Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Exploring Senegalese Cuisine at Teranga (Boston, MA)

Tucked in Boston's South End is an OG Senegalese restaurant called Teranga. Teranga means hospitality in wolof, a Senegalese language. The restaurant first opened in 2009 and closed down temporarily but reopened in December. I've only had Senegalese food once before and didn't remember much, since it was a long time ago, so I welcomed the chance to give it another try at Teranga.

We started with some Fataya. These are similar to samosas, or pastels, basically a fried dough pie filled with minced meat and vegetables. The ones at Teranga are served with a sriracha aioli.
Teranga
The fatayas are common street food in Senegal, and it is thanks to a big Lebanese presence and influence!

Next, we had some nems. Yes, these are Vietnamese fried spring rolls. What am I doing eating Vietnamese food in a Senegalese restaurant?
Teranga
As it turns out, there's a big Vietnamese influence in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, due to all the expat laborers there! Nems (sometimes also called rouleau de printemps - literally, "spring rolls") are very common there. Who knew!

Next, we had some attieke, which is a couscous made of cassava root. This was prepared simply with onion, mint, tomato, and served with lime. Simple yet perfect!
Teranga

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Taste on Melrose (West Hollywood, CA)

by guest blogger @btsunoda

When the food and ambiance come together, a restaurant becomes a special place. Taste in West Hollywood is cute, hip, and not a pretentious place. Until recently, the only negative on the place was that it was small.

Taste on Melrose recently expanded their restaurant and added a courtyard and an Atrium. The  Zen-like courtyard was built in the rear of the original building which gives diners an al fresco option. 
Owners John Halter and Morten Kaag transformed a small dress shop into a romantic and stylish addition complete with a full bar and kitchen. The Atrium is attractively decorated and equipped with spot lighting which adds to the ambiance. A skylight offers daytime diners some nice indirect lighting.
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The Atrium was built to serve different purposes. First, they needed more space added to the original restaurant and having the Atrium can address the overflow. With its own full bar and kitchen, It is also ideal for private parties; it even has a separate entrance.


I was recently hosted for dinner after the Atrium was opened. Our dinner started with the kale and persimmon caesar salad.
This salad was extremely colorful and I thought that the addition of persimmon and garlic married the ingredients nicely. Many chefs offer “seasonal” menus and it’s enjoyable for me to see the winter offerings.

Albacore tuna tataki included avocado, cucumbers, scallion, toasted sesame seeds, shallots with a Jalapeno Soy Citronette. This is a nice small bite starter that would pair with a white French (e.g., their Louis Latour, Montagny) or Pinot Gris wine.
The pear bruschetta with gorgonzola, caramelized onions and walnuts appetizer was very simple and I got addicted to it quickly. I went for seconds on this tasty starter.
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One of their signature dishes, the White Truffle Mac and Cheese was served. What I particularly enjoyed about the dish was the inclusion of slivered crimini mushrooms. The buttery taste and the white truffle oil will delight your senses.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IONutrition: Ready to Eat Organic, Gluten Free Meals

As I get older, somehow I feel like I'm always busy. When I was in college, I was taking 5 classes and had 3 part time jobs and had no problem doing that. Now I have one job and one blog (OK, and doing random things here and there), but I always feel like I never have time for anything! Like cooking dinner.

I mean, cooking just takes a lot out of me! But as they say, if you want to eat healthy, you need to eat at home. Well, luckily, I got to do that for a few days thanks to IONutrition who sent me some samples of their meals. IONutrition delivers chef-prepared, organic, gluten-free meals to your door.

IONutrition
Catfish with lentils
The company is based in Chino Hills, CA, but they package everything up and ship nationwide. They deliver weekly and the meals are sealed and keep for a while.
IO Nutrition
It's easy to heat them up just with a microwave or oven.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Healthy Food that Surprises at Stamp Proper Foods in Los Feliz

If you're looking for healthier food that isn't boring, try Stamp Proper Foods that's recently opened in Los Feliz. Owner and Chef Catherine Baker was a model for 20 years before opening Stamp Proper with partner David Beckwith. Said partner is actually also Catherine's fiance, who apparently had lost a lot of weight since they started dating and loved the food so much he thinks she should open a restaurant.

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Sure, as with healthy restaurants, there are lentils, gluten free baked goods, smoothies/juices, and all that. But what I like about Stamp Proper Foods is Catherine's twists on all of these.

For breakfast, I really enjoyed the Moroccan Lentils and Eggs (lentils, sauteed spinach, poached eggs, date chutney, toasted almonds, currants, and grilled lemon - $14)
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It's the little things she added that impressed, like the crunch from the toasted almonds, and the sweetness of the chutney and currants.

Sandwich options included Bison meatloaf sandwich, with sharp cheddar, spicy ketchup on sourdough ($14, choice of house-made slaw or mixed greens)
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As you can see, this isn't a vegetarian restaurant, but they opt for the leaner meats.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Il Piccolo Verde (Brentwood)

With the rise of inventive and off-the-wall menus these days, we sometimes forget how good how good old school cooking is - like classic Italian, for example. At Il Piccolo Verde, a cute, small, Italian place in Brentwood, I was recently reminded of it.

