8 Foods you MUST Try in Westwood, Los Angeles

From a UCLA student who got sick and tired of dorm food on the hill.

Let’s face it.

UCLA has GREAT food. I mean, you’ve probably heard tons of horror stories about college dorm food while growing up, so that first meal at Covel or De Neve is probably one of the biggest reliefs of your life. It’s good, it’s (relatively) healthy, and there are four dining halls to choose from so there’s a meal for every appetite.

But when you eat from the same place for every meal and every day, you’re bound to get sick of it. After all, there are only so many kinds of pizza Covel can offer. And if you’re not sick of the food, you’re probably sick of the place. No one wants to wait in that BPlate line; no one wants to have play hide and seek with an open seat at FEAST, and no one EVER wants to risk going into De Neve alone because all their friends are busy with other plans.

So we’re pretty darn lucky that Westwood is just a 10 minute walk away from the dorms. The thing about Westwood is that it understands us. Westwood knows we’re poor college students with a big appetite, so it welcomes us with wide, open arms and hearty, competitively priced meals.

Here are 8 delicious eateries in Westwood you should try out when you get sick of eating that tuna sandwich at BCaf for the 800th time:

1) Bella Pita (960 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Mediterranean

I once wrote that Bella Pita is like paradise because it has healthy delicious food at a super affordable price. Bella Pita offers fresh and healthy Mediterranean sandwiches that are made to order, and they’re open till 2am for all those late cram sessions during finals week. You have many options to pick from here, but my personal favorite is the chicken wowshi. For six bucks, you get TWO heavenly pitas cooked to perfection that you get to decorate at the condiment bar. It is addictive, unforgettable, and you’ll thank me later.

Price Range: $5-$8 per meal

2) 800 Degrees Neopolitan Pizza (10889 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Italian

Want a taste of Italy without stepping into a plane? Done deal- all you have to do is walk over to Lynbrook and pay a visit to 800 Degrees. Also unofficially known as the “best pizza place in Westwood,” 800 Degrees customizes your pizza right in front of you Chitpotle-Style and cooks it in an 800° wood burning oven while you pay for your food. You’ll get to choose between dozens of toppings for your perfect pizza so you’ll never run out of options! Careful though- you won’t be escaping those dining hall-esque lines here. But it’s all worth it.

Price Range: $5-$10 per meal, depending on toppings

3) Veggie Grill (10916 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Vegan

Yes, Veggie Grill is a vegan restaurant, but don’t let that stop you from trying their incredible menu. My personal favorite is the Santa Fe Chickin Sandwich, but everything on their menu is almost equally as good. Veggie Grill also has THE BEST deal for us Bruins. You have your BruinCard? Great- if you show that card to your cashier weekdays after 4pm or all day on weekends, you’ll get your entrée, side, and drink for a total of $6! Plus, it’s a wonderful place to study with free wifi.

Price Range: $6 per meal

4) Shamshiri Grill (1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Persian

Los Angeles is some of the best Persian food in the nation, and Shamshiri Grill is one of the best Persian restaurants in Los Angeles- so safe to say that this is amongst the best of the best. If you haven’t tried Persian food before, this is the place to give it a shot. You can order anything off their menu and it’ll still be good- but their tahchin dishes in particular are exquisite. Portions are huge here so always be sure to come with a full appetite!

Price Range: $12-$14 per entree

5) TLT Food (1116 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Mexican/Asian Fusion

The best thing about TLT’s food is its uniqueness. TLT offers a menu unlike any other I’ve seen- it’s a unique blend of Mexican and Asian flavors all the once for a distinctive taste. Sample items to try at TLT include the pork belly taco, the short rib quesadilla, and PBAT sandwich.

Price Range: $8-$11 per meal

6) Panini Café (10861 Lindbrook Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Italian/Mediterranean

If you’re looking for a nice candlelit dinner with your date, look no further. Panini Café is not actually a café- it’s more of a beautiful bistro with lots of food options to choose from. Their kabob dishes are generously sized and particularly delightful. You’ll also get 10% off if you show your BruinCard so make sure you bring that!

Price Range: $8-$11 per meal

7) Thai Emporium (1275 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Thai

Hand down, best Thai food in Westwood. They’re clean, authentic, and mind-blowingly delicious. You can’t go wrong with any of their entrees, but they have the best noodles and curry dishes. Celebrities also frequent this place; so don’t be too alarmed if you find yourself sitting next to Ryan Gosling.

Price Range: $7-$12 per meal

8) Diddy Riese (926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024) — Desserts

Okay, so I cheated a bit. Diddy Riese isn’t a restaurant; it’s a desert place. But no UCLA-related food list would be complete without Diddy Riese now would it? There’s a reason why that line stretches across the block every night! If you haven’t already tried Diddy Riese, you have to try it now because when you bite into their cookies, it feels like a part of heaven has melted into your mouth and you can taste a swirl of flavors that is unforgettable in every sense of the word.

Price Range: $1.50 per ice cream sandwich

So there you have it! Eight delicious eateries right down Galey for when you get sick of the same dishes they serve at the hill.

Bon Appétit!