Around UCLA, we are blessed with many gourmet yet affordable dining options. I recently had the chance to try a few of them.

In Westwood proper, Five Guys opened just a month or two ago. They are famous for their customizable burgers, and also offer hot dogs and fries. I personally like our neighborhood In-N-Out better, but to each his/her own. The lines are interminably long, though, so beware (though they do offer peanuts to snack 0n during the inevitable wait). Oh, and the seating is not great, so I would recommend ordering ahead (I heard you can do it online) and just picking up food to go.

If you’re 21+, Father’s Office is a fun place to visit. People rave about their signature burger, a

“patty of fine dry-aged beef topped with caramelized onions, Gruyère and Maytag cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon compote and arugula served on a soft roll” (Serious Eats by way of Wikipedia).

If you’re adventurous, they offer some cool stuff on their appetizer menu (I had bone marrow!), and their selection of alcohol is pretty comprehensive, from what I gathered. The one, perhaps major, drawback, is the price. Expect to spend upwards of $20 for an appetizer and a drink. Yikes.

One cheaper alternative a bit closer to home is Palomino. Happy hour starts at 3 PM and lasts until closing time, so go crazy (I recommend the Potato Gorgonzola).

Lastly, a few developments to keep an eye on:

-It seems a Umami-lite (no waiters) is coming to the village. Here’s to hoping U-Mini opens before I graduate!

-For a long time, my go-to places on Sawtelle have been Asahi Ramen and Hurry Curry, mainly because of the great price-to-fullness ratio, but with a bunch of cool-sounding places opening in the last months, it seems like a bit more exploring is in order.

That’s it for now! Until next time, happy eating.