Biola's student-run newspaper
for 80 years

Don't Forget the Frosting

Professors school students about off-campus food

As much as I enjoy telling people what I think about food, I thought this week I would hand the pen, or more accurately, the keyboard, over to someone else. While it may feel like our professors live in their offices, making red marks of disapproval on the papers we lost hours of sleep over, believe it or not, they actually leave campus.

Furthermore, they know exactly where to find the good off-campus food. So here is my proposal: Since we spend our time and money to hear what these fine academics have to say during the school week, why not join me for a few more minutes to listen to their sage advice on where to find the best grub, vittles, fare or, in other words, food?

Renu Nakorn

Click on the photo for directions to Renu Nakorn from Biola. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

This Thai restaurant comes highly recommended by almost half of the professors that responded to my poll. As this restaurant is lauded by all for flavorful food and speedy service, we students really have little excuse not to try Renu Nakorn at least once during our time at Biola. The six-minute drive makes it even easier to do so.

“[It’s] one of the best Thai restaurants in the entire LA area,” Allen Yeh, associate professor of intercultural studies and missiology, wrote in an email.

Matt Jenson, Torrey Honors Institute associate professor, took Yeh’s compliments a step further, describing Renu Nakorn as the best Thai food he has ever eaten.

“A perfect evening after a long day is hitting the gym, getting a take-out order and eating it on the couch watching TV. (I know, livin' the high life.),” Jenson wrote in an email.

The pad thai is recommended by Jenson, Yeh and “Uncle” Lloyd Peckham, an intercultural studies professor. Beef satay skewers, Tom Ka Kai soup and papaya salad, called sum thum, received praise from Murray Decker, associate professor of intercultural studies.

Fred Sanders, Torrey associate professor, suggested that students try the curries; yellow curry was named as a favorite among some of the professors.

For dessert, the coconut ice cream invokes general revelation.

“The coconut ice cream at Renu is an apologetic for the goodness of God and His common grace that can still be found in this fallen world. I would go further to say that it's the culinary argument for the existence of God, but [let’s] not go overboard,” Decker wrote in an email.

Hours: Monday - Thursday, Sunday: 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.;
Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

13019 Rosecrans Ave. Suite 105
Norwalk, CA 90650

Earthen Restaurant

Click on the photo for directions to Earthen from Biola. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

A little bit further from campus, Earthen Restaurant is the favorite dinner spot for Erik Thoennes, a biblical and theological studies professor. If you did not get enough of Thoennes and his children during their Mock Rock cameos, there is chance you can find them eating authentic Taiwanese food here.

“It's real, fresh, delicious, Taiwanese food and my kids can work on their Chinese with the waitresses,” Thoennes wrote in an email.

Earthen Restaurant’s menu, featured on Facebook, contains szechuan items, like kung pao beef and sweet and sour pork, that would be familiar to most. However, they also have more traditional foods, like steamed dumplings, stewed bean curd and sea cucumber with abalone.

If the menu is a little daunting at first, one can always take Thoennes’ advice and order the green onion pancake or beef noodle soup. Just make sure to bring cash so you don’t have to wash the dishes at the end of your meal — they do not take credit cards, according to

Hours: Monday, Wednesday - Sunday: 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.;
Monday, Wednesday - Saturday: 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.;
Sunday: 4:30 a.m. - 8:30p.m.

1639 S. Azusa Avenue
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

Tacos Baja

Click on the photo for directions to Tacos Baja from Biola. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

It is all about the seafood at Tacos Baja. The menu features items like burritos, tacos, ceviche and soups. There are also several types of seafood cocktails with scallops, shrimp and octopus. However, Jason Oakes, an assistant professor of biblical and theological studies, walks from his house to get the 99 cent fish tacos on Wednesday nights and he suggests that students on a budget follow his example.

“If you are cheap like me, just stick with the fish tacos,” Oakes wrote in an email.

Tacos Baja is located just down the road from the Target shopping center in Whittier, about 10 minutes from Biola. It’s not too surprising that cheap fish tacos on any other night besides “Taco Tuesday” would draw and crowd and Tacos Baja proves it. Expect to wait in line, Oakes said. If the tacos aren’t worth the wait, you can bring it up in the next meeting of your Foundations of Christian Thought class.

Hours: not available

16032 Whittier Blvd
Whittier, CA 90603

Shrimp tacos are a favorite at Tacos Baja. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES


Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Prasad Joshi

    While I was a college then I was more fascinated about off campus food stalls. Our college canteen was not serving expected quality and taste of food. It was very nice to read that there is a great Thai food and sea food restaurant around your campus. I am a big fan of Thai food and I am currently planning a Thailand tour. I am going to choose a best itinerary from the list below,
    It would be my first trip and I will definitely look enjoy great Thai food within my trip. April 24, 2014

Your email will not be published as part of your comment.
Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
© Biola University, Inc. All Rights Reserved.