UCLA's Westwood village has seen an influx of new restaurants following the "customizable plate" trend. Quick service restaurants that serve you sandwiches, rolls or grain bowls but let you decide exactly what goes in them. On Glendon Ave alone there are Cava for Mediterranean, Bibigo for Korean, Nushii for sushi burritos, and Chipotle the "OG" customisable restaurant. All of them are excellent but the one that has wormed its way into my heart is Spireworks, with its doner kebab inspired sandwiches and bowls.

pork, sandwich
Photo courtesy of SpireWorks

At the heart of Spirework's charm is a genuine interest in making food that is flavourful, fresh and wholesome and stays true to its roots in the doner restaurants spread through Europe and the Middle East but brings something American to the table.

Upon entering you are greeted by a clean and well-lit restaurant, detailed with wood and warm red plastic benches. My roommate said it reminds him of the doner places in Amsterdam; to me, it comes off as a cafeteria at an international airport.

Photo courtesy of SpireWorks

Your food starts with either bread, salad or a grain bowl. I recommend the bread, it's fresh and made in-house from a recipe that owner Robert's team spent a month working on. The grain bowl with its mix of brown and wild rice is also a good option. Then choose from either a vegetarian kofte or chicken or beef kebab shaved from the eponymous spires that are constantly cooking up fresh meat behind the counter.

sandwich, chicken, avocado
Photo courtesy of SpireWorks

Finally pick a "destination," a combination of toppings and sauces named after the city they take their flavor inspiration from (the international airport description seems fitting.) If that's not your style, you can choose exactly what you want on your dish. The sauces are sourced perfectly, and my personal favorites are the barbecue and yellow curry aioli. You can add as many toppings as you like from standards such as beef steak tomatoes, to more interesting choices such as a collard green slaw and panko pesto crunch—but be prepared for a messy eat if you put too much on.

If you want a side, the belgian frites are perfect, especially with a spice mix. Also, the Spirecakes are extremely  well done, and free with a Bruincard! but I normally end up getting a nitro-brew latte. It's strong and refreshing and perfectly finished with the Okinawa sugar sea salt.

cheese, beer
Photo courtesy of SpireWorks