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Food and Dining

Change Up Your Cuisine Routine Using Secret UCLA Dining Options

Good things come in small packages. The highlight of my week came in a white cardboard container worth a meal swipe.

While standing in line at the Asian cuisine side of Rendezvous, ready to order my usual chicken and string beans, I hear the girl in front of me order fried chicken. Perplexed (because it’s not offered on the menu) and intrigued (because I love fried chicken), I decided to ask for it. I took one bite, and…

The Rendezvous fried chicken is a welcome new addition to my usual food routine. I’ve never been a fan of orange chicken… I can’t figure out if it’s called that because of its color or its taste. Either way, I’m not too fond of hot, fruit-y flavors with my meat. And I hate not knowing what’s in my food.

Which is why the fried chicken is so excellent. It’s chicken, battered and fried in a vat of oil. Pure and simple.

All of my excitement over fried chicken got me thinking: what other secrets are there in the UCLA dining world? I made it my two-day life’s mission to discover new treats on the hill and share a secret menu with Mojo readers.


SNACK: Add fruit to your ice blended drink (Bruin Café)

Before you say anything, I know, your life just got so much richer. Adding fruit to your drink just creates a more luscious (and perhaps slightly healthier?) iced coffee. Bananas in the iced caramel drink are a great twist. Also recommended: strawberries in the pure chocolate. It’s practically Valentine’s Day in a cup. I’m all about basing my beverage choice on romantic holidays.

ENTRÉE: Meatball sub without cheese (Bruin Café)

This isn’t a secret menu item as much as it is a secret tip. Listen, I understand this is a major sacrifice. Cheese is amazing. But getting the meatball sub at Bruin Café for the first time was an absolute game changer. Bruin Café typically stores away premade sandwiches in a heater. I’m not a fan of the cheese’s consistency, so I made a bold move and got the sub without cheese. The result was a freshly made sub. The bun is toasted rather than heated up, and they even put a little extra sauce on the sandwich.

DESSERT: Milk and a pastry (Bruin Café)

You’ve studied like a champ, but you’re having trouble sleeping after getting worked up about your impending exam. You take a late night stroll and come across Bruin Café, but you’re sick of the #4 smoothie. Call me crazy and thank me later, but I suggest you get the milk and pastry to put you right to sleep. You can even ask for the milk steamed. And if you’re wild enough, you pick a cookie as you pastry and recreate the classic late night snack. This little known goldmine is a timeless way to end your day. Especially if you’re looking to invite Santa Claus to your dorm room.

Do you know of any secret menu items at UCLA?  Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below!

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