Bibigo Kitchen - New Restaurant in the wasteland of the Century City Mall

Despite its billion dollar makeover, I still consider the Westfield Century City Mall to be a food wasteland.

Eater with its usual PR-focused rah rah journalism (we’ve never seen a press release that we can’t rewrite and pass on as journalism) just did a feature on the new Bibigo Kitchen in Century City, so I thought I would mosey over at lunch and give it a try.

The restaurant is right when you enter the mall off of Avenue of the Stars, across from the horrid Panini Kabob. It’s fast casual where you order at the counter and they bring your meal to you. There’s limited seating inside and then some outdoor seats which would be pleasant on a nice day, although not today in the heat.

Your mileage may vary, particularly if you are heavy into beef or pork, but I would not return.

I ordered a chicken breast plate - they also have various plates of beef, pork, octopus or “plant based protein.” The plate consists of a protein, a “base” (rice, noodles or something called Gochujang Naan) and a choice of vegetables or salad. For $2 extra, you can get a sous vide egg on top (which I passed on). For my plate, I chose seaweed rice as my base and broccolini for my vegetable. I also ordered a small side of cucumber kimchi which is usually $3, but was on special for $1 today.

The best part of the meal was the broccolini, which was fresh and crunchy (which I appreciated, since it it seems unduly hard to get fresh and tasty vegetables in Century City). The chicken I was not a fan of. The chicken was really, really, really soft and tasted, well, artificial. I looked for some hot sauce to douse it in and they have their own brand of Korean hot sauce, which actually is not hot at all and is kind of sickly sweet – think of it as hot sauce for people who do not like spicy food. The seaweed rice was tasty enough. The side of kimchi was a few sliced cucumbers laying on top of a bland sauce.

I also ordered “Jasmine Blue” hot tea. I thought Jasmine Blue was just a fanciful name, but sure enough the tea was blue, which I found extremely off-putting. It didn’t affect the flavor, but it’s interesting how we take in things with our eyes as well and I was just not into sipping what looked like hot ink. A nice gentleman came over to see if I was enjoying my meal and I questioned the blue color and he proudly told me that they use some kind of flower to make the tea blue and that I could also get a blue Boba. He gave me a coupon for a free Boba, which I left on the table because I really, really do not want my food to look like ink (nor was I interested in a non-blue Boba).

Anyway, today was the second day of business and the staff were all nice and enthusiastic and the place is attractive enough, but just not to my taste.

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Best quick lunch at Westfield cc is crack shack, good sandwiches and good fries or the Roman style pizza at eataly

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Thanks for the review. I work nearby. Agree that Crack Shack is a good option. There’s certainly nothing mind blowing about the food at Century City but I wouldn’t call it a ‘wasteland.’
Other decent options:
Shake Shack
Din Tai Fung
Tender Greens


The blue drink is probably use pea flower as a coloring agent, similar to how hibiscus makes things red.

I wouldn’t call Century City a food wasteland anymore, compared to how it was only a few years ago it has come a long way, as long as you are willing to spend money. As far as affordable fast casual goes I suppose the options are still limited but if you have the money there’s always Ding Tai Fung and Eataly, I would hardly consider any city with those options a food wasteland.

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I went to Tocaya once. I forgot what I ordered, but I remember that I thought it was really bad and the food left a funny taste.

I’ve been on a paleo kick lately and what I hate about all the other options is how carb-centric and heavy calorie they are (including so-called “healthy” options like Sweetgreen and Tender Greens). I miss the rotisserie bar at Eataly where you could get a piece of plain chicken and some plain vegetables. I wish Dig Inn – a Sweetgreen/Tender Greens competitor-- which is very paleo friendly and where you can actually get wild salmon and many different kinds of plain vegetables would come to Los Angeles.

I actually thought I could make Bibigo paleo friendly by skipping the rice and just having the chicken and vegetables, but the chicken was gross, and they like to douse stuff in sweet sauce. The broccoli was fine though. Maybe they should just offer sous vide eggs and broccoli.

How is Sweetgreen carb centric? It’s a salad joint.
It’s also very easy to go paleo at Tender Greens.


Also putting in my usual PSA about the 1/2 sandwich + 2 sides at the Gelson’s deli (at prime lunch hr, you can put your order in at the side to skip the main line). $6.99.


If you consider DTF + Eataly + Wexler’s + Meizhou Dongpo + Crack Shack in the same mall to be a food wasteland, I want to know where you’re eating.


I went to Gelson’s today and spent $22 (!) for the premade sashimi. Pricey and I wouldn’t do it every day because it’s premade sashimi at the end of the day, but it wasn’t bad as supermarket sashimi goes and, at the end of the day, it made me happier than my other Century City mall food options where I feel I am fighting carbs and glop. It wasn’t terrible sitting outside in the little seating area by the Gelson’s entrance, although I noticed that they have new tables that are not quite as nice as the tables they replaced.


Zankou and Clementine close by
great gelato and custard options in the mall

My favorite lunch vendor has disappeared from the Thursday Century City farmers market (the Middle Eastern kabob place that is gone, as opposed to the Middle Eastern kabob place that is still there), so I moseyed on over to the Mall today.

Was going to try Sweetgreen because someone here said it wasn’t terrible, but (1) it was packed with a long line at almost 2:00 p.m.; (2) it smells gross in there; (3) it was too hot to sit outside and there were virtually no seats inside the ugly, noisy interior; and (4) even though their website seems to advertise you can build your own bowl, there did not appear to be that option at this particular location and you were stuck with their prefab calorie bombs on the menu board (I’m glad they at least have to list the calories of their so-called “healthy” meals).

So I passed on Sweetgreen and moseyed over to Gelson’s and had my first meal at the Gelson’s wine bar. As a place to sit, it was certainly more pleasant and peaceful than Sweetgreen. However, I made the mistake of ordering an Impossible meat lettuce wrap with peanut sauce, which the counter guy said was one of his favorites. To say it was not good was an understatement. It had little crumbles of Impossible meat which were over-charred and had a weird taste and the lettuce wrap was served with a heated, sugared peanut sauce that can only be described as disgusting. Plus, the counter guy was touting this Italian wine that he said they had on special for $14 a glass (he implied it was usually a very exclusive and expensive wine) and the wine was really bad as well – had clearly been sitting open for a while and tasted stale, if not corked. I should have known better than to order any wine at the wine bar, since I never like any of the bottles of wine that I have purchased at Gelson’s so why would I expect better selections at their wine bar?

Since my Impossible crumble was do distasteful and I was still hungry, I ordered a blue crab handroll (the wine bar doubles as a sushi bar) and that was definitely the most successful part of the meal. I was actually quite surprised at how decent the handroll was – definitely on par with a middling sushi bar, which may sound like damning with faint praise, but I was surprised that you could walk into Gelson’s and get something like you could get at Sugarfish - not great, but passable. Truly, the nori was nice and crisp, they use real crab and it was no worse than something you would get at Sugarfish. Again, damning with faint praise, but still a surprise within the environs of a supermarket.

On the positive side, they ring you at the Gelson’s wine bar with no space to leave a tip, so I guess it is a no-tipping establishment. For $14 a glass, I wish they had better wine.

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Yes, you should have.