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Say You Need to Dine with a non-GMO, organic, healthy obsessed "guy" who eats meat...

Hi all!

My 22 (or as young people say, ALMOST 23) year old son is INTENSE about (well, everything) including eating foods that are strictly NON GMO, organic -- ya know, no carcinogens, no chemicals, no preservatives -- Geez, healthy! (What a concept!!) BUT he does eat meat and, frankly, is a bit of a food snob! Who raised that boy anyway?? :)

We are going to lunch on a Monday and and me half of we live in Burbank.

Can any of you TRES knowledgeable Chowhounds recommend a good place for lunch nearby? I'll be driving (since he tailgates and I nearly have a heart attack as his passenger) so I prefer NOT to go downtown or to West LA. The valley, Glendale, Pasadena and surrounding areas are fine!

Your thoughts? A million (okay, maybe a dozen) thanks in advance!!!

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  1. "no chemicals"

    I hate to tell you this, but all food is composed of chemicals =/

    Your son is going to starve to death =/

    I would guess, aside from the chemicals issue, your best bet would be Racion in Pasadena.

    9 Replies
    1. re: BacoMan

      I know you're right about chemicals, Baco, but he doesn't know how much he doesn't know yet. He is at that age when he knows everything. So I like to think he'll figure that out one of these days! Youth is indeed wasted on the young!

      Meanwhile, I'll play along.

      AND I'll look into Racion!! Thanks!!

      1. re: susiequeue

        I hate to tell you this, but I'm the same age as your son...haha

        Another option for you, in Studio City, is Girasol. I imagine the plating, and general aesthetic would make him feel quite comfortable as well.

        (Btw, the non-GMO thing is really complete rubbish. I've written several reports on it. The non-GMO position is basically 100% overblown, unscientific rhetoric. But eating high-quality ingredients is not in and of itself a bad thing. The no preservatives thing is actually fairly legitimate. I don't know how that is looped in with the non-GMO stuff.)

        1. re: BacoMan

          Was your report published? Can you provide a link? (not challenging you).

          1. re: foodiemahoodie

            Nah, I wrote them for classes on the subject.

            But I could link you to tons of resources if your'e interested.

            Here is just a beginners list of scientifically valid resources you can check out:

            American Medical Association. (2012). REPORT 2 OF THE COUNCIL ON SCIENCE AND PUBLIC HEALTH (A-12) Labeling of Bioengineered Foods (Resolutions 508 and 509-A-11). Morisey, Lee R. 1-16.

            Beringer, John E. "Releasing Genetically Modified Organisms: Will Any Harm Outweight Any Advantage? ." Journal of Applied Ecology . 37.2 (2000): 207-214. Print.

            Buechle, Kurt. “The Great, Global Promise of Genetically Modified Organisms: Overcoming Fear, Misconceptions, and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety“ Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies , Vol. 9, No. 1, (2001): 283-324

            "Eat Up Your Genes." World In Action. ITV. 8 Oct. 1998. Television.

            Entine, Jon. “Anti-GMO Scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, Activist Jeffrey Smith Withdraw from Food Biotech Debate.” Forbes. [New York] 05 29 2013. Web. 18 Sep. 2013.

            European Commission for Assessing the Safety of GMO’s. “Scientific and technical contribution to the development of an overall health strategy in the area of GMOs.” 2009. 1-17. Web.

            National Research Council. (2010). “Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States. National Academy Press. 1-270. <http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record...>

            Noussair, Charles, Robin, Stéphane and Ruffieux, Bernard. “Do Consumers Really Refuse to Buy Genetically Modified Food?” The Economic Journal , Vol. 114, No. 492 (2004): 102-120

            Paine, Jacqueline A., Shipton, Catherine A., Chaggar, Sunandha, Howells, Rhian M., Kennedy, Mike J., Vernon, Gareth, . . . Drake, Rachel. “Improving the nutritional value of Golden Rice through increased pro-vitamin A content.” Nat Biotech, Vol. 23, No. 4 (2005): 482-487. Print.

            Randerson, James. “Arpad Pusztai: Biological Divide.” Guardian [London] 15 01 2008.
            < http://www.theguardian.com/education/...>

            Rowett Institute. (1998). “Report of Project Coordinator on data produced at the Rowett Research Institute (RRI).” 1-11.

            United States General Accounting Office. (2012). Genetically Modified Foods. Dyckman, Lawrence J., and Jones, James R. 1-47.

            World Health Organization. (2013). 20 questions on genetically modified foods.

            Vidal, John. "The GM tree plantations bred to satisfy the world's energy need." Guardian [London] <http://www.theguardian.com/environmen...>.

            I highly recommend you start here though:

            Tribe, David. “600+ Safety Assessments.” GMO Pundit Blog.

