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Posts Tagged ‘Nazie Amjadi’

Food and Dining

dineLA’s Restaurant Week: Mojo’s Top Picks

Jan. 19 through Feb. 1 marks dineLA’s Restaurant Week, where foodies living in and visiting Los Angeles have the chance to sample from specialized, price-fixed menus while taking advantage of some great deals. Whether your looking to try a trendy, upscale restaurant for dinner or maybe just a casual spot for lunch, Restaurant Week gives you the opportunity with multiple course meals based off the restaurant’s most popular dishes. The following restaurants are our top picks, located in-and-around the Westwood area.

For Lunch… 

Farsi Cafe

Located on Westwood Boulevard, Farsi Cafe serves, as its name suggests, authentic Persian cuisine. At less than two miles away from campus, the walk there is definitely doable. For just $20 per person you will get an appetizer, entrée and dessert. I highly recommend the ground beef kabob which is served atop a bed of white rice. The food here is delicious; however, it could potentially put you into a major food coma.

Emporium Thai Cuisine

Also located on Westwood Blvd. at a walking distance from campus, Emporium Thai is another fantastic pick for lunch. For $15 per person you can get a two-course meal, and if you check in on Yelp while at the restaurant, you receive a complimentary Thai Iced Tea and $5 coupon for Aqua Thai Spa. While I haven’t sampled any of their Restaurant Week dishes, I have tried Emporium’s award-winning Pad Thai and loved it. If you’re looking for amazing Thai food and a cozy, classy atmosphere, then definitely visit this restaurant.

TLT Food – Westwood

A product of a successful food truck, TLT (The Lime Truck) Food serves American street-style cuisine. Since it is conveniently located within Westwood Village near the intersection of Westwood and Kinross, you can easily stop by here for your lunch break if you have an hour or two between classes. For $15 you can get your choice of two tacos or an entrée, along with a side, drink and dessert. If you want to experience a restaurant favorite, its steak fries are highly recommended, as evidenced here by countless reviews.


For Dinner… 

Fundamental LA

If you’re looking for a trendy new restaurant to try with friends for dinner look no further than Fundamental LA. For $40 per person, you can have a five-course meal, including dessert. While this restaurant may seem a bit pricey for the average college student, keep in mind that each dish is made with organic and fresh ingredients. Its location on Westwood Boulevard makes it a short walk and an even shorter Uber ride, from campus.


Blue Plate Taco

This last pick combines an oceanfront view with authentic Mexican cuisine. Located in Santa Monica, Blue Plate Taco offers a three-course dinner for $30. In terms of transportation, you’re best bet will most likely be taking an Uber, a Lyft or if you want to save some cash, the Metro. One possible route is to take the 20 line from the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood and get off at Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica, which would end up costing less than $2. For beautiful views, delicious food and a casual atmosphere, try Blue Plate Taco.


Restaurant Week is a unique opportunity to take advantage of the diverse types of cuisine available here in Los Angeles. It ends on Feb. 1, so take advantage of it this week while it lasts!

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2014: A Year in Review Told Through Daily Bruin Front Pages

2014 has come and gone, leaving us scrambling to prepare for the new year, new classes and new resolutions that may or may not be kept. Just when we’d finally gotten accustomed to, and maybe even perfected, a certain routine (like to the point of knowing exactly how late you could sleep in and yet still make it in time for your 9 a.m. lecture), we are forced to start over with a clean slate. With the sudden influx of changes, it can easily get overwhelming. So as we ring in 2015, let’s pause and take a moment to remember some of last year’s most headline-worthy moments.



In mid-January a fire broke out near Angeles National Forest, burning over 1,000 acres of land. Smoke clouds could be seen from UCLA’s campus.


On April 7, students packed Pauley Pavilion and danced for 26 hours straight to raise both money and awareness for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition.



UCLA’s campus was flooded with an estimated 20 million gallons of water in August when a nearly century-old water main running under Sunset Boulevard broke. The John Wooden Court and the adjacent underground parking structure experienced some of the most costly damage from the inundation.



In late July, during the height of the Israel-Palestine conflict, protesters, including some members of the UCLA community, marched to the Israeli Consulate asking for Israel to stop air strikes on the Gaza Strip. They began their trek at the Westwood’s Federal Building and marched in a mass of over a thousand people.



