Tag Archives: gluten free dining

Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Barrel & Ashes

gluten-free los angelesAvert your eyes, vegans. I’m about to lay some serious meat down on you with even more meat on top of that. Smoked meats, meats in beans, meats on top of Frito’s—Barrel & Ashes has got all of that and it’s very, very gluten-free friendly.

Once again, I found myself in a dark restaurant which isn’t the best to photograph when you only carry an iPhone with zero photo apps (I’ve really got to to do something about that). But how much light do you need to show the awesomeness of a gluten-free Frito chili pie? This much:

gluten-free los angelesAnd this is where I say this restaurant in Studio City is gluten-free friendly, rather than straight up gf. While the smoked meats are naturally gluten-free (huzzah! the brisket is the one to hoard, try the jalapeno cheddar sausage too), the wait staff—while charming—aren’t fully clued into the gluten-free world. Which is fine, in the sense of they’re serving tons of smoked meats, it’s not their biggest priority and even I get that. And luckily most items on the menu are naturally free of gluten, so you know there’s a very low chance of cross-contact. But when you’re trying to be super safe and you feel like the conversation you’re having isn’t really registering, well, it’s best to stay with what you know is free of gluten. Like meats.

But I received mixed reports on that delicious Frito chili pie. The first time I went to B & A, I was told it was off-limits. The second time I was with a group and the appetizers were mostly off-limits so I made sure to double check on the Frito chili pie. In my world, Frito chili pie should always be gluten-free, but many people add thickeners to chili that could contain flour. Hence, my concern. This time I was told I was safe if “Fritos were gluten-free.” This made me nervous, but not too nervous to grab a bite. Perhaps my stomach was a little rumbly? But I’m not 100% sure. Which means next time I’d better skip the chili pie. This is my sad face :(

Again, the brisket is insane and I crave it daily. The sausage is also to die for, and the ribs are amazoids. I loooooove the baked beans with the pork belly. I mean, who wouldn’t? And the greens are delicious and I can’t imagine what could be inside that would make me sick. So stick with that, people and you’ll be happy.

MEAT!!!!

 

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Osteria Mozza

gluten-free osteria mozzaWell I’m feeling great today, people. Other than my prosecco headache, that is. But still, no gluten’ing after chowing down in a super popular, super fancy restaurant that I’d assumed was off-limits makes me very, very, happy. Very. I am sad that the photos I have from last night’s amazoids dinner are not so hot. So I will cheat and use some from the website. Like that first one. That’s nice, right?

Osteria Mozza is one of those places everyone talks about wistfully, but I always cursed because, Italian. I don’t know how I didn’t get the memo that they were super gluten-free and other allergen friendly, but now that I know I can tell you where my big celebration dinners in LA will be. Right up in that oxtail ragu, is where. This oxtail ragu with gluten-free garganelli pasta

gluten-free los angelesOh hells, that was good. Much better than the picture. And then there was dinner of the naturally gluten-free grilled yellowtail with some kind of chickpea situation that was OFF THE HOOK. Yes, I did describe chickpeas all street like.

We dug into it so quickly, this was the only photo I got of that deliciousness –

gluten-free los angelesI know, we’re hogs.

And dessert was gelato, of course.

gluten-free los angelesIt was dark in there, guys. And a professional photographer I am not.

While everything from the punch di giorno to the gluten-free amuse bouche were impeccable, there’s another reason I’m so in love with Osteria Mozza as a gluten-free diner, and lover of all things yum: These people know how to take care of the celiac.

When I made the reservation I put in the notes that I was gluten-free and celiac. When I arrived at the restaurant, the hostess confirmed that I was celiac, which should not have surprised me since there is a sign right on top of the reservation table that asks everyone to alert their server to any food allergies. Nice. After being seated, not only did our waitress know about my gluten situation, but the guy bringing around the bread did as well. As did the amuse bouche server, as did anyone who came within 2 feet of our table. This is me—happy.

gluten-free los angeles

The waitress also confirmed what I had heard, which was all gluten-free pasta is prepared separately and there is no danger of cross-contamination. Additionally, most of their main dishes (non-pasta) are naturally gluten-free, as are the side dishes, antipasti and salads. The only off-limits foods for me were the stuffed pastas and a lot of the desserts. This. Is. Heaven.

Mario Batali has been fantastic with his restaurants in New York as far as accommodating the gluten-free, and as a partner in Osteria Mozza (along with the amazing Nancy Silverton and Joseph Bastianich) he clearly gets how to make a celiac diner happy. Yes, this is a pricey meal, and yes it’s a special occasion place. But I have yet to have been treated better, and with such consideration at any other fancy restaurants since my diagnosis, so I will be back. Oh, I will be back.

