I’ve been dying to try FEAST, but access is hard to come by unless you actively know a dorm resident with a premium meal plan. (As of June 2012, FEAST does not accept BruinCard EasyPay, which would allow non-dorm students to try it out.) Anyway, I finally got my chance to experience FEAST firsthand. The dining hall recently began opening for dinner, explaining the long lines outside Rieber Hall on the day I visited.
I was impressed by the decor of the dining hall. One would have never guessed that this dining hall was one of the shabbier dining halls (and home of My Pizza, a late night pizza pickup joint), a godsend during Dead Week. Also, the cutlery and chinaware were pretty snazzy, if I say so myself.
The dinner menu was composed mostly of Korean and Thai dishes, including banchan (Korean side dishes) and vegetarian offerings. To be sure, I engorged myself (multiple servings of every dish), having been deprived of a UCLA dorm meal since I graduated last year. (I still miss Covel Commons’ bbq chicken pizza. Nicole and Josie would know.)
The flatbread kitchen offered two flatbreads on that day: sauteed potato banchan flatbread and shrimp and pineapple flatbread. I liked them both, but I was not particularly fond of the burnt edges.
One of the entrees offered was the Thai barbeque chicken, served with jasmine rice. The chicken was perfectly spiced and seasoned, tender and moist. I was thoroughly surprised.
The sandwich section offered subpar banh mi sandwiches. (Also, is it just me or do a lot of banh mi shops skimp out on cilantro nowadays?).
Also tried a couple of vegetarian dishes: eggplant stir fry, Thai basil tofu sandwich and Korean garlic fries. I forgot to take pictures of the latter two. >.,< But they were good. The Korean garlic fries resembled thinly sliced French fries, except lightly seasoned with garlic and salt.
The dessert section’s highlight was its pandan chiffon cupcakes. I love all things pandan, so it really wasn’t a hard sell. There were also black sesame steam buns, but they ran out quickly…
I also nabbed an appetizing cup of peach mousse, which turned out to be way too sweet for my taste buds. In spite of all this, I still managed to wolf it down completely…
I ended my meal with a compulsory bowl of cereal and milk (when I lived at the dorms, I ended every dinner meal with a bowl of cereal and milk). Sadly, Corn Pops weren’t in stock that day, so I settled for Cheerios. After, I brought out an cone of green tea ice cream.
All in all, I was pretty impressed with the dishes I ate. FEAST definitely trumps its predecessor, the Rieber Dining Hall. Too bad it’s not open to the public. Until then, it’s gonna take some first and second year dorm student to swipe you in.
FEAST at Rieber
310 De Neve Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90024