Students marched through campus on Nov. 18 to protest a tuition hike of 5 percent per year for the next five years as proposed by the UC Regents. Protests continued throughout the week, ultimately coming in the way of the Beat ‘SC bonfire.


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Nov. 22 marked the third consecutive victory for the Bruins over the Trojans. UCLA finished the game with a final score of 38-20.


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The men’s water polo team secured UCLA’s 112th NCAA championship in a close victory against the Trojans on Dec. 7, bringing an end to USC’s six-year winning streak.

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Arts & EntertainmentHow-to

A Beginner’s Guide to a Night at the Staples Center

If you’re anything like me, a Los Angeles newbie with a bucket list of places to visit before the undergraduate days are over, a concert at the Staples Center will likely be somewhere on that list. So when a friend presented me with an extra ticket to the 2014 Jingle Ball concert, I jumped at the opportunity, and I must say, I learned quite a lot in the process. If you’re new to LA or just haven’t been to the Staples Center, here are a few pieces of advice that I have compiled from the Friday night excursion.

In my particular situation, I found out I was going to Jingle Ball one week prior to the event. Fortunately for me, my friend had already bought and printed our tickets, but I still wanted to prepare myself for the night by looking up transportation routes, concert reviews and my seat location. I decided to do some basic research via Google and found out that the line-up for the event, sponsored by KIIS FM, consisted of 12 artists including Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea and host Nick Jonas. From the concert reviews, I got a better sense of how much money to bring and how long the event would last. This brings me to my first point:

Do some research in advance. 

The Staples Center and its surrounding area have very high traffic before and after major events. It’s helpful to prepare an estimate of how much money to bring for a taxi or Uber ride and to foresee any other bumps in the road.


To save some money, my friend and I wanted to take a bus to and from the concert, but my roommate advised us not to take public transportation back from the concert for safety reasons and because of how late we would be coming home. Getting there, we took the Metro Rapid 720 from the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood at around 4:30 p.m., planning to get off on Broadway and 5th and walk a couple blocks to catch another bus. A woman on the 720, however, overheard our transportation plans and recommended a different route, which we decided to take. She advised us to instead get off the bus on Vermont and then take the red line of the Metro (underground subway system) to 7th and Figueroa, noting that the Staples Center would be just 5 blocks away. Buying the Metro ticket was very easy, and the whole trip to the venue only cost $4.50. This brings me to another important tip:

Make sure you are familiar with where your desired bus stop is located.

If you plan on taking a bus to the Staples Center, it’s important to know that there isn’t one direct line that takes you straight to the venue. You will most likely have to switch buses or use the subway system like we did, and that could include some walking in between. If you’re not familiar with downtown L.A. or where certain streets are, don’t be shy to ask someone who is more familiar how to avoid questionable situations.

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One of the perks of arriving two hours early to Jingle Ball was the free holiday-themed carnival that took place outside the Staples Center before the doors opened. Entrance was free, and various corporate sponsors had booths set up where they were giving away samples or showing off new products. An ice-skating rink, ferris wheel and outdoor concert, which included a performance by Meghan Trainor, were also available to the public.

So, when attending a concert or game at the Staples Center, don’t forget to take advantage of freebies.

Oftentimes, there will be similar outdoor festivities with free handouts for other events where you can have some fun before the show.

Once we showed our tickets and entered through the doors, the Staples Center was really quite easy to navigate. Signs very clearly direct you to which section and row your seats are in, and ushers and other personnel in each section are available to guide you as well. Each floor had plenty of restrooms and fast food eateries, so our basic needs were definitely covered.

My last piece of advice is, if possible, to leave a couple minutes early to beat the rush of people exiting the building.

If you’re planning on taking an Uber or Lyft, you might want to walk a block or so away from the Staples Center for pick-up, but there will definitely be plenty of rides available. And don’t be surprised if the ride is a little bit on the expensive side.

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Going to my first concert at the Staples Center was definitely a learning experience, but as a newcomer to L.A., the experience was truly amazing.

