You guys. UCLA’s dorm food is the best. Like really, it’s really delicious. And I will never be living in a dorm again, UCLA or otherwise, but since I have quit Hill-life, I’ve learned (like really learned) that dorm food is something to be cherished. Dining halls get a lot of props – they are all-you-can-eat buffets, after all. But the Hill’s quick-service cafes are equally (if not more) important to an on-campus resident at UCLA. Here is a quick rundown of all our fabulous to-go eateries you can munch at with your meal plan:
- Bruin Cafe. Or B-Caf, as it’s most commonly called. B-Caf is the original quick-service restaurant. It has all of the old cafe standbys – sandwiches, salads, coffee, pastries, smoothies, etc. B-Caf is open until 2am and therefore is the late-night Hill hangout spot on weekends and nights that you don’t have homework. Pure chocolate ice blendeds taste best during the days last (or is it very first?) meal period (from midnight to 2am). B-Caf (like all of the dining establishments on the Hill) is on a track of continuous improvement. This year better bread was introduced! Now if they could only give vegetarians and vegans an option that tasted good (much offense, vegan BBQ sandwich). Overall, great lunch spot, tables just outside.
- Cafe 1919. Quite possibly the most delicious place in Los Angeles (kind of stretch, kind of not). 1919 features ~contemporary Italian~ which means pizzas, panini, and salads, among other cool things (lasagna for dinner and GeLaTo!!!). Nothing is as rewarding as eating a Pepato Piatto in the triangle-shaped table terrace next to 1919 after a long day of classes. Like I said, this place serves lasagna for dinner, which includes a side caesar and a parmesan roll (drooool, so good). They also have gelato and gelato-themed desserts (think warm Ghiradelli brownie, whipped cream, hazelnuts). The coffee drinks at 1919 are also killer, so if you are hankering for an evening after-dinner espresso think of going here before braving B-Cafs coffee lines.
- Rendezvous. This place is a fusion restaurant in that it fuses a Mexican restaurant and an Asian restaurant (and gives the combo a French name). Both sides of the restaurant are equally tasty, though I think I’m sort of in love with the Mexican side just a little bit more. Each offers pretty basic dishes from their respective food cultures (burritos, quesadillas, fried rice, orange chicken), but the basics aren’t why I go – it’s the specials! The delectable specials! Ev-er-y day both sides feature a different special. On Mondays last year, I would run to the Mexican side for Al Pastor pork tacos (and the yummy avocado salsa). On Thursdays, I would always bring back a huge (compostable!) bowl of pho to my room. Rendez is pretty legit and has the widest variety of interesting food.
- De Neve Late Night. The last (and probably least frequented) quick-service cafe. Late Night, which I’m sure you could have guessed, is only offered late at night (not too late, 9-midnight). This place is essentially a diner without the diner feel (De Neve dining hall isn’t too 1950s). It has burgers (and veggie burgers (and veggie chili)), mozzarella sticks, onion rings, buffalo wings. All manner of greasy deliciousness that is washed down with a customizable milkshake (you pick the toppings and flavor of ice cream!). Late night also has an option for pizza. All I can say is that it’s pizza. Yum.
And there you have it. The wonderful world of quick-service on the Hill!