Most college residential dining halls try to be eclectic — providing students with enough variety to satisfy them when they have to eat there just about every day. So you get a typical parade of pizza, deli, entrée, Mexican, Asian, etc., stations.
UCLA has done something different in its renovated Rieber Dining Hall. Now called FEAST at Rieber, the all-you-care-to-eat venue serves a mix of seven Asian cuisines exclusively: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Hawaiian.
The new Rieber opened this fall for lunch. It will begin also serving dinner with the start of the winter quarter in January.
The idea is to feature two of the seven cuisines at each meal on a rotating basis, so two would be on tap at lunch on a particular day and then two different ones at dinner that evening.
The menu database consists of 1,500 recipes, and plans call for rotating 300 of them each quarter, with additions and subtractions determined by popularity.
The six stations are…
Big Bowl: Dishes traditionally served in bowls, such as noodles, stir-frys, curries and fried rice.
Spice Kitchen: Authentic entrees and combination plates such as sandwich with side salad, sushi with soup and savory dumpling with vegetables.
Iron Grill: Grilled items with sides.
Stone Oven: flatbread-based dishes, including wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads.
Sweets: Dessert type items.
Greens & More: Soups and make-your-own salads.
The first two are designed to menu authentic dishes from the two featured cuisines. On the other hand, Iron Grill, Stone Oven and Greens & More will have more flexibility, combining elements of different cuisines in a “fusion” or “Asian inspired” sort of approach.
Sample Menu Items
Indian Chicken Vindaloo Curry with Basmati Rice
Vietnamese Banh Xeo Pork & Shrimp Crepes
Hawaiian Kalua Pork Flatbread
Korean Seafood Pancake
Chinese Westlake Beef Soup
Japanese Yuzu Lemon Drink
Thai Siam Red Curry Fries