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UCLA Eats!!!

I love going to UCLA but am so tired of the same five restaurants in walking distance of campus.
I need some help.
I need good food, vegetarian friendly, easily excesible via walkinng or bus or combo.
I love spice and exotic cusine.
Delivery tips would be awesome too!

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  1. My favorite sitdown, fullservice restaurant in Westwood Village is Thai House, across from Whole Foods on the west side of Gayley. Quiet, good service, real glassware and plates, big portions at prices no higher than the churn-em-out places like Noodle Planet. For fast food that is vegetarian-friendly I like Bella Pita, a few doors down from In-n-Out, for fresh falafel pitas and their condiment bar with greens, veggies, and sauces.

    1. Westwood Village has many options, unfortunately most places fall flat. My suggestions are:
      -Damon and Pythias: good food, many options
      -Gushi: great teriyaki beef
      -Saks: good cheap asian food
      -Fat Burger: solid
      -In-N-Out: obviously
      -BJ's: good chicago style pizza

      1. From your post, I guess sure you're sick of Native Foods already...

        On Gayley, Lamonica's does a decent version of NY pizza (their plain cheese pie is great).

        Next door, Mongols BBQ has fed me countless times since my undergrad days in Westwood (it's self-serve, so you can skip the meat).

        Agree with Thai House for good Thai, but would add Emporium Thai (on Westwood Blvd., 1.5 blocks south of Wilshire) for Thai cravings.

        Further south, try Sunnin for your exotic cuisine description.

        Even further south (south of SM Blvd. on Westwood), Wakasan serves homestyle Japanese food, and I'm not sure if they accommodate vegetarians, but you can ask...

        1. What are those 5 same old restauarnts you're so tired of ? (That way no one will recommened them, ect.).

          Yamato - Broxton & Westwood Blvd. (2 blocks from UCLA). Has Happy Hour from 5 to 10 p.m. every day. i.e. ~ I really like their Seaweed Salad for $2.48 (not too small, but not an entree salad either).

          Bella Pita - (One of the 5 you're tired of ?). 1/2 block away.

          Sak's - Cheap, but really not very good. Trying it once was enough for me.

          Angelino's Cafe - Italian - 10874 Kinross Ave., 2 blocks away.
          Veggie Sandwich - Grilled eggplant and zucchini, provolone cheese, tomato and onions.
          Veggie Burger.
          Pasta - 6 options no meat.
          Salads - 3 Vegan.


          There are other places......

          Delivery Options -
          There are 30+ that do so according to menupages, but don't expect it to be 100% accurate (How often do the update it ?):


          1. The Iranian sandwich shop Attari is pretty awesome: on Westwood a couple blocks south of Wilshire, and several of the best things on the menu are vegetarian. Ambala Dhaba, on Westwood just north of Santa Monica Blvd., is the best Indian restaurant in this part of town. (You'll also want to investigate Mayura, a Kerala-style place on Venice and Motor, if the Blue Bus provides.) You'll find a lot of detractors on the board, including me, but the outlet of La Serenata de Garibaldi on Pico just west of Westwood is pretty remarkable. You'll also want to investigate the Oaxacan places on Santa Monica Blvd., chiefly Monte Alban, although I wouldn't encourage you to think too deeply about the constitution of the masa. And Alcazar, the best Lebanese in town, is opening a second location on Westwood soon.

            4 Replies
            1. re: condiment

              "...but the outlet of La Serenata de Garibaldi on Wilshire near Westwood is pretty remarkable. "

              I know they have restaurant locations on Pico Blvd. just a bit east of Sepulveda and they have the one in Santa Monica on 4th Street (IIRC) and of course the original (and by far, far, far the best of the 3) near downtown LA. Did they open up a new location near Westwood Village?

              1. re: condiment

                Whoah...when is Alcazar opening in Westwood?

                ETA: Their website says by May 2009. Looks like it will be an "express" branch. This is very exciting news as I've been wanting to try the Encino location.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  I called Alcazar yesterday and they said their new location will be 1303 Westwood Blvd., south of Wilshire next to Papa John's; or they're moving into Danube's (Bulgarian) space.

                  So it must be don't sing for me Bul-gar-i-a....

              2. Not sure if it's still there, but my husband loved Enzo's when he was going to school there. The chicken parm was his favorite thing on the menu.

                Enzo's Pizzeria
                10940 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                1. Second Bella Pita - excellent falafel, spicy sauces, no delivery I think.
                  And, if all else fails, Trader Joe's. No real place to sit except outside of the store on benches, but Bella Pita only has 3-4 stools too.
                  The "vegetarian-friendly" is kinda hanging me up on recommending other things. Ooh, I know, Mr Noodle is pretty tasty, you can get tofu in most dishes instead of meat, and they have some "heat" in their spices.

