I think we found the best Mediterranean lunch spot in LA. Dune is a small restaurant in Atwater
Village serving up delicious Mediterranean fare. It was featured multiple times on Eater LA, LA Times, and other food blogs so I decided to give it a try with my foodie friends. We ordered hummus plates with tabbouleh, falafels and fried chicken. Each of the plates comes with salad, pickles, olives and a side of pita.
I am in love with this restaurant because I was watching an interview with the owner, and he said that the restaurant doesn’t have a freezer because everything is so fresh and that is the way that Mediterranean food is supposed to be prepared. Everything is made in house, from the pita, to the hummus, to the labneh and yogurt. We all agreed that this place is top quality and that we will return to try more, especially now that they are serving brunch with traditional dishes like shakshuka and Mediterranean inspired avocado toast.
Afterwards, we decided to hit up the local farmers market. There were tons of vendors selling organic produce. This farmers market operates from 10am-2pm every Sunday. From what I can tell, it is quite popular with the locals since everyone is walking around tasting the delicious fruits, veggies, and breads, and buying bags to take home. My friend bought a bag of lavender tea. I was tempted to buy some too, but I had just stocked up on teas the week before. Farmers markets are a great way to get quality goods for a decent price all the while supporting a more sustainable food chain, so I would definitely recommend you check it out!
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.