Sunday, April 25, 2010

Celiac Disease Foundation Annual Conference in L.A.

UPDATE: I registered!  Please let me know if you'll be there, I'd love to meet readers.

The Celiac Disease Foundation will be holding its Annual Education Conference this year in downtown Los Angeles.  This year marks the 20th consecutive year that this conference has been held.

The conference will host Dr. Peter Green from Columbia's Celiac Disease Center; Dr. Daniel C. Adelman, Senior V.P. & Chief Medical Officer, Alvine Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Sheila Crowe, Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia; and others.  The conference will also include a question and answer with Dr. Green, a young adult & teens get together, a "Meet the Authors" with various Celiac authors, and a gluten free food fair!


The conference will be held at the Marriott downtown on May 15, 2010 from 8am to 4pm.

Do you plan on attending?  Leave me a comment and let me know!  I'm not sure whether or not I will be attending -- has anybody attended in the past?  Any thoughts?

Early registration has been extended until April 30th, so register ASAP for lower rates!

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Celiac Disease Foundation
20th Anniversary Celebration
Annual Education Conference & Food Fair
333 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071 (Map)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dodger Stadium Offering Gluten Free Options

In big news sure to excited gluten free Dodgers fans, Dodger stadium will soon be offering gluten free beer and snacks!  Thanks to my classmate Emily for the heads up.



The stadium will offer gluten free fans Redbridge beer, California Chips, and gummy bears at Health Plate carts.  The Dodgers' gluten free items follows the precedent set by the Colorado Rockies.  Coors Field, the Rockies' home stadium, offers great gluten free snack options in a dedicated gluten free location;  it's thought to be the first of its kind in Major League Baseball.

The food will be available beginning April 13th when the Dodgers open their season against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Check out the full LA Times post here.

Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Los Angeles Dodgers
1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Map)

Monday, April 5, 2010

birthMONTH

Wow.  This birthday has really topped all other birthdays (check out 2009 here and previous birthdays here)... probably because it turned into an entire birthmonth.  That's right, a birthmonth -- because why have just one day?

So it all started off at The Abbey in West Hollywood.  I invited friends to ring in my birthday a bit early as my actual birthday fell during law school spring break.  In an attempt to maximize attendance, I planned it well in advance.


My new friend Travis went above and beyond the call of duty -- he reserved a table for us and surprised me with a birthday cake from Babycakes!  I think that elevates him to best friend status, don't you?  The picture above is of Travis, Allison, and I.


Any regular reader of this site knows that I'm a sucker for Babycakes.  Now that they've opened in L.A. you can catch me there most Mondays!  We had a really fun night with an eclectic group of people; some college friends, some law school friends, some L.A. friends... it was great.  Thanks everybody!

A few days later my friends Hilary, Jess, Mike, and Amy and I went to lunch at El Cholo.  It's a great Mexican spot with multiple locations in L.A.  The restaurant offers 50% for USC students Monday-Wednesday at their location on Western.  They have tons of gluten free options; I had the blue corn enchiladas and loved them.


Unfortunately my friends wouldn't let me escape the restaurant without having the waitresses sing to me for my birthday.  I guess I shouldn't complain... thanks guys!  This dessert was a delicious gluten free flan.

Of course Hilary wouldn't let me off that easily... she forced me to go to Babycakes with her and indulge again.  Do you notice a recurring theme?  My friend's know the way to please me is overdosing on gluten free food.  Again, I can't complain.

The cookiewiches at Babycakes send me to heaven so I had to go for one of those.  The donuts are great too, as are the Brownie cupcakes.  The Brownie cupcakes are far and away my favorite Babycakes cupcakes.  I absolutely love when they have Brownie Mint -- I can't get enough of that combination.  Thanks girl!

My friends LoFo, Amanda, Sarah, and I were finally able to resume our Monday night TV watching after an extended break... and Sarah brought me some great gluten free treats!  She gave me the Peanut Butter & Jelly chocolate bar from Trader Joe's as well as a Trader Joe's nougat bar.  Both are normally found by the register and are unbelievably amazing.  They are also marked as having no gluten ingredients.  If asked for a preference, I'd have to say the nougat was my favorite.  She also gave me a box of ThinkThin bites.  Thanks Sarah!

Then my friend LoFo and I took the party bicoastal -- that's right, we went to New York City!  Her mother was generous enough to send us with lots of peanut M & Ms, my personal favorite.



I love New York... despite the weather.  And we suffered some serious weather!  Our first day was wonderful; we were able to go shopping in the Meatpacking District, walk around the West Village, and generally explore New York.  LoFo had only been to New York City once before, and never as a 21 year old, so it was my mission to show her around and try to share what I know about it.  I've never lived in the city for a substantive period of time... but I know my way around pretty well!  When we first arrived we went to my favorite diner Veselka.  Lauren indulged in a cheese blintz -- it's in Little Ukraine so she had to!  I used to frequent this place the summer I lived in the city.  After a little power nap (since we had taken a red eye flight), we were welcomed to the city by LoFo's friend Samantha, who took us to Tortilla Flats for some tequila shots and delicious corn chips and guacamole.  Totally gluten free!  We also stopped in at Tu-Lu's Gluten Free Bakery, as it was right next to where we were staying in the East Village.  Check out my previous post on Tu-Lu's here.

I can't believe I'm about to write this but... on the same day we also visited Magnolia Bakery!  LoFo had never visited and since we were in the West Village we figured, why not?



Walking in I was assaulted by the taste of sweet sweet gluten... but luckily made it out of there with a flourless chocolate tort!  I really enjoyed it... it wasn't my favorite flourless chocolate dessert, but it was nice to have an option at Magnolia.



