Gluten free asian and cocktails
Out of town guests are coming and the request is for asian food and cocktails. My first thought is EASY! Rice! meat! But there is, of course, all sorts of sneaky gluten in food, including, I am told, soy sauce.
We could do sushi, but I'd like to do something else. Chinese? Korean? Any suggestions?
You need to be very careful with Korean - much of the meat is marinated, which makes it delicious, but is usually soy-sauce based. There are probably a few meats that aren't, but then I always wonder why I'm paying so much for a plate of unseasoned meat. :)
Similar with Japanese, even sushi - for example, albacore is very often served with a sauce. You have to carefully order things without sauce, and on separate plates - I've often gone out with a gf friend and had to send things back because my sauced items are contaminating her non-sauced ones.
P.F. Chang's has a gluten free menu, although that's not REALLY Chinese....
On the other hand, it's very easy to eat good Indian food without either gluten or dairy. If you don't order anything with paneer or raita, you're good. Thai can be good, as they use a lot of rice noodles, but again you need to make sure about use of soy sauce. The pad thai at Natalee Thai is gf and very good.
I don't find Chinese as challenging as some do- but I would be careful about the cocktails! Vodka is not always made with potato for instance. And some people are wary of wines.
With Thai, I always ask for no fish sauce as well- I have been surprised by a few brands that for some reason contain wheat products- that is the issue with soy sauce. Unfortunately some restaurants pre- make sauces which is very disheartening.
I have not tried Zengo- very curious!!!
"Asian" can also mean Thai, Indian, Vietnamese...you might want to get a more specific idea from your guests about their preferences. Korean is nightmares for someone avoiding gluten, and Chinese isn't much better unless they're just going to eat plain protein & vegetables with no sauce.
Thai, Vietnamese or Indian would be safer, but honestly, sushi is the best bet if you just bring your own gluten-free soy/tamari sauce.
once you've narrowed down the cuisine choices, an idea of your desired neighborhood/area within LA and your budget would be helpful.
Edit: Just had a thought - if they're open to Latin-Asian fusion, Zengo in Santa Monica has a dedicated GF menu and offers an extensive list of interesting beers & cocktails.
395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401
I'm in Culver City so Zengo is a real possibility.
I was thinking of Korean BBQ, specifically. I thought they could pick and choose in banchan, and eat brisket and rib eye. Chinese does strike me as nearly impossible unless someone, somewhere does a gluten free menu. They also don't eat dairy, which makes Indian more problematic. But I'm sure they would be open to Thai or Vietnamese. I'm willing to cast quite a wide net here.