Tag Archives: gluten free restaurant

Gluten-Free Mall: BJ’s

gluten-free restaurantI just spent the most beautiful afternoon at the Century City Mall. I’m not even kidding. I do live in LA, so it’s kind of about time I was hanging out, browsing Zara, and picking up lunch at the food court. Of course the malls of today are not the malls of my youth, so thank god I wasn’t tempted by a Corn-Dog-on-a-Stick. (Can I get a hey-hey for the cheese-on-a-stick? RAD.) Instead, I wandered into BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, where they’ve been tuned into the gluten-free thing for as long as I’ve been on the gf wagon train.

This is the first time I’ve actually spent some time hanging out there, and ordering a variety of gluten-free options. I was pretending I was a real food critic, and thusly, ordered more than one lady hanging out at the mall on a Saturday afternoon would actually consume. It was awesome, yet I will recommend this: Do not order your dessert alongside your entree in hopes of a good photo, because you will eat your dessert, and forget that you even had an entree. Especially if that entree includes broccoli.

So here’s what went down.

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Gluten-Free Burbank: Bea Bea’s

gluten-free wafflesDo you know what’s totally weird about LA? No, not the whole boobs thing, but the fact that you can find a gem of a restaurant tucked away in a strip mall. As someone who is easily swayed by flashing lights and a hip facade, I oftentimes keep on driving past “the best Cuban, I swear,” and right into the middle of Hollywood where I get gluten’d.

Over the winter break, my husband installed one of my new favorite apps, Lunchbox, on all of our devices. So instead of heading to the flashiest place on the block for a nice brunch, we popped that open and started staring at all the lovely food porn at Bea Bea’s in Burbank — a tiny joint on the same strip as Jenny Craig. Having inappropriate fantasies about huevos rancheros, I jumped in the car and drove straight to Burbank. Then I turned around and went back home to pick up my family who were pissed that I’d raced out the door without them.

Regardless, we all had a lovely brunch, the gluten-free madness was simply a bonusContinue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Rosa Mexicano

And New York, and I think maybe Vegas? While Rosa Mexicano used to be the only spot in New York City for fresh guacamole and killer margaritas, it is now known more for being a high-end Mexican joint that has migrated west. Also, thankfully, a zillion Mexican restaurants are now operating at delicious capacity throughout the five boroughs. Which is why I stopped eating at Rosa Mexicano when I was still living in New York, on account of the less expensive neighborhood joint that was rocking the tacos.

I’m so stoked to have gone back and not only had an amazing meal, but a meal that was also totally safe for my sensitive gut parts. I always say how going for Mexican food is a swell idea for the gluten-free. Yet I was still pleasantly surprised at the gluten-free reception awaiting me as I joined a group of lovely ladies for a farewell dinner at the West Hollywood Rosa Mexicano. When I did my usual spiel of, “I’ve got this bullshit autoimmune situation and do the pork meatball enchiladas have gluten?” the adorable actor/waiter who was trying to lose his Irish accent (with limited success) ran to get me this:

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Scott Baio Loves Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill

Something awesome, yet bizarro is happening in my neighborhood you guys. Or rather, my adjacent neighborhood. Not one, but two restaurants opened this week that serve gluten-free pizza. That’s right, gluten-free pizza within walking (if-we-still-lived-in-Brooklyn-but-we-live-in-LA-so-driving) distance!!! It’s like all of my complaining is finally paying off and now I can enjoy pizza every night of the week without looking like that person that comes into your restaurant every night of the week. Because of trading off, that’s how.

Thank goodness someone made the Sophie’s choice for me as to which pizzeria to try first, as the lovely people of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Grill extended an invitation to me to check out their new digs earlier this week. I obliged. So did Scott Baio, as the hubs and I totally star-sighted that guy chowing down at Sammy’s. (Apparently his wife loves the joint.) But back to the food. The food that Chachi loves more than Joanie.

While the pizza is certainly a super delicious treat (we had the BBQ chicken pizza, because why not?), there are a variety of items on the Sammy’s menu that are gluten-free. And all kinds of cues on the menu about how to order up some gluten-free grub. See — Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Bloomin’ Onion: Clumpy Yet Delicious

I actually don’t think I’ve ever been to Outback Steakhouse — in spite of my father’s ringing endorsement. Seriously, he loves that joint. Probably because the rise of the Outback on the corner coincided with my move to New York, so I missed the Australian revolution. But when my husband and I were discussing fun things to make gluten-free last night, I said, “How about a Bloomin’ Onion?!” in a really crazy accent. Thus, this situation. I made a gluten-free bloomin’ onion.

So the hard part about making a bloomin’ onion is cutting it up properly and making it bloom. The batter is your basic flour and spice mix, and I used that amazing Better Batter seasoned gluten-free flour and just added a smidge of spices on top to make it freaking delicious. The dipping sauce apparently is crucial in this treat and it was also very WT — what with the mayo and ketchup combo. Yet, I found myself digging it. And it was super easy to whip up.

Before you start following the instructions from the recipe below, I want to show you some examples of onion cutting. Here’s the slicing it 3/4 part:

I did not turn it 90 degrees, but if your math skillz are more badass than my own, please follow the instructions to a t. Otherwise, cut 1/2 to 1 inch off each end, remove the papery outside, remove the core, then slice downward about 3/4 of the way, and then spread those onion wings like so:

Or even more so, as mine clumped a little bit. But I was scared to break it, or something, so I wasn’t as aggressive with that onion as perhaps I should have been. We all have regrets.

But I don’t regret frying the crap out of this thing and serving it up. My husband actually said, “This is the best thing you have made — ever.” But you should keep in mind that this is a guy who thinks salad is a meal and tries to be healthy and stuff. If you give him fried food, he’ll do anything for you. ANYTHING. Needless to say, I won’t be picking dog poop up out of the backyard this week.

But yeah, it was rad. You can do it too: Continue reading

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Gluten-Free San Francisco

In addition to freezing my butt off, dining out was one of the biggest surprises of last week’s trip to San Francisco. Or rather, surprises that I should not have been surprised about AT ALL. Because everyone knows that a) SF is cold and foggy, and b) Those crazy hippies are way ahead of the curve when it comes to healthy eating. So gluten-free dining was not at all difficult, except for that one day when the kids only wanted bread products and I really, really didn’t.

My three most pleasant dining out experiences in the San Fran came in the form of soup, Vietnamese yumminess, and pizza. Also, a big shout out to all of our friends and family who went out of their ways to cook gf dishes that were incredibly delicious. LOVE the Bay Area vibe. Continue reading

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