Located in the expanded Carnesale Commons complex, Bruin Plate is UCLA's newest residential restaurant. Opened in Fall 2013, the 900-seat Bruin Plate offers a menu that focuses on fresh, wholesome, and nutritionally-balanced options and follows best practices of sustainability in food service operations.
At Bruin Plate, we offer fresh, delicious and wholesome food in an environment that supports "mindful eating." This means we create a dining experience that encourages you to pay attention to what you eat – using your senses to explore, savor, and taste – and to choose food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body.
Our menu was developed from scratch with new approaches to cooking methods and food combinations. At Bruin Plate, we:
At Bruin Plate, we follow leading practices in food service sustainability, including:
1) Is there anything like Bruin Plate at any other U.S. college or university?
Our research indicates that there is nothing quite like Bruin Plate anywhere else in the country. It is the only university dining hall where all menu items are made from scratch and good for you, not just a limited selection.
2) How does Bruin Plate support UCLA's Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI)?
Bruin Plate embodies our commitment to nutrition, choice, and meeting the needs of our students. Our HCI efforts aim to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Bruin Plate does that for UCLA's student residents.
3) Why locate this new concept in the new Carnesale Commons building instead of revamping an existing hall?
The location of the venue is at the crossroads of student traffic from the residential community to the main campus. This location supports the goal of making the healthy choice, the easy choice, and is also easily accessible to all residents.
4) What does creating a venue like this say about UCLA's commitment to nutrition, choice, and meeting the needs of
The investment, both in funds and time devoted to the development of this venue, shows a strong commitment to the health and well-being of our student-residents, as well as a willingness to listen to our guests. When we asked our students what types of food they wanted that weren't already available on The Hill, their answers were strong and clear – more healthy, fresh options.
Menu items considered for Bruin Plate were offered at the Test Kitchen at Hedrick from January to May 2013. The Test Kitchen's primary customers – UCLA student residents – were encouraged to give detailed, real-time feedback for all dishes served. This feedback allowed the chefs to experiment with recipe ingredients and techniques, with student feedback helping to tweak the dishes until they were perfected.
To capture student opinions immediately after the dining experience, an electronic survey was developed and displayed at several computer kiosks near the restaurant's exit and was also available online, if guests wished to submit their evaluations at a later time.
During the testing period for Bruin Plate menu items, students used the feedback survey to evaluate 427 unique recipes and 7,471 customer responses were submitted. This open feedback model emphasizes greater precision in the UCLA Dining Services recipe development process and has helped to foster a culture of increased communication between Dining Services and its student customers.
The top performing recipes (judged on taste, temperature, presentation, and desired frequency) include the following items that are planned to be among upcoming Bruin Plate selections:
Grilled Chicken Breast with Pineapple, Jalapeno, and Cilantro Marinade
Grilled Mole-Spiced Turkey Breast
Roasted Pork, Mixed Grains, and Kale Bowl with Kabocha Squash Sauce
Date Chicken with Polenta and Spinach Bowl
Root Vegetable Tagine
Roasted Eggplant and Mozzarella with Spicy Tomato Coulis
Mixed Green Salad with Chimichurri Beef Tenderloin
Bruin Plate is UCLA's largest residential restaurant with a maximum seating capacity of 900 guests. It is located in the new Carnesale Commons in Sproul Court. Like its sister restaurants, food service in Bruin Plate is provided from a combination of exhibition and self-service stations – seven in all. The restaurant, located on the second floor of the complex, includes floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the campus.
The Bruin Plate interior design creates a vibrant contemporary dining experience focusing on a "California Fresh" ambiance featuring sustainable materials and California-themed art and plants. Warm tones are used throughout the restaurant, with natural woods and natural lighting through the large windows and skylights.
Linda Wexler is an American artist with accomplishments in several mediums including museum-quality miniature furniture reproduction, commissioned murals, and the healing arts. Her body of work extends into the licensing of original pieces, as well as authoring and illustrating an original children's book.
Linda studied Fine Arts Painting & Drawing at the City University of New York. She continued her education at Hofstra University where she earned a Master's degree in Education with a focus in Art History.
Starting in 2011, Linda entered a phase of more personalized art when she began creating a series of originally licensed images featuring fruits and vegetables, along with other custom patterns. A skilled home chef who delights in the use of farm fresh and locally sourced ingredients, Linda's design of food imagery comes as second nature. Linda is also an advocate for sustainable food practices.
Given our shared commitment to fresh and sustainable dining options, it comes as no surprise that UCLA Dining Services would reach out to Linda to enhance the décor of our newest residential restaurant, Bruin Plate. As our "Featured Artist," her beautiful, handcrafted artwork can be seen on the digital menu screens at each food station, informational table tents throughout the dining room, and in a series of educational posters.
We invite you to visit www.lindawexlerart.com today to learn more about Linda's professional background and the many accomplishments that fill out her illustrious career in the arts. In addition, you will find a more in-depth look at Linda's remarkable collection of work on the Society6 online marketplace. Enjoy!