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The Baked eggplant parmigiana is a bit different, since it is stuffed with zucchini ($12)
Eggplant Parmigiano
There's an old school wood fired pizza oven here.
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We tried the Pizza Napoletana, topped with tomato sauce, fresh burrata, and basil
Pizza

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Breakfast to Dinner at Doma Kitchen (Redondo Beach)

by: guest blogger Bryan Tsunoda @btsunoda

Doma Kitchen is a fairly new restaurant located in South Redondo Beach as it has been open less than one year. Recently I had the opportunity to experience their new spring menu.
While I’ve dined at Doma Kitchen a number of times, it was primarily for breakfast. They've now extended their hours into the early evening and I was curious about their offerings.
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Doma Kitchen occupies a very small lot. In fact, the kitchen takes the entire space of the building. A beautifully stained wood fence surrounds the perimeter to create a patio-like setting. Dining is exclusively al fresco and Doma Kitchen has set up colorful tent canopies and heaters to keep diners comfortable during cool evenings. Colorful artwork from local artists adorn their walls.
Co-owner Angie Corrente gave us an overview of the evening’s menu. She explained that she and co-owner Stan Mayzalis have traveled the world and as a result, they wanted Doma Kitchen to reflect their love for global cuisine.

We were blown away to learn that we would experience breakfast, lunch and dinner in a matter of only 2 hours. Fortunately, the portion sizes were small, but that was still a lot of food to consume in one sitting.
Breakfast
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Our “breakfast” was served promptly and efficiently. Doma Kitchen’s Pancetta Scramble with home fries arrived to our table first. Unlike some that use a pancetta that is more ‘ham-like’, Doma Kitchen uses a very good quality pancetta which is full of flavor. This combined with the scrambled eggs and scallions made for a tasty dish.
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The others at my table were definitely drawn to the sweet offerings. Fresh Belgian waffles were served with a homemade chocolate sauce and fresh fruit, nutella and bananas and vanilla creme. The waffle was ultra crispy and I was surprised that it wasn’t dense.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Healthy Vegan Cuisine at Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe (Downtown LA)

Being a food blogger is hazardous, so a healthy, vegan dinner is a welcome change once in a while. Recently this came to me with a preview dinner at the new Dr J's Vibrant Cafe in downtown LA.

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Dr J The owner of Dr J's is the young man in the picture who opened this cafe to honor his mother and her cooking. His mother is the cute little woman next to him. Story was that he got really sick after attending college and was supposed to go on life long medication, but his mother, Dr. J, told him to try eating her pure, clean eating lifestyle before going on the medication. As you can guess, he got better and no longer needed his medication. Now he wants to spread this lifestyle by opening the cafe.

What I liked about Dr. J's Vibrant Cafe is that the food is not only vegan but actually healthy - as in low sodium, low sugar etc. Some vegan or vegetarian places around didn't actually seem that healthy to me because they tend to be overly salty to make up for the lack of meat or dairy. The food here, like the kale salad, quinoa spring salad, or brown rice medley, tasted healthy but still has enough flavor (the rice noodle one was still a bit bland to me)
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Of the ones I tried, I really liked the brown rice medley (with peas, onions, carrots, and tofu) and the Curried Potatoes with carrots, green beans, and peas.
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Monday, October 31, 2011

Pam Mac D's: New Gluten-Free Market Opens in Burbank

A couple of years ago, I knew nothing about celiacs and gluten intolerance. I've heard about gluten free diet as a fad back in college, and didn't get why people would want to cut out gluten.

Then upon meeting a friend's best friend, I was told that he had celiac disease and could not eat gluten. Now, my roommate is also gluten intolerant. As I started paying attention to it, I realized that it's a pretty hard lifestyle. I thought my roommate would be fine at an Asian restaurant since she can eat rice, but soy sauce is also a no-no!

Well, for these people, life just became easier with the opening of Pam Mac D's in Burbank, an entirely gluten-free market.

From gluten free beer made with Sorghum (which was actually pretty good, light beer) to almond flour, it carries pretty much everything. They also have packed vegan meals from Rahel Ethiopian Restaurant.

Even if you're not on a gluten free diet, doesn't mean you won't enjoy some of the things here.

I absolutely loved the ThinKrisps. I mean, they're cheese crisps!! Crunchy, crispy, cheddary goodness that are so addictive. I can eat a whole container in 5 minutes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Brunching in Old Town's New Gastropub, Kings Row (Pasadena)

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Bananas Foster Griddle Cakes
When a gastropub opened up in Old Town Pasadena, I admit I didn't pay much attention. That is, until I saw Deep End Dining and Trippy Food rave about the oxtail at Kings Row. They claimed it was fit for a king, and that intrigued me, so when they invited me to try out the new brunch menu, I accepted.

