Hello Bay Area hounds,
My husband Antonius, our 6 year old, and I can't take the absurdly frigid weather in Chicago any more and we've got to get out of here. A quick trip to the Bay Area may keep us relatively sane! We're in pretty good shape as far as planning our meals out there (I lived in Berkeley for 7 years, been back fairly frequently, plus I regularly lurk on your board). But I do have a few questions to ask, and here's one.
Our son has a severe allergy to tree nuts and peanuts. Peanut OIL, oddly enough, is not a problem for him (according to his allergist, the problematic protein is not present in ordinary peanut oil, only in cold-pressed peanut oil). However, one bad allergic reaction he experienced was after eating Thai fried chicken -- we later learned that the restaurant deep fries cashews as a garnish for some of its dishes, and the chicken is deep fried in the same oil. The tiny amount of cashew left behind in the oil and transferred to the chicken was enough to trigger an attack.
Now, we're hoping to get to Ryowa or another ramen house during our visit -- reallly good ramen specialists are in short supply in Chicago. The descriptions of Ryowa in Berkeley by Melanie Wong and other hounds sound great, both the ramen itself and the kara-age.
As far as I know, a ramen place wouldn't be frying any nuts in the oil used for frying the chicken -- is that right?
Our son can happily make a whole meal out of an order of gyoza and will surely slurp up some noodles as well, so even if we avoid the kara-age he'll be all right. But I know he would love the chicken, if he can eat it.
Sorry if this sounds too obsessive, but with his potentially-fatal allergy the only way for us to eat out at the range of ethnic places we want to patronize is to find out as much information beforehand as possible (and to raise the issue with servers too, of course).
thanks in advance, food comrades.