Was it a mysterious aligning of the stars? Or did the owners of the new McKay’s Restaurant have an inside hint that USC would be in need of a restaurant just like this? It came at a time when students, who wanted something a bit more high class than Chano’s had to drive at least 10 minutes away to reach ANY kind of decent sit-down restaurant.

Ever Since USC began their new 30 billion dollar plan to revamp campus and the surrounding area, students have started noticing some changes. The destruction of the student common area, better known as Commons, has left students without a variety of food options. While, yes, there is now the Lot, a.k.a the Onion, or the Tent, the options are few and for most students rather boring.

The number one thing that students miss the most from Commons is our beloved Upstairs. Upstairs Commons was the one nice sit-down restaurant where a student could go to enjoy a fancy meal. However, Upstairs has been destroyed, and students are not happy.

What students don’t realize is that now there is a brand new restaurant directly across the street with a very similar feel to our dear Upstairs. The walk may be slightly longer, but trust me, it’s worth it.

McKay’s atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The decoration is typical of a nice hotel restaurant and is much larger than Upstairs ever could have been. A reservation is always nice to have; however, for now, it’s unnecessary.

The food is good. It’s not exotic or particularly adventurous, but fits the ambiance of the restaurant. The menu consists of the typical salad, steak and salmon of any nice restaurant.

What did standout, however, was the soup. The carrot ginger soup was phenomenal. Being a soup enthusiast, I tend to judge a restaurant by its soup, and this one gets my full support.

But what really makes McKay’s unique, and rather irresistible, is the bar. That’s right, I said BAR. As in sit down and get an alcoholic drink.

It’s not a rowdy college bar, but a pleasant place to get a drink while enjoying the game with a few friends. Or maybe you have always wanted to have a glass of wine with your favorite professor but felt the 9-0 just wouldn’t do.

Although McKay’s is still rather unknown, its potential is limitless. Along with McKay’s, USC Hospitality is opening two more swanky restaurants. So next time you hear a student complaining about the absence of a restaurant, simply direct them across Figueroa and let them discover McKay’s.

For more information, call (213) 743-4111.