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Photo of turkey burger by Jasper Nahid, 17, Hamilton HS

This school year, LAUSD gave its menu a makeover by adding healthier food and ethnic dishes. Chicken nuggets are gone and garlic hummus is in. We asked Stefano and Victor to try some of the new items and tell us what they thought. They said the new menu is an improvement but the school district could make it tastier by not always focusing on healthy food, like the burger on a whole-wheat bun. “It killed the taste of the burger because all you could taste was the grains,” Stefano said.

Reviewed By Victor Beteta, 18, University HS

Caribbean Meatballs – 2 stars

As I looked down at my plate, the food didn’t look too appetizing. There were three meatballs floating around in a gooey orange sauce. There were also a few pieces of pineapple and potatoes in the sauce with the meatballs. The potatoes were undercooked and the meat lacked flavor. I also wanted more meatballs because I was still hungry after eating this. The sauce was a little spicy, which I liked, but it had a strange aftertaste. 

Sweet Potato Fries  – 1 star 

I like sweet potato fries, but the school fries were undercooked. The middle of the fries was raw, and that made them taste bad. The parts that were cooked actually tasted really good. If they want kids to like the food, they really need to make sure it’s thoroughly cooked. Food that isn’t cooked enough could be a health hazard, and it also makes the food taste bad. 

Turkey Burger – 4 stars

The turkey burger (pictured) was the best meal I ate. The meat was fully cooked and it had a good taste. It would have been better if there was lettuce and tomatoes. The only thing I saw that we could add was the ketchup. But overall the turkey burger is something I would eat again.

California Sushi Roll – 2 stars

I was a little disappointed that the sushi didn’t have crab because they called them California rolls. But when I tasted it, it tasted good. The rice was cooked. The cucumber was still frozen when I got it, but overall it was a good meal. There were four rolls, which was enough food. I would have it again. 

Reviewed By Stefano Rumi, 14, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

100% All Natural Charbroiled Burger – 2 stars

I was surprised when I found out that this burger was real meat. The burger wasn’t different from last year’s, with the same whole-wheat bread and the questionable rubber patty. I agree with LAUSD’s healthy lunch policy, but the whole-wheat bread overpowered everything so all I tasted was bread and ketchup. If LAUSD wants to make the burger healthy, they shouldn’t replace everything with tasteless alternatives, but add healthy vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes.

Garlic Hummus with Whole Wheat Pita – 4 stars

This dish is one of the best I’ve ever tried from LAUSD. The garlic hummus was creamy and delicious, and the whole-wheat pita chips were thick and crunchy. The taste was comparable to store-bought hummus. I would definitely try this dish again because it’s a good mix between health and taste. If there was one thing I would fix, it would be the portion. All of my friends thought that it was too small to be a main meal, but it would be great as a side dish. 

New Orleans Turkey with Red Beans & Brown Rice – 3 stars

I have never had New Orleans turkey and I have to say, it wasn’t half bad (although the turkey had a slight metallic taste). The dish was bursting with flavor (which is a first for LAUSD). The brown rice was slightly overcooked for me, and other friends told me that theirs wasn’t fully cooked, so I think LAUSD should work on consistency. The red beans were filling and tasty, and the turkey was tender. I would have this dish again, as long as LAUSD focuses on cooking the food consistently.

Chicken Sate with Brown Rice – 4 stars

The chicken sate with brown rice was wholesome and delicious. At first I was hesitant to try it, because I didn’t want to have overcooked rice again, but today it was cooked perfectly. The chicken sate was juicy and tender. The rice went well with the smoky flavor of the sate. I think that to make the dish better, LAUSD could include a variety of sauces, like honey mustard or BBQ. I would definitely try this again.