Author: brendan

Ted’s List of Places to Eat in Isla Vista

(Map Courtesy of Google Maps.)

In my first year at UCSB I gained thirty pounds, lurching from 130 to 160. Despite jogging twenty miles a week and sampling gym machines at UCSB’s Rec-Center, I couldn’t escape the ‘Freshman Fifteen.’ It caught me twice! Even when I ran marathons up the mountains to the north, I couldn’t shake the weight.

Why? Well, when you run, you’ve gotta eat, and Isla Vista’s got hungry people covered. Today let’s look at some dining options near campus.

First, I’m writing for Tropicana del Norte, so let’s discuss their cafeteria. Food is catered by College Fresh, and I can state without bias I’m looking forward to eating there again. When I moved into an apartment for the 2016-17 school year I missed the privilege of having teams of caterers make food for me. The menu changes daily, and if one day nothing appeals to you, you can walk to the back to order hamburgers and the like (or eggs made-to-order in the morning). Grab some toppings and condiments from the sandwich-making materials and you’ve got a meal. I wouldn’t eat here three meals a day seven days a week, but as a staple food-source for college students, Tropicana knows what they’re doing.

Second, let’s review UCSB’s dining halls for anyone who has a dining plan. The dining hall closest to Tropicana Del Norte is probably Carrillo, in Manzanita Village. Carrillo has the widest variety and best desserts, but only soft-serve ice-cream. Ortega and De La Guerra both have hard, scoopable ice-cream (DLG a wider selection). Ortega and DLG are quite close to one another near the Old Little Theater, and of the two I prefer DLG. Ortega offers sushi, but DLG has a build-a-burrito bar. However, Ortega occasionally has sundae bars, chili bars, or other special events I’d recommend over DLG. Check the schedule once school starts. Ortega is also the only dining hall which lets you take a box of food off the premises. (There’s another dining hall, Portola, but I’ve never been there. It’s built into off-campus student housing.)

On campus there are two Subways, a Panda Express, a Jamba Juice, and other assorted eateries, mostly in the University Center (U-Cen). I enjoy Santorini Island Grill, which serves gyros, spanakopita, shawarma, and baklava. I also enjoy the bulk candy bins at the U-Cen student store (not the book-store, but nearby), where you can satisfy your sweet-tooth and pay by the pound.

Anyone who’s been to UCSB before is waiting for me to mention FreeBirds (or, uh, FreeB!rds) World Burrito, which is near Tropicana del Norte on Pardall Road. Many campuses claim to have the first FreeB!rds, but only UCSB touts that title legitimately. FreeB!irds offers burritos, monster burritos, quesadillas, quesaritos (burritos made using quesadillas), tacos, and nachos. Opinion differs on whether it’s comparable to Chipotle, but the nearest Chipotle is miles away and FreeB!irds gives you more food per dollar, I think. Generally a monster burrito will feed a student for a day or two, and I’d recommend splitting the nachos with a friend.

Near FreeB!rds, just outside of school, there’s a third Subway, a Habit burger grill, and a Starbucks. Down Pardall there’s SilverGreens for healthy burgers and vegetarian-friendly fare, and Buddha Bowls for bread-bowls filled with soup or salad. When they scoop bread to make the bowl, they give you the scoop as garlic bread!

Quite a few restaurants serve boba, or bubble-tea. If you’ve never had them before, bobas (bobii?) are chewy little Taiwanese tapioca balls submerged in a drink. You slurp them up with a wide straw. Some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em. Personally, I love ‘em. Maybe it’s a Californian thing, or a Millennial thing, like avocados.

Anyway, I first had boba at Hana Kitchen. Hana Kitchen sells meat-and-vegetable bowls with rice; I prefer the vegan option, which is soy-based, as the larger sizes are a bit too much meat for me to eat in one sitting. They also have interesting tacos, and taco sales on Tuesdays. Hana Kitchen sells boba and other drink-jellies in a variety of beverages like teas, milk teas, and ice-slushes. The Pho Bistro sells boba in more exotic flavors like taro root, alongside an extensive menu of vietnamese soups and noodles. My favorite restaurant name is Naan Stop, an Indian counter-service restaurant which also serves boba. True to their name, they’ve got great naan.

