Greetings from LA-LA-land (Los Angeles). It’s funny coming to the land of plenty from the midwest. In ways, it’s comforting and easy; there are so many people doing so many oddball diets that no one raises an eyebrow when you take twenty minutes to grill the waiter before ordering.

I’ll have the grilled panini sandwich, but hold the bread, and can I have avocado instead of turkey? Thanks. And oh, can I have the special house dressing on the side? Does that have any gluten in it? You’ll check? Thanks. And, one more thing…

Apparently, Californians aren’t afraid to order it how they want it and waiters will wait all day for you to spit out all the gory deets of your high maintenance order. Refreshing.

But here’s the catch. Although a ton of restaurants think they know what a gluten-free diet entails, many of them make honest mistakes when putting together a gluten-free menu. Check this menu out. See what I mean? More than half of the things on their supposedly “gluten-free” menu are not remotely gluten-free due to the fact that they’re fried in oil that has also crisped wheat-beasty things. Uhm… right.

So, moral of the story: never assume a restaurant knows what they’re talking about when they say their entrees are gluten-free. Always, always, always tell them you have a severe allergy and grill them on their ingredients! Don’t let the wheat-beast sneak up on you.