Noshing on the westside with my diabetic aunt.
My aunt and I are starting up a much-needed habit of meeting once every one or two weeks to have a little coffee/snack/light lunch. Unfortunately, she is diabetic and is watching not only her carbs but every little gram of sugar. Last week, we met at Bristol Farms. While insisting that I go ahead and eat whatever I wanted, she went to her car and returned with a container of yogurt which she proceeded to eat at the table without buying anything. Okay, it was Bristol Farms and not some restaurant.....the point is that I didn't feel comfortable having anything other than coffee in front of her since she is on such a restricted diet. Anyone trying to eat out with vegan friends will understand, only in the case of a diebetic, the food restriction is not a choice. (She then took me to a mall where a snack store offered samples, four or five of which she then ate.)
So I'm looking for a place around the Westchester/Culver City/Marina del Rey/Venice/Santa Monica area that will have decent coffee and a GOOD selection of sugar-free items (not necessarily baked goods). With your recommendations, I will attempt to make her see that she'd be better off sitting down and eating a food that's good for her rather than fooling herself into thinking that four or five samples doesn't count as food intake.
I also would be happy to hear from you diabetic chowhounds about any tips on how to approach eating out, other than the obvious choices of the fruit or steamed veggie plates.
You could easily do a brunch, where eggs/egg whites/omelettes are readily available - Jinky's, Snug Harbor, Bread and Porridge, Literati... to name a few...
Fritto Misto subsitutes vegetables for pasta in their pasta dishes, so that may be a decent option
Firehouse in Venice
J's Kitchen in Venice is macriobiotic
A Votre Sante in case you make it to Brentwood
We ask everyone to keep this discussion focused on places in the L.A. area where diabetics can eat deliciously. Please keep this thread locally focused.
Strategies for eating well while diabetic should happen on our Not About Food board, where diet and nutrition discussions are hosted. Thanks for keeping us on topic.
a couple of observations:
1) most of the things that go really well with coffee, like baked goods and sweets, are not good for diabetics.
therefore i'd avoid coffee as the mainstay. a coffee-centered nosh will almost always be tough sledding for a diabetic.
2)you will be better off trying to center the get-together around a meal that is focused on protein and vegetables. there are tons of great lunch places that serve terrific entree salads that include a protein source (my favorite is 26 beach, but i also love the burrata starter at metro cafe).
I agree with westsidegal 100%, on both points. She can eat out at most restaurants, provided that she focuses on protein or vegetables. If the protein is accompanied by a starch, she can ask for them to substitute a side salad or veggies. Lots of people avoid carbs for one reason or another, this is a common request. Agree that 26 Beach has a great selection of entree salads. If you must go to a place that has both coffee and sugar-free items, you could go somewhere like Urth Cafe, which has coffee drinks as well as salad options. But I think it's more about your aunt learning how to order than going to a particular place...I'm sure there were things she could eat at Bristol Farms, but it seems like she had already decided not to try to find them if she had yogurt in her car.