University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Ambassador Blog | Kaitlyn


In the Mood for Food: Eating in LA

, by Kaitlyn · email · comment

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I really love people and I also really love food. So, it makes sense that being able to share a good-tasting meal with people I care about is one of my favorite occupations. Fellow student ambassador, Erika, did a great job of naming some places you can visit in Los Angeles in her most recent blog post. Since I have been asked time and time again where the best places are to eat from students new to LA, I have decided to compile a small (yes, I said small) list of just some of my favorites based on areas around LA. Disclaimer: I am a vegetarian so some of these restaurants tend to stray on the veggie-friendly side!

Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)

- Bottega Louie | Bottega Louie is the mecca of all things Instagram-worthy and aesthetically pleasing. The restaurant itself has high ceilings, white walls, and gold accents, making for a clean look all around. My favorite: all flavors of the macarons and Portabello Fries.
- Maccheroni Republic | This Italian restaurant is on the smaller side, but they have a great outdoor patio with lights strung across the top. My favorite: Bianchi & Neri pasta (without meat).
- Mendocino Farms | The DTLA location is at FIGat7th, so make sure to stop by the other stores and dessert places around! It also gets quite busy around weekday lunches since many corporate people working downtown will go there for lunch. My favorite: Vegan Banh Mi sandwich.

Maccheroni Republic

Maccheroni Republic.

- Bossanova | Bossanova is one of those restaurants I choose when I can’t figure out where else to eat or am too lazy to figure out where to eat. Everything on this menu is so good and their portions are huge. My favorite: the Plantains.
- California Chicken Cafe | I’ve never been here when it wasn’t busy, and that’s because their wraps and salad are REALLY good and everyone knows it. They still have the best salads I’ve tasted to this day. My favorite: ironically, the Chinese Chicken Salad without the chicken.
- Republique | If you’re looking for a pretty place to eat, this is it. My favorite: Avocado Toast.



Arts District
- Urth Caffe | Urth Caffe is my go-to restaurant every single time I want to go out to eat. It has gotten to a point where my friends say to me, “Where should we eat? And don’t say Urth Caffe again.” It’s healthy, the vibe is casual, and I know it’s pretty much going to taste the same every time I go. My favorites: Hummus and Tabouli salad and Blended Green Tea Boba (I know, boba isn’t healthy but everything in moderation I always say!).
- Wurstkuche | I don’t eat meat, but from what I’ve heard the sausages are really good here! If you’re wondering what I order, I get their fries! The fries that they serve here are good. Like, really good. My favorite: Fries with Chipotle Aioli and Pesto Mayo.
- Amazebowls | When I went to undergrad at USC, Amazebowls was just a food truck on Hoover. Now, they have their own place and I can feed both my stomach and my withdrawals from Hawaii. My favorite: anything on the menu.

Urth Caffe

Urth Caffe.

Silverlake & Highland Park
- Sqirl | Sqirl is a very low key and understated place for brunch/lunch. You never would notice it just driving by! However, it is recommended time and time again by both hipsters and non-hipsters alike. My favorite: Brioche Toast with Ricotta and Specialty Jam of the Day.
- Maximiliano | The best outdoor patio for dinner and t-a-s-t-y pizza! My favorite: the Bianca-Verde Pizza.

- Cafe Mak | Cafe Mak is another place I frequented during my undergraduate years at USC. It is still my favorite cafe to study at because there is a plethora of outlets, great Wi-Fi, not many people know about it, and you can order your food at the press of a button (literally, there are buttons on the table). My favorite: Iced Vanilla Latte.
- Ubatuba Acai | My standards for acai bowls are a little high since I go to Hawaii very frequently and lived there for 3 months this past summer. I’ve tried almost every acai bowl place in the LA area and I will say that this place (and Amazebowls) are comparable to the ones in the Aloha state. My favorite: anything on the menu.

Ubatuba Acai

Ubatuba Acai.

Santa Monica
- Swingers | If you’re out in Santa Monica, this diner is the best place for late night eats. They offer food that is vegan, vegetarian, and meat-friendly! My favorite: Vegan Nachos and Stuffed Grilled Cheese.
- Blue Plate Taco | It gets pretty busy here so expect somewhat of a wait. I recommend going here for dinner after a shopping along 3rd Street Promenade or before/after visiting the pier! It’s along PCH so you get a great view of the ocean. My favorite: Veggie Tacos.

The great thing about southern California is that there is so much diversity, and with that comes a lot of diversity in food! With that being said, be open to everything and anything because there are hidden gems everywhere.


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