Responding to Changing Student Tastes
With its new pan-Asian menu and totally redesigned facilities, FEAST at Rieber opened in Fall 2011 as a unique and exciting dining experience for UCLA students and other guests. Formerly known as the Rieber Residential Restaurant, FEAST at Rieber offers a completely pan-Asian menu including more than 1,100 new recipes researched and developed by the UCLA Dining Services culinary team, with lots of student input.
FEAST at Rieber includes exhibition and self-service stations, which are popular at all of UCLA’s residential restaurants. The stations at FEAST, however, feature rotating menus from popular Asian cuisines including Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesian, and Hawaiian – with more to come as the menu evolves based on student feedback.
The new menu provides an easy way for those not familiar with particular Asian cuisines to experience new tastes and develop new favorites.
“At UCLA, education takes place in many ways. The dining options we offer are one way to expand social and cultural awareness.” – Pete Angelis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services
Why a Pan-Asian Restaurant?
Globalization & Sophisticated Tastes
UCLA students, like the U.S. population as a whole, are becoming more sophisticated in their tastes, appreciating and seeking out new and bolder flavors in their dining choices. This is one reason for the popularity of Asian cuisines today. This effect has been enhanced by the growth of immigrant communities from non-Western cultures; media programs and taste-makers that present unfamiliar cuisines in appealing ways; and increased world travel.
A Reflection of Our Community
Southern California has one of the broadest representations of Asian immigrant communities in the country. Dining opportunities from these many groups – from small take-out places and trendy food trucks to high-end restaurants – thrive in neighborhoods throughout the area. This wonderful mix of cultures and tastes are represented in the new FEAST at Rieber, celebrating and reflecting our community – exciting, vibrant, and unique.
Home-Cooked Memories and Shared Cultural Experiences
With UCLA’s high representation of native Asian and Asian-American students, FEAST at Rieber’s approach to Asian cuisine is aimed at bringing back memories of home-cooked meals, family gatherings, and special celebrations for many of our residents. FEAST at Rieber fosters a way for a significant number of our student-residents to feel at home while strengthening a sense of community as everyone shares in a tasty cultural experience.
Student Input – A Key Ingredient to Success
FEAST at Rieber represents a new type of residential dining experience at UCLA, and student input has been a crucial part of menu development. Since authenticity and customer appeal are key to the restaurant’s success, a number of steps were taken by Dining Services to get student input and gather feedback on cuisines and menu ideas including focus groups and sample offerings of test dishes.
“Since authenticity and customer appeal is key to the success of the new FEAST at Rieber, we have taken a number of steps to get student input and gather feedback on cuisines and menu ideas.” – Daryl Ansel, Director of Food & Beverage, UCLA Dining Services
Continuing a Tradition of Innovation and Excellence
In addition to the new pan-Asian menu, much thought was put into the redesign of the restaurant’s interior space. Better access to food service stations and a range of seating options such as booths and a community table are just a few examples of the redesign aimed at improving customer service. Lighting levels, speaker systems, and amenities like flat screen TVs with cultural programming also help enhance the overall dining experience.
“UCLA has always been a leader in innovative university dining. FEAST at Rieber is sure to set new standards for design, sustainable dining, and food quality as we continue to strive to meet our students’ lifestyle needs and dining expectations.” – Pete Angelis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services
FEAST at Rieber Management
Mino Bhathena, General Manager
Mino joined UCLA Dining Services as a manager in 2007 after serving as Restaurant Manager for Red Lobster since 2003. Prior to that time, he gained management experience working for International Tours Representatives and Ribs USA. In the past four years, he has proven himself gifted in leading a new, diverse team. As Principal Food Service Manager, Mino has overseen FEAST at Rieber operations throughout its conception and will continue to manage operations.
Mark Kim, Executive Chef
As alumnus of both UC Santa Barbara and the College of Culinary Arts (Le Cordon Bleu Program), Mark joined the Dining Services team in January 2011. He brings strong culinary experience to the FEAST at Rieber culinary team. He has trained with world-renowned Executive Chefs and worked with Wolfgang Puck Catering. Mark has served as Executive Sous Chef, Executive Pastry Chef, and Executive Chef for various establishments, including Tanzore Restaurant, Bleu Sage, Gingergrass, and Bottlerock, all in the LA area.