Bruin-Owned Restaurants Part 2
ow is a great time to come out and enjoy a delicious meal with good company, while helping a Bruin business. In a sequel to the restaurants installment of the popular Bruin-owned Businesses series, we’re once again tantalizing you with the mouth-watering dishes being served up by your fellow alumni. Bon appétit!
Co-Owner: Miguel Anaya Jr. ʼ96 and Family
Address: 1030 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone Number: 310-361-8566
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
"Our mission is simple: to provide you the best taco experience by using high quality meats and seafood, fresh garden vegetables, handmade tortillas and high quality artisan breads. Our father, Miguel, hand picks those ingredients every morning. We could have made it complicated but choose not to, because we have found through experience
, that keeping things simple is a good recipe for success and happiness. It's also a good recipe for a pretty tasty Pinche Taco. We hope you agree."
“We live in Maryland but miss the West Coast food…this was the best taco plate in L.A.! It came with three tacos of my choosing; I had a shredded pork, asada and shrimp…all three so amazing! Looking forward to their breakfast.” - Liz R.
Owner/Founder: M. Yahya “Medy” Sanadidi, Ph.D. ʼ82
Address: 960 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone Number: 310-209-1050
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Dr. M. Yahya “Medy” Sanadidi, retired professor of computer science at UCLA, founded Bella Pita in 2006 in partnership with his son, Ezedin Sanadidi. Originally from Egypt, they were thrilled to find growing demand for Mediterranean cuisine everywhere they traveled. After years of perfecting Bella Pita menu items at home (2003 to 2006), Bella Pita opened its doors for customers in Westwood in March of 2007.
“I have nothing but good things to say about this place. I mean, it’s criminal to be in this area of UCLA hospital and not stop here and get a pita. My favorite is the black bean wowshi with all the fixings and the icing on the cake for this place is all the delicious sauces!” - Blaqc R.
Co-Owner/Founder: Ray Garcia ʼ00
Address: 141 S Grand Ave., Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone Number: 213-972-3535
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Inspired by Chef Garcia’s Angeleno experience, Asterid lives to discover and celebrate Los Angeles’ mosaic of diverse cultures and culinary richness through vibrant, ingredient-driven menus in a warm, lively atmosphere. Authentically from and for Los Angeles, Asterid features Chef Garcia’s California-inspired menu and bar program that celebrates the spirit of L.A. It has a lively, intimate outdoor and indoor gathering place featuring sophisticated décor and a private dining room.
“Very rarely do I get to try a new restaurant and have EVERY SINGLE dish be perfectly balanced and delicious. We ordered the following:
Sunchoke rosti - perfectly crispy. The unassuming spice in the jam on top of the creme fraiche was perfect.
Chicken liver mousse - surprised how well the cherries on the mousse helped balance the dish out. The cherries were perfectly sweet and slightly tart.
Burrata - DELICIOUS. All the vegetables that accompanied the burrata were perfectly crisp with the perfect amount of acid.
Maitake mushrooms - without feeling heavy, perfectly fried with the mild aioli that came with the mushrooms. Perfectly paired.
Striped bass - the cannellini beans were perfectly soft and light as was the bass.
Short rib - this was comfort in a bowl. I could have eaten 10 of these.” - Young C.
Co-Owner: Bryant Ng ʼ00
Address: 1314 7th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone Number: 310-393-6699
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Cassia is a member of the Rustic Canyon Family and is a partnership between husband-and-wife duos Bryant Ng & Kim Luu-Ng and Josh Loeb & Zoe Nathan. Taking its roots from Bryant and Kim’s culinary heritage and experiences, Cassia celebrates the fresh, vibrant flavors of Southeast Asia, striking a unique balance of soulful, ancestral cuisine and a California sensibility, utilizing the best quality ingredients from local farmers. Since opening in 2015, Cassia has earned critical acclaim from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Bon Appétit, GQ and more.
“Hands down my favorite restaurant on the Westside! It's a beautiful restaurant for a night out, and the Asian fusion flavors are to die for. My favorites are the sea bass, grilled lamb breast, sunbathing prawns and the scallion clay oven bread. Just absolute perfection! Their cocktails are also strong and delicious. Tried to DoorDash it once due to a last minute craving, but sadly it didn't do the food justice. Dine in and make sure to make a reservation in advance!” - Tiffany T.