                  Bella Pita
                  960 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                  Trader Joe's
                  1000 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA

                  Mr Noodle
                  936 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                  1. For delivery, the easiest and usually the fastest is Lamonica's for pizza -- be sure to get the coupons that are published in the Daily Bruin a few times a week. The last time I checked, a large two-topping pizza was $13.00 including tax (they no longer include a soda) for delivery or pick-up. Note that Lamonica's offers 2-for-1 on regular price pizzas on Monday evenings, even without a coupon. And students, remember to tip!

                    Jose Bernstein's, across the street from Diddy Riese, delivers. Pretty good loaded burritos, some burgers and such, I don't know their minimum. Socko Subs delivers, but be sure to keep your orders very simple -- communication between the person on the phone and the one constructing the sandwiches isn't always the best. While a bit away from Westwood Village, Siam Chan does an excellent job of delivering inexpensive Thai that is very reasonably-priced and well-packaged. They are on Colby just below Santa Monica Blvd. -- get the mee krob, the yellow curry, and the wide noodles, avoid their weird pad thai and the bbq chicken. For Chinese, I like Cheng Du (the former Chung King) on Pico for lunch combo deliveries -- cheap and big, also good soup with noodles, not nearly as good a value at dinner. Whatever you do, support the independents and avoid the big national chains.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nosh

                      Thanks for the delivery tips, those will come in handy

                    2. Assuming that bus ride down Westwood is acceptable...

                      Eduardo's for good, healthy Mexican at Westwood and Santa Monica
                      Sunnin Lebanese Cafe
                      California Fresh on Westwood
                      California Chicken Cafe on Westwood (much more than just chicken)
                      Ambala Dhala
                      Feast from the East

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Emme

                        The Stand
                        Kogi Truck is there usually once a week.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            They do have a vegetarian torta and their tacos (and probably their burrito too) come with a tofu filling.

                        1. re: Emme

                          I've been wanting to go to Ambala Dhala is it pretty good, I've been to India's oven and it was decent.
                          Also really wanna go to Sunnin, any sugesstions?

                          1. re: Emme

                            bus? dude, walk....it'll take you @15-20mins to get down to CCC from the dorms.

                          2. >>I love spice and exotic cusine.<<

                            I think so many of these recs fall into this category. One more would be Ramayani - they're also on Westwood Blvd, right by Sunnin. I think Westwood Village is at first a blessing for many UCLA students. So many food choices within walking distance. But as poster Emme and others have mentioned, a short bus ride - heck, jump on a bike if you can - the options exponentially increase if you can go beyond that socioeconomic barrier of Wilshire.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              Ramayani? Is that the Indonesian place?

                              1. re: Rachael5000


                                Ramayani Westwood
                                1777 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                1. re: Rachael5000

                                  If Ramayani tickles your interest in Indonesian cuisine, Simpang Asia is another place you can try. It's in Palms and I just saw post that confirms this eatery's legitimacy as a true Chowhound place to consider:


                                  Simpang Asia
                                  10433 National Blvd 2, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                              2. Not too sure how veggie friendly, but Danube Bulgarian, on westwood just south of wilshire, is pretty awesome. Nondescript-looking but some really delicious stuff. Get their 'white snow' appetizer, with yoghurt and cucumber and tons of garlic. so delicious!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: tkemeny

                                  Danube has closed. It is being replaced by a branch of yet another middle-eastern place that some people are excited about. Big problem in that stretch -- nowhere to park.

                                  1. re: nosh

                                    In the evenings, have you tried parking in lots of any of the closed businesses, e.g., the bank? Not sure if it's kosher but the parking issue is what prevents me from eating along this stretch more often. Parking is a pet peeve of mine.

                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                      I agree with you, b, that the ease and availability of parking often helps determine my dining choices in Westwood, and dissuades me from some areas of town such as West Hollywood. No, I would not risk parking in a bank lot after hours -- too great a chance of being ticketed or towed. I used to hate valet parking -- I'd search around the block to avoid it -- but now if it is reasonable ($5 or less) I welcome it as an option. I find myself going to Shamshiri or Sunnin less and less because I can't count on parking nearby, and that stretch of Westwood is easy compared with the area further north and in the Village. More and more I think of various options along my route and take advantage of an empty space, and have a stripmall or drive-thru option if nothing else pans out.

                                      1. re: nosh

                                        Nobody has mentioned Elysee, is it any good? Just realized that i have a coupon/certificate for that place that I don't even remember purchasing. Also, is Pomodoro Westwood still decent? I remember it as being very reasonable and friendly, though nothing spectacular.

                                        1. re: jillso

                                          Elysee is ok -- if you have a coupon, might as well use it. More of a place where people hang and smoke outside than a great bakery or restaurant. Novel Cafe, across the street to the south, seems to have redeemed and revived itself and is much more crowded lately. Pomodoro, on the west side of Westwood Blvd. a few short blocks south of Wilshire, is very good, and is not part of the similarly-named chain. Solid, well-priced Italian.