There’s no shortage of pizza in Isla Vista. The most famous pizza in IV would either be Woodstock’s (which also has a kiosk on campus) or Pizza-My-Heart. Pizza-My-Heart serves pizza by the slice, while Woodstock’s serves mostly whole pizzas and has event nights, like trivia night. Blaze Pizza on Pardall will build your pizza in front of you. If you’d like a more standard experience, there’s a Domino’s near IV Market next to a sushi place, Sushiya.

Finally, desserts. The well-named IV Drip sells coffee and sandwiches, but is most well-known for its ice-cream. The Equilibrium Cafe sells crepes of all kinds. Next to Domino’s, Sweet Alley sells frozen yogurt and candy by weight.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the restaurants in IV, but I hope it helps you find places to eat with your friends in your first year at Isla Vista. There’s enough variety here for everyone to find something they enjoy. If you see me stocking up on food after a long run in preparation for an exhausted hibernation, say hi, and tell me your favorite place to eat! Did I leave it off my list?

Tropicana Student Living Welcomes Michael Jordan Flight School

Santa Barbara, CA – August 1, 2014 – Tropicana Student living is proud to welcome Michael Jordan Flight School 2014 basketball camps for the 19th year.  Campers, who range in age from 7-18, will be staying at Tropicana Gardens and Tropicana Del Norte residence halls. Tropicana Gardens and Tropicana Del Norte are located adjacent to UCSB’s main campus and the Thunderdome. The close proximity, suite-style accommodations, and on-site café make the experience easy and fun for campers; many of which are having their first overnight camp experience

 “Every year, I am so excited to work with the Michael Jordan Flight School and their staff.  They are so professional, organized and they really work hard for all their participants to have such a great experience.” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “I believe this is why they have so many participants that come back every year!”

Mark Raveling, Michael Jordan Flight School Camp Director, says, “We have been hosting the MJ camp at Tropicana and UCSB since 1995 and always look forward to coming back each year. We are excited for our 19th year.”

Michael Jordan Flight School is among the world’s finest youth basketball camps, where girls and boys can learn the fundamentals of shooting, dribbling, rebounding, passing, and defense from NBA great, Michael Jordan, and his first class coaching staff. For more information, see the Michael Jordan Flight School website.

About Tropicana Student Living

Tropicana Student Living operates private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California.  Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall (www.tropicanadelnorte.com), conveniently located adjacent to UCSB’s Main Campus is a small and friendly community with spacious suite-style units, an unlimited meal plan and resort-style living. Tropicana Villas (www.tropvillas.com) is an Isla Vista apartment community that caters to upperclassmen with furnished apartments and flexible leasing options. Tropicana Gardens (www.tropicanagardens.com), located an express bus ride away from Santa Barbara City College, is a private residence hall that provides an attractive alternative to apartments for SBCC students with its suite-style units and social and recreational activities organized by its large team of energetic RAs. For more information about housing options for UCSB and SBCC students, please call 805-968-4319.

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Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall Welcomes 2014 Kobe Basketball Academy

Santa Barbara, CA – July 10, 2014 – Tropicana Gardens is happy to welcome Kobe Basketball Academy for the 2014 summer session. Tropicana will be housing over 800 participants, aged 8-18. Tropicana Gardens is located adjacent to UCSB’s main campus and the Thunderdome. The close proximity, suite-style accommodations, and on-site café make the experience easy and fun for campers; many of which are having their first overnight camp experience.

Damon Haley, Kobe Basketball Academy Camp Director, says, “We look forward to another great year at UCSB and Tropicana Gardens.Kobe Basketball Academy was founded in 2006. For more information, see the Kobe Basketball Academy website.”

Tropicana Gardens residence hall is just blocks from UCSB’s main campus. During the academic year, Tropicana Gardens provides Santa Barbara City College students a campus residence hall living experience with furnished suites, and an unlimited dining plan and a direct bus to SBCC. Tropicana Gardens is known for its exceptional student life programs, its lush resort-style setting and amenities such as a heated pool, fitness room, rec room and 24-hour study lounge.

