The Bruins went back to the books yesterday and though we’d kill for Westwood’s In ‘N Out, we are aware that finding high-quality cheap eats in this neighborhood can be as tricky as finding parking. Fortunately, we know of a few new restaurants that should work very well on serious study breaks and wasted evenings alike. Here’s our guide to a few fresh bites in and around U.C.L.A.
U.C.L.A. Eating Guide for Students
Café Synapse: This new campus café is open during daylight hours on the second floor of The Gonda Center and scores big with medical students for lovely courtyard views and more sophisticated eating options like an herb-crusted salmon, pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, and pizza. Synapse’s coffee is the best on campus and it opens early, at 7 a.m. 754 Charles E. Young Dr S, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Hole in the Wall Burger Joint: Build-Your-Own Angus burger on a pretzel roll, from chef Bill Dertouzos. One of the latest entries in our city’s long line of burger contenders, this small diner is hidden on South Bentley Ave. Seating is mostly outside, burgers are huge, with all available under eight bucks. 11058 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
Spoc’s Hot Dog and Sausage Stand: Our favorite newbie, this selection of gourmet sausages on LaBrea Bakery buns come from the former chef at Rustic Canyon. Chicken and mango, honey-smoked brat, and turkey dogs, plus a lunch special with a drink and fries for only five dollars. 972 Gayley Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024
When Someone Else is Paying
BLVD 16: If your parents come to town or some persistent "producer" insists on a dinner date, make sure they take you to Hotel Palomar for this inventive spread of roof-raised herbs, naturally-nurtured meats, and sustainable seafood from Chef Simon Dolinky. They will love the artisan cocktails during all-day happy hour; you will love the salt-and-pepper beef ribs and vanilla bean crème brulee. 10740 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024
Koutoubia: Lucky Bruins, you are surrounded by awesome Persian, Middle Eastern, and Northern African options. If you are celebrating your creation of the next Facebook or again, your parents come to town, this stunning restaurant is tops for its Arabian Nights fantasy décor, warm owner, and phenomenal French-Moroccan plates. 2116 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025