In Westwood, expensive dining options abound. So since you're in walking distance to a world-class medical center, why not take advantage of what the Dining Commons at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center has to offer? Situated on the first floor, it's a simple cafeteria — and therein lies its charm — a place where med students, top docs, hospital staff and visitors alike congregate for cheaper than usual Starbucks coffee, and reasonable yet diverse food choices. To wit: $4.57 breakfast specials of French toast, eggs and bacon, or chorizo and eggs with potatoes; $6.70 complete lunch and dinner entrees such as marinated Korean flank steak, barbecue brisket, and Hainan chicken with plum sauce — all with sides. More than 40 salad bar items are offered at $6.99 a pound. Homemade soups are $2.54; deli sandwiches, $6. Posted above many menu items are nutritional analyses — including calories, carbs, protein, fat, sodium and sugars, many marked with a green apple symbol for healthy choices. Best perk: If you need a cardiologist, excellent assistance is close by. Think what you'd save in ambulance services. 757 Westwood Plaza, Wstwd. (310) 825-9659.

—Heidi Dvorak

LA Weekly