Westwood Village News and Questions
A post moved to the "Chains" board says that a Chipotle is moving into the former Star Chicken next to Jerry's Famous Deli and across from Stan's Donuts. Anybody know if it is open yet? That spot is going to be tough, with no drivethru and the nearest parking structure down on Broxton that people don't seem to want to use. Jose Bernstein across the street to the west might be sweating, but they do ok with their small space and good specialties.
Anyone try Socko's Subs in the former Skewers space yet? I definitely miss the old Togos a couple blocks south. Is there any reason to go here rather than to the longstanding Sepi's or the cheap Roll Inn hut?
There is a fantastically economical and convenient new Flyaway bus service that goes nonstop to and from Westwood Village to LAX on the half-hour -- fares are only $4. The buses are coachtypes with those comfy big padded seats. They board outside of the UCLA 32 and 36 structure and lots on Kinross, a block west of Gayley. Close by are the Elysee bakery, the Headlines counter for breakfast or burgers, Lamonica's, and the Whole Earth just up Gayley to pack some sandwiches or fruit.
IMHO, Chipotle is nothing more than one more chain restaurant. Open closed, whats the difference?
Having worked in Westwood for nearly 18 years, it completely escapes me why ANYONE would have Westwood as a lunch destination if they weren't already there. The one exception was the period of time when Noodle Planet was open--the original Noodle Planet, not the sissified version that is there now. During those years, we would go to Westwood post Chinese school to have lunch and would brave the parking to do it. But now?
I can think of tons of places along Wilshire and Pico or down Westwood out of the village that I would drive to instead---Sunnin, the indonesian place near Sunnin, India's Oven, Apple Pan, La Serenata being the closest. While I like the Saks Terriyaki place and I like Sushi Isshan, I go there because I am already here, not as a dinner destination.
In short, move my office from Westwood and I'll never be there again.
Chipotle, another Mexican chain moving into Westwood Village which is exactly what they don't need! Jose Bernstein's (Mexican Deli) may have poor salsa and Meat but at least its unique! Other mexican Chains already in WV:
El Polo Loco
Rubio's (in UCLA actually)
And, a another chain (forget the name) is scheduled (was posted) to move into the space just north of Brew Co, on Glendon which temporaly houses the rental office for the 330 (?) unit apartment complex being built.
The Sub Wars - Socko's vs Sepi's - I've tried Socko's roast beef sandwich which was o.k., but NO horseradish available, I suggested they get some. The bread is fresher at Sock's but thinner that Sepi's; also their meat is probably a notch higher in quality then Sepi's but they put less Garnishes (tomato, onion, lettuce, ect.) inside than Sepi's. Socko's sandwiches start at $2.99; however they come sans Garnishes - you get those by paying a $1 more. At least at Sepi's you can have a beer, watch T.V. & look at pictures of the UCLA sport superstars of days gone by. For a college town, you'd think more places would have some UCLA memorabila displayed, but they don't!
Having said that I'm sure someone will post someone else does.
Chipolte opened yet? With Transformers playing at The Village 200 feet away, somebody out there knows.
Other operations may be ucla-adjacent but they actually serve the workerbees in those office buildings on Glendon and Wilshire much more than any of the student-related personnel during the morning and noon portion of the day.
Once evening arrives, the school-related personnel with cars can go anywhere, and are not stuck in the village, which is a redundant term these days. Really no reason to go to the village for eats. Brentwood and Santa Monica and West LA are so close by, parking is generally better, etc.
Thus no real affiliation with the ruins, and in fact they may not want to offend the Trojan fans that may work in those office buildings, and thus they all tend to remain neutral.
Just another perspective.
Longs is gone, and many of the non-restaurant operations are skating on thin ice. Thus the closing of many restaurants. Just hope Chipotle does open, regardless of how many other beanerias there might be nearby. None of the others you listed are as good, which says more than it should.
FYI - you would be surprised at how many of those office buildings house UCLA staff, including all those mundane departments like payroll, purchasing, and financial, risk managment, marketing, development, P.R., info services, the Extension School, credit union, all the medical sub-sub-sub groups, the Hammer Museum, and not to mention the housing. There's a lot of UCLA denizens in the village.
Westwood keeps shooting itself in the foot. If that Broxton public lot structure is inconvenient for quick turnover because it is being overrun by UCLA or office halfday-long parkers then something is way wrong.
Best mid-priced sitdown meal in Westwood -- Thai House on Gayley. Much nicer tables and better service than one expects in a casual place. Many lunch specials +- $7.95 and good dinners of mee krob, yellow curry, and maybe a shrimp stirfry.