Co-Founder: Daniel Weinstock, MBA ʼ07
Address: 3973 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230
Phone Number: 310-313-6328
Yelp Rating: 4 stars
Maple Block Meat Co. is a tribute to the craftsmanship of butchering, smoking and grilling meat, paying respect to the deep-rooted traditions of American barbecue. We’re a neighborhood restaurant and bar serving wood-smoked meats and great eating food. We specialize in authentic, wood-smoked meats prepared with the classic technique of smoking and incorporating a variety of subtle flavor profiles that we love. Guests can expect a familial casual atmosphere, friendly attentive service, seasonal menu based on the traditions of American barbecue and a bar featuring craft beers, interesting wines and handmade sodas.
“Wow!!! Good service and healthy meat selection is hard to come by in Culver City! Amazing service, the owner came out as well to ask if we enjoyed it and thanked us for coming in. The lettuce pork wraps to the nachos and brisket and ribs - phenomenal! Mac 'n' cheese, salad, breads, all so tasty, collard greens and salmon were cooked so well and had so much flavor. I'd definitely recommend stopping in. Great atmosphere and outdoor dining as well with heated lamps. Very cool spot.” - Cyndi I.
Co-Owners: Betty Porto-Magadan, M.A. ʼ83, and the Porto Family
Address: Buena Park, Burbank, Downey, Glendale, Northridge, West Covina
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Established in 1960, Porto's Bakery was born out of Rosa's love for sharing her wonderful cakes and pastries with friends and family. When the family immigrated from Cuba to Los Angeles, they sold pastries and cake out of their house. As the little bakery started picking up steam and the line of customers lining up outside their door grew, Porto’s opened its first location in Glendale in 1975. Today, Porto’s Bakery is run by three siblings: Raul, Betty and Margaret Porto. The family is still committed to using the finest ingredients from all over the world, ensuring that quality remains the cornerstone of the Porto tradition. Rosa Porto has passed, but her recipes and her high standards remain, including her motto "Quality is the number one ingredient in everything we do."
“Ooo Porto's! Such a solid institution in the SoCal area that a visit almost doesn't feel complete without one of their signatures to take home. Having worked near the Porto's in Downey, I made many-a-trip to this specific location. Everything on the menu hits that perfect spot where affordability and taste collide so that you really can't go wrong with anything you order here. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the lines but they do tend to go by really quickly so as long as you are patient, you should not really have to wait too long. In terms of my usual orders, I usually will order several guava cheese or plain cheese rolls to take back home. I would also like to shoutout to their savory offerings as well! For a simple light lunch offering, their Cubano or Medianoche sandwiches hit the spot for me. This last visit I got the ropa vieja and it was not only pretty good, but also super filling at $10! Otherwise, you can also order one of their potato balls which are small but are filled with enough meat and goodness. Overall, Porto's Bakery is one of my favorite places to visit in SoCal! It is not just the nostalgia, but the great value and food that they offer!” - Patrick S.
Owner: Brian Huskey
Address: 3029 Ocean Blvd., Corona del Mar, CA 92625
Phone Number: 949-723-0174
Yelp Rating: 5 stars
The Jetty is the epicenter of fresh, delicious food. We provide our community with quick, flavorful, unique flavors that appeal to the masses, and are inspired by local and sustainable purveyors in order to deliver the best quality meal. The Jetty is our interpretation of community through food and beach vibes. We source our fresh ingredients from local farmers' markets. No matter what time of year, you can be sure you're eating the best of the season.
“Located on the beach of Corona Del Mar, nestled along the sand, there's this cute little food spot called The Jetty. Everything I've ever ordered has been fresh, and packed with so much flavor! My all-time fave is the shrimp roll. Refreshing, and not too heavy. My hubby had the Korean bbq hamburger which was delish! Served with seasoned fries and baked chips. Customer service is on point! They are always so friendly and welcoming - they'll even help you decide if you're in that indecisive mood.” - Mia A.
Owner: Anup Rimal, Anderson Cert. ʼ07
Address: 35 W. Main St., Suite A, Ventura, CA 93001
Phone Number: 805-643-0795
Yelp Rating: 4.5 stars
Rich with woods and traditional décor, a step into Himalaya Restaurant is reminiscent of a step into a Tibetan monastery perched high in the mountains: The greeting is warm, the soup is hot, and you've arrived at the place you're meant to me. Proudly recognized as a multi-year repeat winner of "Best Indian Food in Ventura County," Himalaya is also a California Green Certified business committed to sustainable best practices. Our large diverse menu showcases delicious cuisines from India, Tibet, and Nepal and holds many vegetarian, vegan, paleo, keto and gluten-free dishes! Everyone is welcome here, and every diet too!