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3 Movies on Netflix That Are So Bad, They’re Kind of Good

Most of us have a Netflix tab open on our computer at any given time in the day. Since the creation of this archive of TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc., procrastination has become a whole different ballgame. Supplying us with season after season of our favorite TV shows – “Orange is the New Black,” “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” to name a few recent ones – the question has changed from “Will I find a reason to get out of bed?” to “Will I find a reason to get out of bed in the next 15 seconds?”

While most turn to Netflix to watch their favorite award-winning TV shows and movies, I’ve recently started to gravitate towards the other end of the spectrum and search for the cheesiest movies I could find. Why you might ask? Well sometimes there are those major flops that are just so ridiculous and poorly made that they are actually pretty entertaining! So I present you here with three of my most recent finds.

1. Coneheads”


While the plot is creative, the description for the movie provided by Netflix about an “odd alien family with cone-shaped heads, robot-like walks and an appetite for toilet paper” really gives everything away. The crazy, pointy-headed alien family will intentionally (and many times unintentionally) make you laugh out loud as they try to understand commonplace earthling activities. Starring, amongst others, beloved comedian Dan Aykroyd, this movie will leave you wondering, “What did I just spend an hour and 28 minutes watching?!?”

2. “Gigli”

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Widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, this rom-com tells the story of two mobsters, Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) and Ricki (Jennifer Lopez), trying to carry out a kidnapping as they simultaneously fall in love. While I probably wouldn’t give this movie more than 1.5 stars on a good day, I’d still recommend it just for the Affleck-Lopez duo. Save this one for a rainy day, when there is literally nothing else to do.

3. “Highlander: Endgame”


Now for my action pick. In this movie, Connor Macleod must unite with family member Duncan Macleod in order to defeat Kell, an immortal ex-friend of Connor. Kell has been going on a 450-year-long rampage, killing everyone Connor loves as revenge after Connor killed him and his adoptive father for executing his mother. So you could say Kell has some issues with forgiveness. There’s a whole lot of violence, a whole lot of drama and whole lot of subpar special effects that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Kind of.

Honorable mention

OK this movie may not be available on Netflix, but if you haven’t seen “Troll 2,” drop everything you’re doing right now and watch it. This “horror” movie might actually give you an ab workout from laughing so hard at the low-budget troll costumes and unconvincing delivery of a very poorly written script and plot. Seriously, bring this when it’s your turn to pick for movie night. This movie trailer will give you a gist of what I mean.

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Food and DiningHow-toUncategorized

Five Delicious Ways to Celebrate Peanut Butter Lover’s Month

For those of you who may not know, November is national Peanut Butter Lover’s Month, aka one month for you to celebrate your love for one of the most versatile spreads out there. As a must-have in any mini fridge, a jar of peanut butter could mean the difference between preparing a quick, healthy snack for yourself and scarfing down half a pound of chicken tenders at De Neve Late Night. So in honor of this month, here are five delicious snacks you can make for yourself using some good old-fashioned PB.

1. Peanut butter and banana (or apple) bites


If you have a meal plan, chances are you also have a small cornucopia of apples and bananas that you’ve grabbed from the dining halls on your desk. Don’t let that fruit go to waste. Small bites of apple or banana with peanut butter spread on top – and maybe even a drizzle of honey – is a delicious combo for any time of day.

2 . Ants on a log


If you went to preschool, chances are you’re familiar with this cute little snack. If not, no worries. Chop some small stalks of celery, spread peanut butter in the middle and top it off with your “ants,” little raisins. (Chocolate-covered raisins are a tasty option too.) If that doesn’t get you to eat celery, I don’t know what will.

3. Peanut butter bars


Want to try an easy dessert idea? Mix peanut butter – crunchy or smooth – in a bowl with graham cracker crumbs. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet or other deep dish. Top with chocolate chips or granola, and BOOM. You’re done.

4. Peanut butter pretzel sticks

Take large pretzel sticks and coat one end with peanut butter. Then roll this end of the pretzel stick in any topping of your choice (M&M’s, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, marshmallows, etc.), and let them chill for  a while in your fridge. These will not disappoint.

5. Peanut butter powder ????


OK, I know what you’re thinking, but I actually just tried this for the first time today, and I have to say it’s really not bad. Mix a spoonful of peanut butter powder into vanilla Greek yogurt and top with some honey for a quick breakfast or snack.


Have any cool peanut butter snack ideas for this month? Comment below.

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