Gluten-Free Palo Alto, CA: Asian Box Gluten-Free Restaurant Giveaway

45 Comments 29 August 2012

(Photo credit: Sonya Yu) Lime Basil Shrimp

Asian Box
855 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Photo credit: GoodEye Photography

I wanted to introduce you to a new, fast-casual restaurant in Palo Alto, California, that just happens to also be a completely gluten-free restaurant AND run by a rock-star female Executive Chef.

Inspired by Asian street food carts, Asian Box, which opened early March 2012, showcases traditional cooking methods and recipes made with fresh and local ingredients. Under the direction of Executive Chef Grace Nguyen, former Chef de Cuisine at the world-renowned Slanted Door and Executive Chef of Out the Door in San Francisco, Asian Box effortlessly fuses Western locavore cuisine with the colorful, flavorful foods found throughout Southeast Asia. Chef Nguyen brings her own Vietnamese heritage to the concept, offering a fresh, aromatic menu with incredibly vibrant flavors โ€“ including sauces such as her own sriracha and โ€œstreet dustโ€ spice blend.

Asian Box is not only gluten-free-friendly, it is completely gluten-free. While many restaurants offer gluten-free items, they are not prepared in a gluten-free kitchen, making it difficult for those with gluten issues to trust that what they are consuming is 100% gluten-free. With Asian Boxโ€™s completely gluten-free menu and gluten-free kitchen, those with gluten issues have a new and foolproof place to dine.

Photo credit: GoodEye Photography

Looks like a cozy place to eat lunch or grab a quick dinner on the run.

(Photo credit: Sonya Yu) Garlic & Soy Glazed Beef

Guests may start with their base (rice, noodles, or Asian slaw), then add on proteins and many more toppings and sauces.

(Photo credit: Sonya Yu) Coconut Curry and Garlic & Soy Glazed Beef

Fresh, local and gluten-free!!! What more could you ask for?!


The sweet owners of Asian Box would like to celebrate Celiac Chick’s 9th year blogging anniversary by giving away:

Dinner for TWO!!!!

I’ll be selecting a winner each week for 4 weeks for a total of 4 winners!!!! Whooo Hoo!

Leave a comment answering the following question:

How do you reward yourself for staying gluten-free, or how do you plan on rewarding yourself for being gluten-free?

*Winners will be announced every Friday starting August 31st and ending on September 21st. Asian box will give each winner two boxes at their Palo Alto location.

Thank you, Asian Box!!!

Happy Anniversary, Everyone!!!


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Your Comments

45 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Naomi says:

    I have been to Asian Box a few times and it is fantastic! I reward myself by staying GF with a treat from Mariposa Bakery in San Francisco, or from Zest Bakery in San Carlos!

  2. 2
    Katie Bagby says:

    I’ve been gluten free since 1998, and the biggest reward? Feeling great!
    That said, I reward myself by allowing myself to buy pretty much any foods I want that are gluten-free and casein-free. I reward myself by eating reeeeeeally well.
    So excited to learn of this new restaurant. I’m way up in the Sierra, but it sounds worth the trip!

  3. 3
    Anise Johnson says:

    My reward for being gluten free is my health. I was diagnosed with Celiacs 6 years ago and within 2 days of being on the gluten free diet, I felt profoundly better. That is enough of a reward for me!

  4. 4
    Jill says:

    For us there is no need for a special reward because the real reward is good health!

  5. 5
    Jennifer says:

    I bake cookies or pie for my Celiac son as treats. Every morning I poor lots of love into hand crafting his organic gluten free sandwich with cut up fresh organic fruits on the side. I have to pack extra for his non GF friends since they love his food so much!

  6. 6
    Michielle says:

    I bake for all my GF friends and family as a reward to myself! I know that sounds weird but giving and helping others that may be having a hard time on the GF diet makes me happy ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. 7
    Pamela says:

    Hmmm – I don’t think I do reward myself for being gluten-free. Rather I get punished for not, which is a good incentive. I love finding restaurants that help me stay that way, though, and am excited about a local one to try. Thanks!

  8. 8
    Chris Gralapp says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I personally don’t zoom out for a GF ice cream cone, or eat a mountain of GF pastries–I reward myself by BEING AWARE every day of how great I feel now! I have made being GF into a game of sorts, and rise to the challenge of dining out by educating everyone who will listen about the wonders of the GF lifestyle. When I find someone that has had a life change as a result of a GF diet (celiac or not), that is my reward. And if it is someone I have counseled, it is a double reward.

