Before the title alarms you, let me preface that you’ll walk a lot around campus to burn off those calories and the weather’s almost always a balmy 70° with blue skies and sunshine: perfect for a jog or outdoor exercise.
A unique detail of LA that I’ll be talking about other than weather, since I’m from New Jersey, is the diversity of food offered. I’ve had no trouble finding something, other than Italian food (the dominant cuisine of Jersey), to eat. In fact, I’m going to go through a quick breakdown of a variety restaurants that are not only affordable ($10-15/person) but also easy to access without a car!
First let’s accredit the reliable EVK, Parkside and Café 84 along with a scattering of little cafes (like Tutor & Literatea). Campus center is a hot spot for Panda Express, CPK and Lemonade and just outside the gates are this year’s latest additions: Which Wich, Pizza Studio and Built for that much needed sandwich, pizza or burger.
But if you’re craving something a little more ethnic or just want to get off campus…
Hit Korea Town: Boiling Crab is superb for kicking-back with some fresh shrimp or tasty crab. If seafood’s not for you though, Don Day (Korean BBQ) is always a good choice, especially for a larger party. But if going vegetarian is more to your liking, BCD Tofu House is just down the street in which hot tofu (served in a range of mild to three pepper spicy) is served with steamed rice and a plethora of small appetizers like Kim chi and boiled egg. And just in case, the nearest Jamba Juice is nearby for a delicious smoothie to wash down those spicy foods.
Hit Little Tokyo: rather than buying cup noodle from Tro Gro, Daikokuya Ramen is a much better choice. There are a motley of restaurants serving a bowl of rice with a side of dumplings, like at Curry House, that neighbor stores selling mochi/mochi ice cream in traditional and exotic (coffee/green tea) flavors. Then if you need a break to digest—it’s possible to walk to…
Downtown: home of the best dessert place Syrup, where you’ll find jasmine sorbet on a crepe of summer berries doused in caramel or a waffle delicately dipped in chocolate and infused with s’mores. It’s located right near LA Café, a very popular Panini joint for delivering 24/7 for that late night snack back at USC.
From downtown, it’s an easy 15min metro ride back to campus. The metro can bring you to any of these places (download the SmartRide app or use Google maps to plan your trip) for just a regular fare of $1.50; but, if you’re thinking of hopping from place to place I’d recommend getting a day pass for $5 or taking the Dash which is a bus for a fare of $0.50.
Take the chance to explore LA, even if its within a 5 mile radius, and satisfy those cravings (don’t worry about the pounds). Happy eating!