The USC campus has many great food selections. For $10 you can spend your entire lunch filling your stomach with The Good Karma Cafe’s unlimited servings of vegetarian dishes. If you’re in need of some wholesome fast food, then of course there’s the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. However, Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the country, offering a wide selection of restaurants just five minutes away from campus. That is why it is highly recommended to take the bus or walk off campus for lunch. Doing so can be a highly enjoyable experience.
The Himalayan House serves Indian cuisine to all who visit the restaurant located on West Jefferson Boulevard. Its menu is filled with traditional Indian cuisines such as thali, a combination platter served with rice, a choice of meat, vegetables and even some lentil soup. Being that rice is an Indian staple, it is used creatively in many recipes. One such recipe is biryani, which is rice seasoned in sauce and served with a mixture of meats and vegetables. The Himalayan House serves egg biryani, vegetable biryani and chicken biryani. With a five-star rating on Yelp, it is the perfect place to visit for Indian cuisine.
Most people find themselves avoiding sleep because there is just so much to do at USC. That is why coffee can become just as important as water. Not only does Azla Vegan serve Ethiopian dishes, but it is also known for its Ethiopian coffee (served both hot and cold). Coffee lovers can enjoy a lunch at Azla Vegan’s and then have coffee for dessert. While Ethiopian dishes can often be described as spicy meats and vegetables served atop sourdough bread, Azla focuses on creating a truly vegan experience. Its menu offers selections such as yellow curry potatoes, spicy lentils and spicy-sweet potatoes. Azla Vegan’s is another restaurant with a five-star rating on Yelp. It is located on South Grand Avenue.
Soy Roll & Katsu
Soy Roll & Katsu serves inexpensive Asian-inspired cuisine very close to campus, making it very possible to walk there, buy a meal for under $10, and be back studying in the library all within a 40-minute time lapse. While ramen can be as cheap as $6 per bowl, there is also the sushi special which allows you to buy three rolls for $19.99.
Bird’s Nest Cafe
Sip on an espresso in a vibrant environment surrounded by beautiful murals. The Bird’s Nest Cafe serves American cuisine with a creative flair in the historic University Park. The breakfast menu includes omelets, pancakes and yogurt parfaits. The lunch menu also offers a nice selection of sandwiches and salads that can be paired with a lemonade served in a mason jar. Although it aims to provide a luxury culinary experience, the Bird’s Nest Cafe is actually a great place for a family visit, girl’s brunch or even a casual date. Depending on the time of day, it can be reached within five minutes by car. It is a little far for those who do not like to walk or bike; therefore, try taking the bus or using Lyft.
Chichen Itza’s goal is to make us feel like we are eating at a friend’s home in Yucatan while reminding us of the entire country of Mexico’s flavorful cuisine. It is very easy to forget that there is so much more to Mexican food than burritos and tacos. Chichen Itza’s focus on capturing the true essence of Mexican cookery reminds the USC community that Mexican cuisine also involves ceviche, asada and tamales. Not to mention, there is also dessert. Have fried plantains with cream or toasted bread cooked in cinnamon-raisin syrup. All these dishes and more can be ordered when you visit Chichen Itza.