    Thanks for everything you are doing for the GF community! Your blog is uplifting and so positive.

    –Chris Gralapp, dx in 2000, GF for twelve healthy years

  9. 9
    Terry says:

    My true reward for staying gluten-free? My health. Eating delicious food that doesn’t make me sick.

    A friend just asked me the other day why I don’t cheat and sneak in something glutenful from time to time, and I had to laugh. I’d be cheating myself if I did that!

  10. 10
    Baldeesh says:

    I’ve never thought about giving myself a reward for being gluten free because the real reward is feeling like myself again! It’s been 7 years now that I’ve been diagnosed as a celiac and eating gluten free has definitely been a life saver for me. I love to cook and bake, which helps, but it’s always a treat to be able to eat out safely. I’d love to try Asian Box as a reward for being gf!

  11. 11
    Rhiannon says:

    My reward is definitely my health, as many others have said here. But, I also will treat myself to homemade gluten-free chocolate chip cookies or by learning a new gluten-free recipe.

  12. 12
    Linda Lenhoff says:

    I reward myself and my family for staying gluten free (and really for any good thing) by grabbing cupcakes or other fab sweets at Miglet’s in Danville. GF eclair, anyone? (Yes, please.)

  13. 13
    karen says:

    like most others here, i really don’t reward myself for being gf…the true reward is felling better! I do love to scout out new finds and restaurants, though, so i guess i’m willing to blow the budget a bit in order to try something new–and safe ๐Ÿ™‚
    my husband and i are right this minute planning our 20th aniversary trip and are really leaning toward california. what a treat it would be to win a free meal there!

  14. 14
    Constance says:

    There are so many yummy, healthy gluten-free goodies available now–which was NOT the case back in 1983 when I got serious about my diet/health. I keep a supply on hand, in the cupboard, and in the freezer, so I always have a choice on hand!

  15. 15
    Cindy says:

    I have been gluten free for 2 years, only after 2 surgeries for my stomach and anemia.
    I don’t think there is a better reward than feeling healty and looking well. My fiance and I are working on getting myself to 100lbs. That’s when I will be ready to reward myself!!!

  16. 16
    Nicole Lucier says:

    It’s a reward just to be gluten free like several others posted! It is especially true now that there are so many options out there for GF foods. My reward for myself is to travel and try new restaurants in other areas that have gluten free offerings. I really appreciate restaurant owners, chefs and waitstaff for their patience with our many questions, substitutions and for keeping us safe!

  17. 17
    jaymes says:

    I’ve been gluten free for a little over a year and it’s changed my life. The biggest reward for me is feeling healthy and not hurting on a daily basis. That being said, the REAL rewards that I give myself are gluten free desserts. Cupcakes, cookies, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 18
    Monique Mitchell says:

    The best reward for me is that I AM GLUTEN FREE! I’m no longer sick and mis-diagnosed. so my reward for living through it all is that I’m gluten free! My life is renewed! Thank you for suggesting this restaurant, I will go there soon and check it out.

  19. 19
    Clara says:

    My husband is gluten intolerant, so we’ve gone completely gluten-free. My reward is seeing my husband healthy. I love seeing him smile when I find a new recipe that tastes amazing!

  20. 20
    Megan says:

    I can’t wait to try this restaurant! Asian food is tricky with the soy sauce and other condiments that contain gluten. I reward myself by stating gluten free so I can feel great, it’s not worth sneaking a bite of anything. I reward myself by paying extra for really tasty natural foods such as nuts and fish knowing its good for me. I also buy the little gf sachets of soy sauce for when I go out for sushi, pricey but so convenient.

  21. 21
    Nancy Holme says:

    I’ve been gluten free for a bit over 5 years now. Like others my reward is good health and my treat is that I have met some awesome gluten free friends that I would not have met had I not attended gluten free conferences and HealthNOW in Sunnyvale, CA. I rarely go out to eat but am definitely planning to visit the Asian Box in Palo Alto (whether I win a free lunch or not ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing this post.

  22. 22
    Colleen says:

    The best reward is my daughter, Isabella’s, health. Before diagnosis at 18 months she fell off the growth chart and was losing weight at an alarming rate and the doctors were seriously concerned that she wouldn’t make it.Almost three years later, we are a GF house and Isabella is a healthy, happy, budding fashionista and jock. That is our reward, but she is 4 so we reward her with treats from Mariposa, Miglet’s and Zest.

  23. 23
    Caitlin says:

    Oh! This looks great! I will def have to try this place out next time I am in CA.

