Healthier, more attractive food now means carnitas with fresh salsa, chicken Parmesan salad and fruit smoothies at Reseda High School's new "Cafe LA."
At a grand opening Friday, Los Angeles Unified School District board member Julie Korenstein said the purpose of the refurbished eating area--which cost $200,000--is to streamline the cafeteria and offer modern dishes.
"With the growth in the district, we have to make sure everyone gets through [the lunch line]," she said. "If children are hungry, they do not learn."
Students said the improved food service, which includes new tables and menus on an electronic message board, is keeping them on campus for lunch.
Vanessa Ixta had been eating at local fast-food places every other day. In the past month since the eating area opened, she has gone off-campus only twice.
"We're more proud of school now," said the 16-year-old junior.
Principal Robert Kladifko said more students are eating cafeteria food.
"It's about time we started honoring students and giving them something nice," he said.