At Univ of California-LA, Asian-Style Diversity On The Menu

Ann McClure's picture

Don't look for macaroni and cheese, hamburgers or tuna melt sandwiches at the renovated dining commons at UCLA's Rieber Hall dormitory. Instead, a hungry student will find such dishes as spinach and seaweed roll, pork ramen with miso, Buddha's delight and chicken tikka masala.

The 600-seat facility offers exclusively Asian-style food from seven national cuisines. And in case visitors don't realize that something different is going on, hosts welcome them in several Asian languages and video screens broadcast cable news shows from Japan, South Korea, India and other countries.

The upscale dining hall, which opens this week, is part of a trend by colleges nationwide to replace old-style cafeterias and "mystery meat" offerings with innovative, often ethnic fare more likely to appeal to undergraduates' increasingly sophisticated palates and desire for healthier food.

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