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New eateries in Westwood add healthy dining options

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By Anaika Miller

Feb. 8, 2013 1:29 a.m.

A grapefruit-mint juice cleanser, cauliflower mashed potatoes and bacon-wrapped hot dogs are just some of the menu items available at a number of new, or soon to open, restaurants in Westwood Village.

Two health-focused restaurants, Pressed Juicery and Veggie Grill, have moved into the Village since December. Restaurants Chick-fil-A, Nékter Juice Bar and Fab Hot Dogs are planning to open in the coming months. 800 Degrees, a pizzeria that opened in early 2012, also hopes to open a to-go restaurant soon, said Jolie Duhan, the restaurant’s manager.

Pressed Juicery, which opened at 10878 Kinross Ave. in December, serves fresh juice and juice cleanses, said Ian Harrison, the restaurant’s manager.

Harrison said the restaurant came to Westwood because the owners felt health-conscious students in the UCLA area would benefit from having another healthy dining option.

Workers at the juicery met with some UCLA sorority presidents this week to talk about giving sororities a special deal for juice cleanses, Harrison said. He added that the company would like to reach out to other groups in the future as part of an effort to connect with the local community.

Another new restaurant, Veggie Grill, opened last month at 10916 Lindbrook Dr.

Alex Gama, the manager at Veggie Grill, said he is pleased with how the restaurant has fared so far, and the restaurant plans to eventually partner with community organizations for fundraisers.

U-Mini, a smaller version of Umami Burger, and TLT Food, an extension of The Lime Truck food truck from Orange County, opened in the area last year.

Though this turnover is fairly typical of the area, restaurants such as the planned 800 To-Go have continued a trend of bringing more one-of-a-kind restaurants to the Village, said Steve Sann, the chair of the Westwood Community Council.

“These (original restaurant) concepts all have the tendency to amp up an area and put an area on the map,” Sann said.

Michelle Kin, a third-year applied mathematics student, said she thinks it is smart for Westwood to bring in healthier dining options.

“There are a lot of restaurants, but I think it’s good that (Westwood is) trying to expand the variety of foods,” Kin said.

Irrawaddy Lamouth, a second-year marine biology student, said she is looking forward to the new restaurants, even though she had not heard of them before.

“It’s a good idea because people always need more options,” Lamouth said.

Andrew Thomas, the executive director of Westwood Village Improvement Association, said both the increase in people walking around Westwood and “lines out the door” are a welcome sight.

“We’re really fortunate that these restaurants have taken hold and I don’t see them going anywhere soon,” he said.

Contributing reports by Chandini Soni, Bruin contributor, and Erin Donnelly, Bruin senior staff.

Email Miller at [email protected].

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