Tag Archives: sushi


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.

Yuki Yama

20 Aug

IMG_5870.jpegWe were in Park City for my birthday this year and I was craving sushi, so we ended up at Yuki Yama. Right off the bat, it was clear that they understood cross contamination. Once I heard that they had a celiac-safe fryer, we immediately ordered their gluten-free stuffed shishitos. These tempura fried shishitos were stuffed with goat cheese and came with a spicy chili dipping sauce. These were insanely good. So good in fact, that we ended up ordering another one of them for dessert. I also had the house salad with ginger dressing.IMG_5878.jpegThey had a bunch of cold plates that were gluten-free, so I tried the citrus hamachi. This was pretty light. I would probably try another dish next time though as it wasn’t as flavorful as I had anticipated.IMG_5871.jpegAnd then there was the sushi menu… I got a bit overwhelmed since so many rolls were safe for me to eat. Due to the fact that tempura is usually not an option for me, I opted for two rolls: the Executive and the Green Hornet.IMG_5875.jpegThe executive had gluten-free tempura shrimp, avocado, cilantro and was topped with tuna, lime, sweet soy & habanero sauces. This was good, but the Green Hornet was even better.IMG_5874.jpegIt had spicy tuna, tempura shishito peppers, avocado, cilantro and a jalapeño aioli. YUM. For birthdays, I always opt for experiences over gifts, so I continued the celebration the next day by attempting to ski jump at the Utah Olympic Park. Attempting to do something like that when you are 35 means that two weeks later, your body is still feeling it. There may or may not be footage of me taking a spill down the ski ramp while all of the 10-year old ski jump campers look on.

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

Nobu at Four Seasons Lanai

4 Oct

Nobu GF MenuThis past summer, we did a family trip to Hawaii. It was amazingly gluten-free friendly. I came home with a slight tan and about seven extra pounds. One of the highlights of the trip was Nobu at the Four Seasons Lanai at Manale Bay. As soon as my brother and I sat down, we were presented a gluten-free menu. There were almost too many dishes to choose from. One of my favorite orders that we had was the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeño.

Yellowtail SashimiThere is no way to adequately describe the abundance of flavor in this dish. It was stupid good. If I knew how to prepare this dish, I would eat nothing else. I also loved the Black Cod Saikyo Miso.

Black CodThe fish was nice and flaky and the sauce was perfectly sweet. Sadly, due to the price, this is definitely a special occasion only type of restaurant. However, after enjoying the meal so much, I think half birthdays and half anniversaries now qualify as special occasions. Does anyone know if all of the Nobu locations have this extensive gluten-free menu?



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.

Ahi Sushi

8 Feb

To celebrate my half-birthday (yes, I count that as something worth celebrating), we decided to try Ahi Sushi on upper State Street. I had my San-J travel soy sauce packets on the table when I started to explain to our waitress what I was allergic to, and she said the magic word, “gluten“. She brought me out their gluten-free soy sauce to use. She then was absolutely fantastic in confirming what I could and could not have. I started with the MaMa Mia roll which consists of yellowtail, salmon, cucumber, avocado, jalapeno, jalapeno masago and garlic.

It typically includes two sauces but to be safe, we omitted them. I then had the Sgt. Pepper Roll which has crab meat (not artificial), cucumber, avocado, mango, albacore, jalapeno and masago.

I also had this roll without the sauces. The last roll I had was a basic yellowtail roll. They were small, compact pieces which I love because they are easy to eat. Overall, we had a really great experience at Ahi Sushi, mainly because of our waitress, Masami.

Arigato’s Edamame

14 Jan

If you have to eat gluten-free like myself, you have to avoid ordering anything at a sushi restaurant that has the word soy in it… right? Wrong. Go to Arigato and order the wokked edamame with garlic soy flavor and request it to be prepared with the GF soy sauce that they have. The result is a tasty appetizer that has a good heat to it and has that soy sauce flavor that we so often have to avoid.

Sushi Teri

30 Dec

Sushi Teri on Bath Street is our go-t0 for sushi if we don’t want to spend a fortune but want some good sushi. Tonight, we started with some edamame. I then got three rolls. The first was the SBCC roll.

In this roll is shrimp, broccoli, crab leg, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber and spicy sauce. I get this roll every time we are there. This time, I also tried two new rolls. They were all pretty similar though. The first was the Black Tiger. This had crab leg, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese and shrimp.

The last roll I got was the Red Shrimp. It wasn’t on the menu… I had seen it on the wall by the door when we were waiting to sit. It basically had a lot of the same ingredients as the first two rolls but with tuna on top. Happy New Years Eve Eve!


30 Sep

Last night we went for an early dinner at Arigato. I went prepared, bringing my San J soy sauce packets. To my surprise, our waitress informed me that they had GF soy sauce available for me to use. She walked me through which rolls I would be able to have. It seemed like all of their sauces were off limits. Additionally, their smoked salmon and crab had gluten. I ended up having the Banzai Roll and the Wipeout Roll with fresh salmon substituted for the smoked salmon. I also had 4 pieces of toro which were particularly tasty. Sushi is sometimes hard for people who eat GF, but our waitress was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about what I could and could not have.