    I don’t really reward myself for staying gluten free. Thinking about how bad I felt the weekend I decided to test myself is reward enough.

    My coworkers often get rewarded with gluten free cookies though!

  24. 24
    Carmen says:

    Remaining healthy today, but maybe more importanting, growing old healthily!!!! That’s why I remain gluten-free!!!

  25. 25
    karen says:

    i love to reward others by sharing my tips on how i stay gluten free and still eat deliciously (and keep my son gf, etc!, too!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. 26
    karen says:

    i love to reward others by sharing my tips on how i stay gluten free and still eat deliciously (and keep my son gf, etc!, too!) ๐Ÿ™‚ it is truly a reward to me as well!!

  27. 27
    Crystal says:

    Thanks for the info about Asian Box! I just started working down that way and now I know where to go for lunch.

  28. 28
    Kristin says:

    My reward for being gluten free is being happy! Four years ago, I was a completely different person (ask anyone around me)! When I bypass “a taste” of the tempting pasta dish during a dinner out, I remind myself that tomorrow I’m going to wake up energetic and smiling! What a difference GF life makes! (oh, then I go make myself a box of rice pasta mac-and-cheese – jk)

  29. 29
    Tracy H. says:

    I live in Marin and would love a reason to head down to Palo Alto to try this place out. Looks really delicious!

  30. 30
    Lori curtis says:

    Looks awesome, wish I lived near it!

  31. 31
    Cara M. Phillips says:

    So awesome!A completely gf asian restaurant not too far from my home! I reward myself by eating gluten free all the time by going to my local SF farmer’s market (Haight st Wed or the Mission st Thurs) and buying a delicious Flourchylde gf treat.The guy that owns it gives free samples and almost all of their pastries are gf!They are the best gf pastries I’ve ever had. And then I get myself some beautiful flowers too ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you Celiac Chicks for posting this!!

  32. 32
    Teena says:

    The reward for being gluten free is not feeling bad and not being covered in rash and ITCHY. My main problem is a wheat allergy not gluten. Many restaurants will have a gluten free menu but not a wheat free menu. And just try grocery shopping and looking for “wheat free” signs on the shelf. So in most cases it is easier to go gluten free.

  33. 33
    mary janssen says:

    I reward myself for staying gluten free by buying a new lip gloss and remembering that nothing that will hurt me has passed my lips.

  34. 34
    Rosemary K says:

    Actually, not feeling horribly sick in itself is the most rewarding for staying gluten free! I wish I was in CA so I could enjoy this new restaurant!

  35. 35
    Joan says:

    A reward for being gluten free for me is baking my favorite Gluten Free cookies for my family.

  36. 36
    Denise says:

    Sticking 2 it;w/out glu-ten! Buying Pamela’s lemmon shortbread cookies once every clp of mths., buying my shortgrain brown rice &/or brown rice noodles, crackers, rice cakes, rice milk (& sometimes almond, hemp or coconut milk), a once a yr treat 2 an eatery that has a “Gluten~Free” menue i.e. PF Chang’s & a real treat (& cheat cuz of the cheese I’m not suppose 2 have, lol)is a gf pizza from this new found pizza place here in Sacramento. Appreciating Kelly & all the help, support & recipies she sends is the absolute best treat of all tho;by far. And no, this is not said for points, as I have no intention of driving that far, but that Asian Box Restaurant sure looks inviting! Maybe I’ll meet a friend or two from this here site that’ll be willing 2 swing by & come get me;I’ll pay 4 the gas! ;~D

  37. 37
    Serena says:

    I am rewarded by feeling well enough to make good food that is good for my family and me.

  38. 38
    mark says:

    The reward for me is that I have now started a Gluten Free Baking Company in the S.F. Bay area called “The Goods” – gluten free treats. By creating this business i get to share all the amazing baked goods i have created with the best ingredients and the reward is the Joy I see on peoples faces when they try ” The Goods”. I was really depressed that i could not eat wheat/gluten or 50+ other foods BUt what was my choice living a life of pain and discomfort.I guess some people choose the later. Hopefully they will be inspired by my story and then they to will make a life changing decision to choose being healthy.

  39. 39
    Julie R says:

    Although I have no choice about staying gluten-free, it goes deeper than that. Yes, my health absolutely requires it. Eating one crumb of wheat is not an option, ever. But I’ve decided to turn this “hardship” into a blessing by eating cleaner, healthier and fresher meals. I’ve become more aware of where food comes from and how it nourishes me. The Zen Buddhist concept of “mindful eating” comes naturally now! Cooking and serving food has become a joy.


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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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