Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Buddha’s Belly & Firefly


First of all, I’d like to apologize for the pictures taken while I was overly excited about dining out and getting my gluten-free on. Jeez, these are NOT good. Because when I’m dining out, I usually just shovel food in my mouth then remember to take a picture after I’ve chowed on half of my pork chop. Or in the case of Firefly, have one too many specialty cocktails beforehand and forget how to use an iPhone camera. But the important thing is that I’ve found two new (to me) restaurants that are easy for this celiac to dine in, and they are both super-duper rad. Hooray!

Just in time for the Chinese New Year, Buddha’s Belly is a Asian-ish joint in Hancock Park and Santa Monica (and they also just opened in Thousand Oaks!) that has its very own gluten-free menu. See?

You can’t really see, because it’s too freaking dark. But trust me, it’s a gluten-free menu. If you’re a gluten-hater, you know how difficult it is to get your Chinese fill since soy sauce will make you sick. Luckily the Buddha is all over that and  they know how to make substitutions in case you want to order something that isn’t on the gluten-free menu. Which I did. You can order the Baked Alaskan Cod and skip the spicy cucumber salad and be a-okay, gluten-wise. The Pad Thai is also a delicious choice that is easily made gluten-free as well. What I’m saying here, is these people know how to accommodate difficult folks like us. Hoo-rah!

Firefly in Studio City is another place that is all about being accommodating. So much so, that the man and I went back pretty quickly after our first visit because it was also incredible. From the house made chips with bacon creme fraiche (yes, it’s as good as it sounds), to the butter lettuce salad with poached rock shrimp in a buttermilk dressing, you can start your meal off with amazingness and a side of lychee martini and be perfectly happy. But I recommend you keep plowing through that menu and enjoy the roasted chicken with truffled white corn, crispy potato skins, and hazelnuts. I also had this crazy delicious cheese terrine and pork chop, which is no longer on the menu so I don’t have the fancy words to describe it. Perhaps this dark, blurry, photo will do it justice?

No? Then you’re just going to have to trust me that Firefly is the bomb — celiac or normal person. They may not have a designated g-free menu, but both times I dined happily at this establishment, the wait staff was incredibly knowledgable and accommodating.

So there you have it g-free peeps. Two other places you can waltz into without fear of a blowout following dinner. Yum!

8 Comments

Filed under Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Restaurants, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Buddha’s Belly & Firefly

  1. SCORE! Okay, so I’m not in LA…. I’m actually in Wisconsin, which is totally the exact polar opposite of LA… but I’m excited nonetheless because I just found your blog. A few months ago I was diagnosed with Celiac and told to go on a GF diet. Me. The person who has NEVER HAD TO WATCH WHAT SHE SHOVED IN HER PIE HOLE EVER. And I found that the majority of the GF stuff in my local Piggly Wiggly tasted like cardboard. I was sitting here crying thinking I would never enjoy a cracker again for the rest of my life when I googled “best gluten free cracker ever” and it took me here, to YOUR BLOG – where I have been reading for what seems like hours and now I have a long list of food to try. YAY!

  2. I went to the Buddha’s Belly in Thousand Oaks. It’s so delicious for when I’ve craving Pad Thai and can’t be sure if I can trust my local Thai place or not. I’ll have to try out Firefly too. Sounds awesome.

  3. Whatever that rock shrimp situation you described sound amazeballs! And don’t sweat the pictures. They’re not that bad. Could be worse. My Mom only takes photos of people with no actual people in them. At least you got the food in your food porn. Nice work.

  4. Reformed Foodie

    Sounds amazing! I have to try Buddha’s Belly asap. Love your blog, btw – new to my food allergies and still learning the ropes.
    http://www.reformedfoodie.com

    • Thanks Reformed Foodie! I would tell you that it gets easier, but you know it’s kind of like a roller coaster. Some days you’re all “Phhhpt, whatevs,” and other days you want to cry outside the pizzeria. Good luck.

  5. Pingback: Gluten-Free Gluttony in Los Angeles | Gluten Is My Bitch

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