Tag Archives: japanese


12 Jan

IMG_8542.jpegHappy New Year! It has been nonstop here for the past few months between holidays, work, and taking care of the kiddos. For that reason, I was super excited to get out of the house and try a new restaurant. Oku is the latest restaurant from Tina Takaya of Opal. It sits right on Cabrillo Boulevard with beautiful views of the coastline, especially from the upper patio. When I told our waiter about being a Celiac, he had me list the menu items I was interested in so he could check with the kitchen. Many of the items were made gluten-free by substituting tamari for the soy sauce. Our table got a few dishes to share including the shishito peppers, edamame and chinese long beans.IMG_8545.jpegMy favorite of the three would have to be the shishito peppers.

IMG_8549.jpegI asked about the sashimi carpaccio offerings as well. Our waiter let me know that none of the listed sauces were safe. However, they could substitute pure yuzu as an option. I ordered the yellowtail carpaccio in that style and was happy with the taste. I then ordered some nigiri. The wasabi that they use isn’t fresh wasabi (our waiter told us that it is too expensive), so I ordered it without. I don’t tend to trust wasabi pastes as they can have fillers like wheat starch that are not gluten-free. I also asked about the sushi rolls that they offer. Unfortunately, the restaurant soaks their seaweed in soy sauce so those are off limits. I like having another option for Asian cuisine in Santa Barbara. However, I still wish that we could have one restaurant in town that is totally GF friendly, offers sushi and has a gluten-free fryer like Rice in Manhattan Beach or Yuki Yama in Park City.

Miso Hungry

6 Nov

Blackened SalmonOne of the great things about the Axxess Card is that it gets you to try new restaurants out. Japanese cuisine is always scary to try as a Celiac due to the risk of cross contamination, but I was so pleasantly surprised with my experience at Miso Hungry. I spoke with the gentleman behind the counter and learned that of all of their sauces, only the Teriyaki, Ponzu and Japanese Curry are not gluten-free. They use gluten-free tamari for their salad dressings (just avoid the Ponzu dressing). He also was sure to put on new gloves to be safe. I got so excited that I decided to order two items. First, I had the blackened salmon salad. This was dressed with their orange vinaigrette. The guy helping me encouraged additional sauces on top so I gave him free reign as long as they were gluten-free. I also had their spicy tuna sushi wrap.

Spicy Tuna WrapThese are about the size of a burrito. You have the choice of having it wrapped in nori or rice paper. I loved this as their spicy aioli gave it a kick. When I was getting my water, I saw a great Iced Tea Bar around the corner. I will definitely take advantage of this the next time I go!

Iced Tea Bar


13 Aug

Vegetable TempuraAfter returning from Portland, we stopped in Manhattan Beach for some dinner at Rice. Here, we found a safe place for Celiacs to enjoy sushi and more! Everything GF is clearly marked on the menu. Additionally, our waiter was very knowledgeable about all of the GF sauces. We started by ordering some Vegetable Tempura made in gluten-free oil. We also ordered the Potatoes.

PotatoesThese were served with a creamy curry sauce and a spicy-koji sauce. We then split three rolls. Since my husband is vegetarian, we stuck to the Vegan Roll selection. The first roll we had was the Dynamite Roll.

Dynamite RollThis roll had spicy tofy and avocado with their spicy dynamite sauce on top. This was our favorite of the three as it had lots of flavor. The second roll we ordered was the Yellow Brick Road.

Yellow Brick RoadThis one had crispy tofu on an avocado, cucumber and asparagus roll. It was topped with a sweet and spicy sauce. My favorite part of this roll though was the crispy kale served on the side of it. It had a tendency to just melt in my mouth. The third roll we got was the Crispy Green Roll.

Crispy Green RollThis roll had garlic chilli cucumbers served on an asparagus, avocado and shiso roll with soy paper. At the end of our meal when we were leaving, we were offered a lollipop. The hostess even showed me the packaging to show that they were gluten-free! This is definitely our new go-to spot if we are near LA!


16 Mar

Get ready to hear about how great Onyx is for us gluten-free eaters. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village for a night this week. For dinner, we went to the hotel’s Onyx Restaurant. I started with a sake sampler which was interesting in a good way. When I started asking our waitress questions, she amazingly informed me that they could make tempura dishes GF by using potato starch and that they could prepare the fried rice with GF soy sauce! She then brought out a bottle of soy sauce for me to use for the meal.

On her recommendation, I ordered the Red Dragon roll which had spicy tuna and (gluten-free!) shrimp tempura.

I really enjoyed this roll. Prior to being diagnosed, I used to LOVE shrimp tempura, so it was incredibly exciting to have it again! The other roll I got was called the Hawaiian Volcano. It had spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, spicy aioli and pickled red ginger. Even though it had similar ingredients, it had a totally different taste.

I enjoyed it, but I liked the Red Dragon roll better. We also shared a side of the vegetable fried rice because how often can I order fried rice at a restaurant?!

Overall, we had a fantastic time at Onyx. It was so nice to have so many options at a Japanese restaurant. The music, which was surprising (80s rock and pop), somehow enhanced the whole experience.