However, be aware, this is NOT made in a dedicated gluten free facility or gluten free premises.  While I experienced no problem with it, you may (and probably do!) have different sensitivity levels than I do.



It was a crazy hectic trip, but I was so lucky to be able to have a great gluten free dinner with my Brooklyn friends (picture above).  We went to Caracas Arepas Bar and it was, as I write in this post, amazing.

The next day the weather didn't continue to hold for us but it wasn't awful... we walked around SoHo and did some shopping.  Of course I couldn't be in SoHo without taking LoFo to my favorite (as well as my sister's favorite) Rice to Riches.  I absolutely love the flavors there and the entire atmosphere.  We opted for the French Toast and Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road flavors mixed together.

Then the next day, Saturday the 13th... was a monsoon.  And my birthday.  I woke up early to head to Trader Joe's Wine Shop on 14th Street to pick up some wine bottles for the night's celebrations... and somehow carried 14 bottles three avenue blocks in a cardboard box through what can only be described as a torrential downpour.  I was terrified that the soaking wet cardboard wouldn't hold the bottles and I would end up on a New York street soaking wet with nothing but broken glass bottles.  Fortunately, that didn't happen.

Needless to say LoFo and I had a rough day with the weather but tried to make the best of it by visiting the flagship Bloomingdale's and Dylan's Candy Bar.  The two are right across the street from each other at 59th and Lexington so it made it pretty easy for us to enjoy both shops.  Everybody from L.A. kept telling me to go to Dylan's Candy Bar -- why had I never been before?  This place is heaven for me, as I'm a huge candy guy.  It's a little strange, actually, how much I enjoy candy.  Why hasn't Dylan opened up one of these candy bars here in L.A.?!  It would be a nice break from all of the frozen yogurt...

Luckily I was able to salvage the day with a great dinner party in the East Village.  I was a little nervous about this night, because I had found this particular sushi place through Yelp!  It had great reviews on Yelp but I had a large party coming and didn't have any personal experience with the restaurant.


Luckily the restaurant, Fu Sushi, turned out to be amazing.  The restaurant had a byob policy -- we showed up with at least 14 bottles of wine and it was no problem!  The restaurant and our waitress were very accommodating despite having a pretty large party.  I would definitely recommend Fu Sushi to anybody looking for a great BYOB sushi place in the city.  They even brought me out some amazing ice cream to help celebrate my birthday!

The next day was a recovery day for LoFo, who I think drank a few of those 14 bottles of wine on her own.  Whoops?  The weather still wasn't great so I took LoFo's sick day as an opportunity to run around and meet up with some college friends.  My mother had sent me a Babycakes gift certificate that was only good in the New York shop so I didn't let the opportunity go to waste; I invited my friend Clara to meet me there and indulge in some delicious gluten free treats.  It was so nice to see her as it always is; we lived together our senior year of college and survived some crazy (but wonderful) times.

While sadly I missed my friends Alissa and Ethel in New York, as luck would have it they were coming to L.A. the following weekend for a wedding.  We met up for a delicious brunch at Taste on Melrose where I had never been (picture to left).  I really enjoyed the Protein Scramble I ordered.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to take advantage of the bottomless mimosas as I was feeling a bit under the weather.  Hopefully next time!

My parents also visited during my birthmonth and we had a lot of great meals, my favorite being at Asia de Cuba on Sunset Boulevard.  The views and food were spectacular; check my full post on Asia de Cuba here.  I'll have more posts up soon about my parents visit but wanted to put this up in the meantime.

Thanks to everybody who made my birthday this year spectacular!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Asia de Cuba

To end my birthmonth celebrations my parents came to town.  Whenever they are in town I make sure to do a lot of good eating; there aren't a lot of great options in my hometown so they're excited to try places and I'm more than happy to play tour guide.

I was set on taking them to Asia de Cuba; I've been to the New York location in the past and loved it.  The New York location offers an entirely gluten free menu, so it's a great choice for an extravagant dinner in the city.  Here in L.A. the restaurant does not offer a gluten free menu but my server was extremely helpful in guiding me through the menu selection.  The restaurant is located inside the Mondrian hotel on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood -- it's a great place to take people visiting from out of town.

I ended up ordering the Chilean Sea Bass special served with a gazpacho and fresh vegetables after the waiter advised me that it was gluten free.  It seemed like a great choice on a "cold" L.A. day.

The sea bass was absolutely amazing.  The gazpacho added a lot of flavor to the fish particularly because it came coupled with the fresh vegetables underneath.  It was a bit of a chilly day in Los Angeles but luckily the sun broke through for a bit and we had some nice views of downtown.  I really appreciated Asia de Cuba's help in choosing gluten free dishes for me.  I would certainly recommend this place for the amazing food and the spectacular views of L.A.  The New York location's gluten free menu is also amazing.


Do you love it or do you love it?
- - -
Asia de Cuba
8440 W. Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069 (Map)
323.848.6000
-
Asia de Cuba New York
237 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016 (Map)
212.726.7755
-
Other Locations in San Francisco, London, and Miami

Tenley Molzahn is Gluten Free!

I have to (sheepishly) admit that I didn't know who Tenley Molzahn was when my friend Sarah told me she might be gluten free.  I've been weaning myself off of television recently and when I do watch it, I'm usually tuned to any Bravo reality TV show or Lost.  It turns out that she was on a recent season of The Bachelor.

Tenley's season began on January 4, 2010 and while Tenley didn't "win," she was the runner up.  For more info on the season, check out the Wikipedia entry here.

Via Twitter, Tenley confirmed that she is gluten free.  Click here to follow her.

Do you love it or do you love it?