              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Hey folks, we removed a bunch of replies here that were getting really far off-topic, including talking about whether posters should or shouldn't have kids and getting into whether the anti-GMO crowd is or isn't nuts. One is off-topic for Chowhound, and the other a much bigger issue than the LA board is meant to cover.

                We don't want to remove the list of resources, but if people want to continue the "is GMO good or bad or neutral" discussion, we'd ask that you please start a new thread (or pick one of the many existing threads) on General Topics or Food Media and News to have that discussion rather than continuing it here. Thanks!

          2. re: BacoMan

            Hilarious! Same age!! Well, you seem (let's say) different from my offspring!!

            I'll look up Girasol (again!!) I know it's "famous" and I know I've looked it up before, but (this comes with age -- you'll see) I've forgotten what's on the menu already!

            Thanks again VERY much!

            1. re: susiequeue

              Not sure how famous Girasol is. Relatively new actually.

              I apologize though, I forgot you need a lunch spot. Girasol does a Sunday Brunch, but no lunch.

              Mea culpa.

              1. re: BacoMan

                "Famous" is a relative term. To ME, it's "famous" meaning that I know about it! I've read reviews. Hence, it is famous. Hey, one man's Girasol is another man's Tommy's.... or something!!!!

                Too bad it doesn't have lunch -- but I need a MONday... Any other ideas, youngun?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          And Fresh Roast ?????

          Maybe ????????

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I don't see any meals there -- just beverages. What am I doing wrong? Can you help me, Ipsedixit?

            1. re: susiequeue

              Looks like their site is screwy, or something.

              Here's the menu.


            2. re: ipsedixit

              From a taste perspective I've always been underwhelmed. Not sure about the hype in regards to their hainan chicken either all the sauces are too sweet and turn the dish into chicken candy with rice,

            3. Daily Dose in the Arts District is his kind of place

              1 Reply
              1. re: mwalsh5

                Heck of a drive from Burbank though =/

                That Farmer sandwich is really something there though. I wish more sandwiches had that amount of thought put into them.

              2. Since the Arts District has been suggested and if you are willing to venture downtown (you could always take the subway (Red Line metro) and get off at Pershing Square), Belcampo Meat Co will be opening at Grand Central Market next week: http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish...

                Apparently, there will be various meat-featuring sandwiches and stews at lunchtime...

                1 Reply
                1. re: d_doubleyew

                  Actually I do NOT wish to venture downtown. :(

                2. Perhaps Tender Greens in Pasadena? Nearish you, flexible lunch options. Assuming he is knowledgeable about what is and is not GMO it should be an easy experience.


                  1. Full O'Life magnolia & Buena Vista has a small restraunt in it. You could try sweet salt in Toluca lake

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: johnnyshungry

                      while the food is good, never seen sweetsalt advertise themselves as an organic/gmo-free/etc kinda place.

                      i mean, the shrimp po boy is topped with lays chips FFS...

                      1. re: ns1

                        ACTUALLY I took my son to Sweetsalt last time we had lunch!!! Andit does claim some sort of healthi-ness. He ordered the Duck with Lavender sandwich. (I know, I'll get slaughtered by the CHs by this, but -- Eeeeew!)

                        We had a good time there, but even though we had a late lunch there, it was very loud/crowded inside. Better out on the sidewalk with street traffic!

                        Other places we've been: that Japanese (sushi) place in the Arts District (I didn't drive) -- what's it called again? Damn.... Frank Gehry chairs... Anyway, that'd be too expensive for this lunch. Also the DeBell Clubhouse (Burbank Hills, by the Castaways) -- with the full knowledge that it was NOT NOT NOT foodie. But it was and is beautiful. New ownership now (same as Burbank Bar & Grill). Not foodie, NOT non-GMO, but I love the views (and low prices). Also, MANY moons ago, Crustacean (no way now) and The Raymond House (again, no way now). I also got him a gift cert to the Inn of the 7th Ray (which I went to in high school!!!!!) and he loved it. Again, ahhh youth.

                        I checked out Racion (looks a little pricey for tapas), and the place in the San Gabriel Valley (maybe!!!) plus Tender Greens (maybe!! -- but I generally am not keen on chains).

                        Any other ideas? And did I tell you ALL that I GREATLY appreciate your ideas!!!! Really!!!!

                        1. re: susiequeue

                          The Frank Gehry chairs are at R23.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            THANK YOU!!! I spaced out and I've ben there MANY, MANY times!

                            1. re: J.L.

                              R23 is not the same as it once was or maybe it never was. ??????

                              1. re: kevin

                                I did love it about 20 years ago... It was "hidden" then...

                            2. re: susiequeue

                              R23 is the Japanese place in the Art's District.

                              1. re: JAB

                                Thank you too!! I still really like the place....! (But this is not an occasion to spend too much.)