Kings Row opened in the old Neomeze space, which they have completely transformed from the pink and blue-lit lounge to the brick-walled bare space playing country music.
Kings Row, Pasadena
The brunch menu was pretty diverse with dishes ranging from chorizo fajitas to chicken fried steak to fish and chips. And buckwheat waffles a.k.a. the best waffles I've ever had. More on that later.

The fish and chips ($14) featured huge pieces of moist, nicely battered fish. We liked the fries as well, but could've skipped the mushy peas (is that a British thing?)
Fish and Chips
A hint for things to come: the portions are generous.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pizza Fusion: Going Vegan and Gluten-Free for a Night

Pizza Fusion is NOT a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free place.
It does, however, carry options for all of the above, and is pretty well-known for their gluten free crust, giving those with celiac disease the rare opportunity to eat a pizza. So when the owners of Pizza Fusion invited me over to taste the food they offer, I decided to try these vegan and gluten-free stuff for myself.

DISCLAIMER: I went for an invited tasting, so we ate for free.

I went with LA & OC Foodie, the perfect partner in crime since he was doing a Meatless April (and I guess now he's attempting a Meatless May too ... tsk tsk.)

I don't know if Pizza Fusion is the first sustainable chain, but this franchise that started in Miami not only serves organic and sustainable products but also didn't stray from their environmental mission in building their locations. Even their floors, walls and toilets.

Pizza Fusion carries some microbrewery beers on taps and also a selection of organic wines. LA & OC Foodie ordered a flight of 4 beers (20 oz total, %10).
I don't remember what beers he ordered but I remembered I liked the Unibroue Blanche de Chambly the best.

I opted for the lemonade instead ($3.00) at first... I gave in and got a beer later - the Blanche de Chambly. Uhm.
The lemonade is not too sweet like most others, which makes it even more refreshing and thirst quenching.

The owner recommended the stuffed zucchini, "Zucchini al Forno" ($6.99), so we got an order of those too.
Roasted zucchini stuffed with walnuts and vegetarian stuffing. We definitely didn't miss the meat or the chicken/turkey broth in this, the stuffing had plenty of flavors already. Perhaps too much actually. I thought the zucchini didn't need so much stuffing and less would actually balance the flavors better. I did enjoy the texture that the walnuts gave to this.

Because those flip-up menus and ads sometimes do work and this looked good, we got a half order of the Pear & Gorgonzola salad ($5.99)
Using great fresh products, can't go wrong with this salad.

We ended up getting a non-vegan (but vegetarian since LA & OC Foodie is doing his meatless April!) on a gluten-free crust, and a vegan pizza (with vegan cheese) on a normal crust. Hedging our bets, so to speak.

Here's the Farmer's Market Pizza with Gluten-Free crust (personal size, $9.99)

As you can see below, the gluten free crust is noticeable thinner than a normal thin crust. It's rather cracker-like also, probably what one would expect from a non-gluten crust.

For the vegan cheese at Pizza Fusion, you have 2 options: either the Follow Your Heart soy cheese, or the Daiya cheese for a bit extra - $0.50-$1, can't remember. Because Quarry Girl raved about the Daiya cheese (which she then asked Pizza Fusion to carry), we opted to try it.

We got this cheese on the Very Vegan pizza (personal size, $8.99+extra for Daiya).
Upon first taste, Daiya cheese certainly had strong flavors, one that you wouldn't expect from a vegan cheese, and one that you wouldn't get from the Follow Your Heart soy cheese (according to LA & OC Foodie)

I ended up liking the normal-cheese-gluten-free-crust pizza better but LA & OC Foodie liked the vegan-cheese-normal-crust better.
It's certainly wonderful that those with celiac disease can have things they normally wouldn't be able to at Pizza Fusion, like the pizza, and also brownies. We tried a gluten-free vegan brownie ($4.99) a la mode (with vanilla gelato - not vegan).
The brownie was surprisingly chocolate-y and decadent, almost reminiscent of fudge though not as rich and thick. It was moist but the flavors are there, although the texture was just a little bit off. Not necessarily bad, but I definitely noticed a difference between this gluten free version and others.

I have some vegan friends and I also know a couple of people with celiac disease. It was really nice to find this place so I can take him later and let him have some pizza and brownie. Personally though, I'd still go with the bbq chicken, sinful cheese, and gluten crust :P Luckily, Pizza Fusion has all that, too. Something for everyone.

They also have the following weekly specials, in case you're planning a visit!
Vegan Monday- Free Daiya Cheese Upgrade on Any Pizza or Free Vegan Strawberry Sorbet on any Large Vegan Pizza Soy or Daiya
Wine and Dine Tuesday- Up to $20 off Organic/ Sustainable Bottles of Wine
Draft Beer Wednesday- $1 off Any Draft Beer
Gluten-Free Thursday- Free Gluten-Free Vegan Brownie with Any Large Gluten Free Pizza


Pizza Fusion - Hollywood
7950 W. Sunset Blvd.
Suite 104
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 375-3390
www.pizzafusion.com/hollywood/
Pizza Fusion on Urbanspoon

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