favorite sushi place in LA at the moment (and for the past couple years) has been Sushi Wa in West Hollywood. Hiro,the amazing sushi chef,always takes great care of me when I dine there,often grabbing my bottle of soy sauce when I walk in the door to make me a delicious array of sauces (he sends sauces home with me!) for all the sushi I can possibly shove into my mouth. Did I mention I also LOVE sushi? I could eat it every day if I weren’t mildly worried about my mercury levels…and my bank account. I highly recommend finding a sushi place that you love,making friends with the chef and maybe he’ll become your “Hiro”. My Hiro is also just a special dude. I hadn’t been in for a few months and when he saw me wearing my wedding ring,he congratulated me with enthusiasm and said,“That’s new!!!”And me…I just think that’s cool.
After a three hour sailing lesson during which we had to manually haul up the anchor repeatedly (hey,it’s important to know how to do it –ugh),what could hit the spot more than a Double-Double from In-N-Out?!?
The In-N-Out on Sepulveda down by LAX is always a hectic mess,but still one of my favorite locations. There’s something about the planes screaming overhead as they approach and land and the smell of jet fuel that might even make the burgers taste better.
I would like to state for the record that I generally do not like fast food. And that’s not just because there’s so little of it that’s safe for me. I pretty much think it’s gross. Except for magical In-N-Out. For those of you who don’t live in California (Nevada,Utah,or Texas (soon,Dallas!)) you may not have had the opportunity to indulge in this fast food ambrosia. In-N-Out‘s whole “thing”is that they treat their workers well,they treat their meat well (even before it’s meat,when it’s still cow),and all their ingredients are fresh. It’s true. You won’t see a microwave in the kitchen. You will,however,see actual people wash and put actual whole potatoes through a ricer and then directly into the fryer. Nothing is fried in the fry vat except the fries! (NO GLUPHING!!!)
The key to ordering and not getting gluphed is to order your burger “protein style,no sauce.”In-N-Out‘s Special Sauce is definitely one of the draws,but unfortunately,it’s also a sure way of getting gluphed. It’s made with mayo and ketchup,for starters. Make sure you don’t get your onions “Animal Style”which was a other delicious and unfortunate mishap- they’re grilled in Special Sauce and mustard. I just found that out right this second. Thank goodness my hubby asked! And the last “don’t”is:no milkshakes for us. They’re all made from vanilla ice cream with strawberry or chocolate sauce. That explains many a stomach ache,although I’m certain I knew better. We’ve all been there,huh?
On a whim and because I was in the neighborhood yesterday afternoon,I decided to do my first Wifely Drop-In to my husband’s office. For fear of being “That girl”I haven’t dropped by before. But I was wearing a “daytime summer dress”and felt if there was ever a time to drop by,it was when I looked presentable,instead of my signature torn jeans and a tee. The jeans came torn. All of them. So weird.
ANYWAY. I saw a mob of people in line at Sprinkles in Beverly Hills and had a brilliant idea. Why not bring cupcakes to my hubbie (“B”) and his awesome assistant (“J”)?! Amazingly,I found a meter right in front with 35 minutes in it –the universe was obviously conspiring with me. The universe wanted me to go to Sprinkles. I waited in line for about 20 minutes (for cupcakes? really?) and when I got to the counter to order,what did I spot out of the corner of my eye? Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes! Red Velvet was always my favorite before I found out about the whole Celiac thing. This GF Cupcake discovery amped up my order from two cupcakes to –ahem –six. Two for me,three for J,and one for B. Only one because we were saving room for an amazing dinner at a new (to us,anyway) local fave Locanda Veneta with our dear friends,the C’s.
Oh my stars. I will wait in that line again. I could only eat half of one of my GF cupcakes (saving room and all that),but I turned into Smeagol immediately,whispering “My precious”and caressing the frosting. ALL the frosting at Sprinkles is GF! And yes,they sell frosting shots. For 75 cents,you can actually have a shot of any flavor frosting you want. As my mom would say,“Bellyachesville.”But I’m sure it’s awesome,and I will probably be caught there testing it out. For the blog,of course. The cream cheese frosting on the GF Red Velvet cupcakes is pretty amazing. Not too sweet,either!