                              2. re: susiequeue

                                Wow I totally forgot about DeBell. I grew up on Burbank and even though I'm over the hill both age and geographically I do get back from time to time this thread has been helpful. I'm not up on where to eat in Burbank.

                                1. re: susiequeue

                                  plus Tender Greens (maybe!! -- but I generally am not keen on chains).
                                  (way late of a response, but)
                                  Tender Greens might be a chain, but they're the right kind of "chain":

                                  their pork is locally sourced, from a LA county hog ranch that raises Berk-mix hogs

                                  they know their farmers:

                                  they run a culinary program that sends graduates into decently paying jobs at their restaurants out of foster care: http://www.tendergreens.com/sustainab...

                                  if your righteous foodie son wants/wanted to feel good about himself after lunch, out of ALL the suggestions given so far, TG is a winner (and it was recommend first by JudiAU, who's really into non-GMO issues, etc.). also, it's not hipster, nor pretentious. and they serve local beer.

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    Hi Tony -

                                    ZEven though I am generally not a fan of chains, i did researchTender Greens (it was suggested early in this thread) and so I DID recommend it to my son! I read up on everything you're saying.

                                    Thanks for seconding that emotion!

                              3. re: johnnyshungry

                                I've never eaten there. How is it? It's been there forever!!

                                1. re: ns1

                                  That looks good! Did you like it??? Is it as fresh as they claim? Is it loud? Do tell!

                                  1. re: susiequeue

                                    If you like sweet salt then you will probably like novo. Fresh pasta, good quality ingredients, etc etc. don't like the risotto and the ravioli is just okay, but the pastas/apps/panini are great and the pizzas not bad.

                                    Indoor area isn't too loud cuz they're not too busy except during weekday lunch since all the studio peeps go to lunch 12-2. But outside patio is pretty big and comfy.

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Best tiramisu in the valley too.

                                2. I found your place.


                                  (I have not been but the place meets your requirements....)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ns1

                                    My son and I both love mideastern food, so it appears great! A wonderful suggestion!! (But where's the lamb??!!)

                                    Thank you so much for the tip!!!

                                  2. How about Granville in Downtown Burbank? I haven't been, but I was conducting research on my own and saw it on yelp. Farm to fork, organic and sustainable, etc.

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: Freedom528

                                        Not a big Granville fan -- sorry. To me, it's a chain that uses "organic" as a gimmick. I know a lot of people love it, though! And for Burbank, it ain't bad! (Sorry Burbank! I swear I love this town anyway!!!)

                                      2. So where did you end up OP?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: ns1

                                          You'll never believe this.

                                          So he comes over and I announce I received dozens of responses to the question where is a good non-GMO (etc.) place to eat near Burbank? I described many.

                                          He declared that most non-GMO, organic places seem to be vegan, pretentiously hipster and many lack flavor (!) He also was nostalgic for DeBell (a Burbank locale -- more later). When I said that a lot of these places sounded genuinely delicious (hell, I'M not the organic one!), he responded, "But are they in the mountains?" Uh, ya got me there.

                                          So we went to the cafe at DeBell Golf Course. It's now called the Canyon Grill and the setting is truly stunning. Food is... fine. View can't be beat. My son had a Margherita pizza. I liked that pizza. I had a grilled salmon salad which was edible and didn't make me sick. I hear the burger is fine. Prices are low. Again, whaddaview!!!

                                          BUT my son did ask me (several times) to email him the names and web addresses of all the places all of you all so kindly recommended! And I am.

                                          Isn't life stra-a-a-ange....?

                                          Thank you all a hundred times over!!!

                                          1. re: susiequeue

                                            So the Castaway turned into the Canyon Grill? We used to go to the Castaway when I was in High School (a looooong time ago).

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Castaway was still Castaway as of 9 months ago when I went there.


                                              1. re: ns1

                                                I looked up Canyon Grill and it's a separate restaurant in the club house of the golf course.

                                              2. re: Servorg

                                                Canyon Grill is definitely separate from The Castaway! But you can see Castaway from Canyon Grill (they are VERY close to each other).

                                                Castaway is FAR more expensive -- and, in my book, has deeply average, overpriced food with not-so-hot service. Their view is also spectacular (sunset at the Castaways is gorgeous!!) so it's ideal for drinks and an appetizer. They have a great outdoor area just for that. But stop there.

                                                I do know that many people love going to the Castaway for their Sunday brunch. So I will add that! But I really don't go there (and if I do, it's sure not for the food!)

                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                  My husband also spent alot of time at Castaways in HS, also a long time ago. You must have gone to Burbank HS, or at least
                                                  John Burroughs where his dad taught.

                                            2. Oh my God. Sounds like me when I was 22. I was, and still am ten years later, a pain in the family's ass. My mother feels for you…and sends her regard.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: redips

                                                Ha ha ha ha!!!! Thank YOU! By the way, it also sounds like ME at that age (well, younger even!)