“We have been coming here for years and we always love it! It is the best Indian food restaurant in town. The people who work here are always super nice. Their tikka masala is to die for. My husband gets the chicken briyani at the hottest level because he is crazy but it is filled with so much flavor. I always end up mad at him for ordering so spicy because it's hard not to eat it for its great flavor. Garlic naan is a must to dip into the sauce, sooo good.” - Rosa D.
Co-Founder: Waldo Yan ʼ13
Location: Southern California
Growing up as a restaurant kid, Waldo Yan's heart was never far from the kitchen. If he wasn't thinking about food, it was because he was already eating it. His immigrant parents endured the hardships of restaurant work to offer him a chance at a better life in a new country. But, shortly after graduating from college, Waldo would defy his mother's last wish and return to the family restaurant with a renewed hope to commemorate her. Waldo was joined by close friends and relatives to form Tasty Food 626, a hospitality group with a focus on ice cream and special events planning, which eventually changed its name to 626 Hospitality Group. This collective of cooks, who were displaced by the pandemic, came together to serve their local neighborhoods through pop-ups and special events catering.
“626 Hospitality Group is like a great cheese or wine. They only get better as time goes on. When I first found out about the dynamic duo, Waldo & Amber, I fell in love with their amazing Hainan chicken. What was already an amazingly strong first impression only began to grow to an almost fanatical fanboy level of adoration for their food. From the most tender melt-in-your-mouth beef skewers to the creamiest and most dialed in ice cream/sorbet flavours, they have never disappointed. I have been privileged enough to get to know the team behind these amazing eats more personally and I cannot stress enough how much love, intention and effort they put into their artistry.” - Tim H.
Owner: Giada De Laurentiis ʼ96
Address: 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone Number: 855-442-3271
Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars
Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian entrées with a California twist have been a favorite for years. Enjoy dishes like lemon spaghetti and Marsala herb chicken meatballs in a warm and inviting space with fantastic strip views. Don’t skip the bread basket.
“We enjoyed our time at Giada's. We had reservations and were seated promptly, we had a window view of the strip. Our server was very informative and attentive. Food and cocktails were delicious.” - Diane B.
Co-Founders: Joshua and Caleb Ng
Addresses: Shop Unit 207, the Arcade Cyberport, No. 100 Cyberport Road, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
Shop Unit 417, The Lohas, No. 1 Lohas Park Road, Tseung Kwan O
Phone Numbers: +852 23803498 (Cyberport) - +852 26388904 (Lohas)
Google Rating: 4.2 stars
An all-day dining cafe-restaurant focusing on each guest’s experience by creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for them to have a break from their everyday lives - a place to connect with themselves and others, curated by Twins Kitchen in Hong Kong. Artisanal coffee, low-intervention and organic wines and honest food are at the core of the hospitality and the passion of the people who are part of INTERVAL. The Cyberport address also features an urban farm within the restaurant, a collaboration with Farmacy HK, an urban farming technology company where seasonal micro greens, edible flowers and vegetables flourish and are harvest for cooking at the restaurant.
“A coffee shop that does excellent pizza and pastries, I've been here more than a dozen times and I am here regularly for filters, and coffee beans (from Denmark roasters coffee collective). Their coffee is smooth and delicious, the pastries are a delight (highly recommend the pain au chocolat or the custard Danish). The staff have always been friendly and they're knowledgeable about what they do. Get pour over coffee if you have the time and try their pizzas. Good value and a usually quiet spot. Plenty of outside seating.” - Mr. Plau
Co-Founders: Joshua and Caleb Ng
Address: Blågårdsgade 3, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
Phone Number: 45-34-12-46-26
Yelp Rating: 3 stars
GAO is a bridge between the traditional and the modern. Expect classic dumplings styles with a twist; Chinese chefs along with international students; low seating and heavy beats. For us, the beauty is in the mix of it all. And everyone’s invited. From the beginning of our journey, the goal has been to make dumplings more accessible in urban neighborhoods. We do that by producing centrally, so that all our locations, big or small, can deliver the same quality everyday. Our dumplings are made as traditional "jiaozi" with a wheat dough and a variety of fillings: authentic styles with a twist - both vegan and meat-based - always with flavor in focus.
“VEGETARIANS!! The vegetarian/vegan dumplings here are so freaking delicious. The vegetarian soup was also just as good and I definitely can't leave out the crispy tofu! Mushroom dumplings for the win with a side of their chili sauce. You cannot try this place without asking for the side of chili sauce. It's amazing. The quality and flavors were on point with traditional Chinese food. The texture of the dumplings is so perfect that it will give you a foodgasm along with everything else this place has to offer. True gem of Copenhagen.” - Foodie E.
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