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Gluten-Free Orlando: Universal Studios Eats, Drinks & FUN

gluten-free universal studios orlandoThis girl turned 9 last week, and I couldn’t think of any better birthday for my Harry Potter obsessed gal than a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter right smack in the middle of Universal Florida. Yes, we do live within spitting distance of Universal Studios in Hollywood, but they don’t have the Potter. Yes, it was slightly embarrassing when people asked where we were from and we had to tell them we lived next door to Universal in LA but chose to spend loads of money flying across the country and staying at a hotel and getting our wizard on. But you know what? Who cares! It was this much fun –

universa

Also, the night we were there Olivia Freaking Newton-John was in concert and she totally nailed our favorite Xanadu songs. I might have just flown to Orlando to see that lady rock it out. And taking my daughter to her first real concert where we both knew all the words to the songs? Ummmm-azing.

What’s always not so amazing when I travel is the getting sick factor on account of not knowing my arse from a gluten filled airport meal.  Luckily, I had some guides in the form of GFOrlando and Eating Out Without so I knew I’d be able to swill Butterbeer, if I so chose. I did so choose. So did she – Continue reading

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Grand Central Market

gluten-free-los-angeles-grand-central-marketI don’t know about you guys, but I’ve started the official eating season off with a bang. I’ll be putting my vegan’ness on a part-time schedule, as there is much dairy and meat to be had. Much. Gluten-free mac and cheese, I’m talking to you.

I discovered even more goodness last Friday when the family decided to be adventurous and head outside of our neighborhood. Hey, it’s LA. It’s not easy to explore. I mean, unless you have a car. Which we do. Nevermind. Let’s just say I left my neighborhood and found some things.

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Meet My New Most Favorite Pizza

best gluten-free pizza Do you know what’s super cool? When you stumble upon gluten-free deliciousness, and not at all on purpose. That happened to me three times on a lunchtime walk the other day. Three times! Apparently that’s what can happen when you walk around Los Angeles. Who knew? Who knew you could even walk around Los Angeles? Now, you all do.

So the first gluten-free spotting I had was Caffe, Etc. where I found these awesome signs: Continue reading

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A Celiac Walks Into a Bakery . . .

gluten-free la brea bakeryOh yes, I did.

Look, I know it’s dumb to a) walk into a bakery, and b) expect that one of the most famous bakeries in America would be all, “Oh, you bet. EVERYTHING is gluten-free.” But I was waiting on my kid to finish her Saturday morning class and right down that very street was the incredibly delicious La Brea Bakery. And all up in it’s new digs!

Not unlike that time I was craving burritos and so I went to the burrito place knowing I could not have them, I just walked on into La Brea Bakery like I owned the place. Which I do not. Perhaps I was buoyed by my last trip into the bakery when it was just a lil’ ol’ bakery and they offered gluten-free macaroons. I thought, well, at least they have one thing I can eat. I was also assuming that even if he laughed at me, the waiter would know what had gluten and what did not. This, I was wrong about.

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Gluten-Free Hard Rock Cafe?

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeFirst of all, no, I have no idea why I just ate the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood. Okay, I do.

See, my girl wanted a special day with me because I’ve been working like an insane person and she’s been thrown in every camp from here to the border, so she’s all, “Mom. Pay attention to me.” I decided it might be fun and ridiculous to take one of those bus tours around Los Angeles and while we were on said tour, we got a coupon for the Hard Rock Cafe. Lunch was solved. But first, did you know Brad Pitt used to dress up like a chicken in front of this particular El Pollo Loco to sell their wares?

But I’m also going to tell you about the upside.

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeThat is a naturally gluten-free pomegranate margarita. They do have the booze there at the Hard Rock, because you know, they rock hard. I figured out pretty quickly why the ladies room reeked of vomit when they plunked down those drink menus where you can get like a French press filled with boozy lemonade and for an extra $3 you get 12 extra ounces and shot . . . of whatever. I felt like I was at LAX and my flight was just delayed. But I stuck with just one giant margarita, because I’m responsible like that.

While the Hard Rock Cafe does not offer a gluten-free menu, they do have gluten-free buns for the burger. And as a bonus, our lovely server was in-the-know about the shared fryer so he knew I couldn’t have French fries. Maybe it was because we switched servers in the middle, but one thing did get lost in translation when I opted for the side salad instead of the gluten fries. If you look really closely in that pic above, you’ll see croutons up in that green salad. Sigh. Although, let’s be honest. I was at the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard ordering a big ass margarita and cheese burger with triple cheese. I was not there for the side salad. This kid, however, was mucho impressed.

gluten_free_hard_rock_cafeI got to share with her my fave story about that time my boyfriend was working at the London Hard Rock and I sent him a mix tape that was so rad they played it there on heavy rotation. Which led her to asking me why they weren’t playing it in the L.A. Hard Rock if it was so good, and I had to explain to her that The Pixies are not what the kids are listening to these days. Still, she learned a lot about KISS that day, which made it all worth it.

So, yeah, maybe avoid the Hard Rock unless they up their gf game. And maybe other reasons.

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