Google's Santa Monica cafeteria: A free lunch for the lucky
Sampling Google's salad bar
EatingLA lucked with an invite to speak at Google's Santa Monica office along with fellow Eat: Los Angeles contributors Amelia Saltsman, Linda Burum and Miles Clements for their lunchtime speaker series. There was a full house of Googlers, who manage to tap away on their laptops, eat and ask questions about the best burgers and Singapore restaurants all at once. Afterward we were invited to try Google's cafeteria. It's a much smaller operation than the company's famous Silicon Valley Google cafeterias which have their own chefs and specialities. The food service is provided by Lifeworks, the upscale branch of corporate caterers Aramark, but it's much nicer than most corporate food. The bright, airy room has a whiteboard calendar announcing specials like "Grilled cheese day!" A salad bar has plenty of options including picked vegetables, roast beets and fresh bacon bits. The day we were there, a pasta bar offered three kinds of pasta with several sauces and add-ins like shrimp and radicchio.
Google's pasta bar with several noodle options.
A helpful stir-fry cook was standing by to combine the pasta and sauce for a decadent mac 'n cheese dish. Hot entrees like salmon and roast beef are available for heartier eaters. I can see how it would definitely help productivity to have all these options available for free, along with several other salad and fruit choices and sandwich and cereal bars. Plus, you can learn while you eat with the Google Talksseries, which is also posted on Youtube so everyone can watch.