Dining Commons, Cooking, and Everything in Between

Markus Best of LA Leave a Comment

Welcome to the World’s Food Hub!

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Los Angeles is filled with an unparalleled diversity of cuisine ranging from Little Tokyo and Korea Town to Beverly Hills and Hollywood.  Even visitors to USC should try the different food options that I have come to appreciate every time I leave to visit friends at a different school or going home.  USC offers decent dining options within the Dining Commons such as Cafe 84, Parkside Restaurant, Everybody’s Kitchen, Popovich Cafe, Morton Fig’s, and many others.  Some of these places are only a few years old and have many fresh ingredients daily!  However, besides the USC owned establishments, there are a large variety of other restaurants within walking distance or a short drive/tram ride away.

Of the many places that Los Angeles specializes in, none seem more prominent than Daikokuya, an above average ramen house, where the wait times hardly ever dip below 30 minutes.  The broth is an in-house recipe with a savory richness rarely found outside of Japan.  Coming from a city without any designated ramen house, this was quite an experience and always a treat whenever I am in Little Tokyo!  For those of you looking to experience Hollywood history, Pink’s Hotdogs are a must!  If you’re lucky you’ll also run into a celebrity or two in line.  If you love burgers and have not tried Umami Burger then you have not lived!  But of course these are just some of the great food spots scattered around the LA area!

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When I am not exploring a new restaurant or returning to past hotspots, I use my study breaks to cook new foods!  Cooking just seems much easier since you can add your own twist to new recipes or perfect old ones by adding a pinch of this and a dash of that without worry of corrupting the entire dish (within reason of course).  As much as I liked the convenience of the dorm style living, when sophomore and junior year rolled around I was happy to have my own kitchen and a proper refrigerator.  Everyone has their place to think and creating a new dish allows for me to take a break from my technical homework and projects.  But it is not limited to the kitchen!  Two weekends ago a group of friends and I grilled a king size amount of burgers and hot dogs with an endless supply of condiments.  And just last weekend I tasted another friend’s newly installed smoker, a wood barrel retrofitted as a slow cooker!

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For those of you who have never cooked, college is the best time to experiment with all the different types of foods you have either enjoyed or were denied in your childhood.  It is a great feeling to make meals besides just Ramen noodles, soups, and microwave dinners.  Even as a starving college student, often times a home-cooked meal is less expensive than going out.  Of course it is also a great excuse to have a potluck where you can really test your friend’s culinary ability.  If you have any fantastic recipes don’t be afraid to leave a comment!  I am always down to try new foods!

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