 “Being a basketball fan myself, I am excited that Tropicana Gardens is again hosting Kobe Bryant’s amazing camp this summer,” said David Wilcox, Executive Director. “The kids love that they get to meet Kobe and get a signature from him while attending the camp.”

Tropicana Students Feed More than 7,500 Hungry Children

SANTA BARBARA, CA – April 17, 2014 – For several hours on a sunny Thursday afternoon, more than 75 Tropicana Student Living residents and staff  along with UCSB Lacrosse, UCSB Field Hockey, and local youth soccer teams came together to prepare meal packets for Stop Hunger Now. Tropicana Gardens Café turned into an assembly line to create 7,500 meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and nutrients.  

Isla Vista hasn’t been seen in the greatest light the last couple weeks, and we want to show that our students are doing great things here at Tropicana Student Living,” says Dave Wilcox, Executive Director of Tropicana Student Living.  “This is just an example of something that they’re doing that’s great for the community and great for the world.” The 7,500 meals that the Tropicana students and staff assembled will be distributed to Guatemala through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief agency that ships them to school feeding programs in developing countries.

Stop Hunger Now coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world, with a mission to end hunger in our lifetime. Stop Hunger Now’s meal packing program began in 2005, and since then, more than 100,000 volunteers have packaged nearly 30 million meals to feed the world’s impoverished.

About Tropicana Student Living

Tropicana Student Living operates private residence halls and apartments for students attending the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California.  Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall (www.tropicanadelnorte.com), conveniently located adjacent to UCSB’s Main Campus is a small and friendly community with spacious suite-style units, an unlimited meal plan and resort-style living. Tropicana Villas (www.tropvillas.com) is an Isla Vista apartment community that caters to upperclassmen with furnished apartments and flexible leasing options. Tropicana Gardens (www.tropicanagardens.com), located an express bus ride away from Santa Barbara City College, is a private residence hall that provides an attractive alternative to apartments for SBCC students with its suite-style units and social and recreational activities organized by its large team of energetic RAs. For more information about housing options for UCSB and SBCC students, please call 805-968-4319.

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Conservation is Critical to Extending Santa Barbara County’s Water Supply

On January 17th, 2014 it was declared that California was in a state of emergency caused by drought. California’s Governor has asked all residents to reduce their water use. Santa Barbara County has joined the State in declaring a drought emergency and has asked for a 20% reduction in water usage.

Coinciding with the State’s and the County’s efforts, we ask you to please be mindful of your water usage. We appreciate your personal efforts in helping our community reduce our water use as a whole.

Here are some things to think about when you are using water, which can assist in our conservation efforts:

  • When brushing your teeth, don’t let the faucet flow. Use a glass of water for rinsing your teeth.
  • Wait until you have a full load of laundry before you do a load. You’ll save water, energy, and money for laundry.
  • One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
  • Report any water related maintenance issues immediately to the Tropicana Front Desk.

Together we can conserve and extend Santa Barbara County’s limited water supply.

Conservation is Critical to Extending Santa Barbara County’s Water Supply

On January 17th, 2014 it was declared that California was in a state of emergency caused by drought. California’s Governor has asked all residents to reduce their water use. Santa Barbara County has joined the State in declaring a drought emergency and has asked for a 20% reduction in water usage.

Coinciding with the State’s and the County’s efforts, we ask you to please be mindful of your water usage. We appreciate your personal efforts in helping our community reduce our water use as a whole.

Here are some things to think about when you are using water, which can assist in our conservation efforts:

  • When brushing your teeth, don’t let the faucet flow. Use a glass of water for rinsing your teeth.
  • Wait until you have a full load of laundry before you do a load. You’ll save water, energy, and money for laundry.
  • One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
  • Report any water related maintenance issues immediately to the Tropicana Front Desk. 

Together we can conserve and extend Santa Barbara County’s limited water supply.

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