These are the best Red Velvet I have ever tasted. And I’ve made my own GF cupcakes (not red velvet,yet,but even the texture…sigh),I’ve made Betty Crocker‘s (another post,for sure!),I’ve bought them at various Gluten Free bakeries around the world (more posts on those as I get going with this whole blogging thing),including our local favorite,The Sensitive Baker right around the corner in Culver City –they did our GF Wedding Cake (carrot,amazing,and another post entirely). But to date,I have to say that Sprinkles does GF Red Velvet right. The flavor –not too sweet,not too buttery. Incredibly rich,as it should be. The texture –oh the texture! Dare I say Rapture? It’s like the cloud of GF baking. So moist,springy,not tough at all –not dry or too crumbly. Just kind of perfect. And topped off with a fondant “G”to mark it just for me (and all my GF cohorts). I hope it’s fondant. It was really crunchy.
I’m going to pause for a moment,go into the kitchen and retrieve the one and a half cupcakes so I can photo document the awesomeness.
I just accidentally ate the rest of the one from yesterday. Best. Breakfast. Ever.
Dear God,please let me save the other one for later. Please.
I first heard about Pizza Fusion a few weeks ago from one of my favorite people. We’ll call her “W”. W loves food as much as I do and when we cook together,she’s militant about being on the lookout for crumbs and cross-contamination…she hasn’t gluphed me yet! We hit Pizza Fusion for lunch after a particularly rigorous Shreadmill class. While we may have completely negated the brag-worthy effort we put forth on the treadmill,the GF pizza and beer really hit the spot. So much so,in fact,that we went back that night for dinner with our husbands! I ate the one leftover piece the next morning for breakfast,and ventured back for lunch the next day. What do you want from me? I hadn’t gone out for pizza in six years!
I have to admit that after four Pizza Fusion meals in a row I needed a break. So it’s been a few weeks. I returned today with my dear friend,and fellow Celiac,“E”,for pizza and beer (no Shreadmill today,but I did work my ass off (har har) in Bar Method this morning,so it’s totally okay).
I’ve tried four different pizzas now,but my favorite is the “Farmer’s Market”–I get lost somewhere between the roasted artichoke hearts,red onion,roasted zucchini,roasted portobello,sauce and three different kinds of cheese. Yeah. You read that right. Three. Different. Cheeses. I love cheese. For my first real post,y’all are learning a lot about me. I love cheese. I kinda love pizza. I guess I also like fun exercise where people yell at me to keep me going. Oh,and apparently,I’m fond of beer. Speaking of beer…Green’s Gluten Free Discovery Amber is kind of awesome. Granted,this is coming from someone who literally does not recall what “real”beer tastes like. Still –I did get independent confirmation that it’s simply really good beer. I’ve tried several other beers,and Redbridge is still one of my go-to choices. Maybe because it’s always in stock at my closest Whole Foods. I’m eager for our Trader Joe’s to start carrying GF beer already.
More about beer and my shopping preferences in future posts.
The pizza today was delicious. E had the Four Cheeses (four!) and Sun Dried Tomato which has…you guessed it. Four cheeses:Goat cheese,Mozzarella,Provolone,and Parmesan;Sun Dried Tomatoes,Basil,Roasted Garlic,and Tomato Sauce. I think she may have added olives. I was too busy devouring my pizza (yes,the whole thing but it’s okay because I’m back at Bar Method first thing tomorrow morning) to even try to snag a bite. We shared the beer –which was a must. It was lunch on a Tuesday and Green’s comes in a 16.9 oz bottle!
Something else really cool about Pizza Fusion:They’re all about organic,natural,eco-friendly,and green responsible –all things that I’m into and look for. Wind energy offsets,reclaimed wood tables,recycled paper products,biodegradable utensils and take-out packages,the list goes on and on. In fact,why don’t you take a peek at the Hollywood location Menu and you’ll see more about their mission,too. All this is also on the Pizza Fusion Website,of course.
But here’s the thing I really love about Pizza Fusion:It’s not just for Celiacs or people steering clear of gluten. The regular pizzas are supposedly just as delicious –and W said she couldn’t tell the difference between her regular pizza and my gluten free one! She might have just been saying that,but I doubt it… She was pretty convincing. It made for a perfect double date night and besides…who doesn’t like pizza?