Fun Facts & Features of the New Portola Dining Commons

November 3, 2017
Interior and exterior of Portola, the Portola team, the rotisserie oven

After four years of planning, the new Portola Dining Commons is open - and it’s more than just a delicious meal in an impressive new building! At approximately 30,000 square feet of dining space, it is also the largest of UCSB’s four dining commons, serving up to 3,000 hungry customers a day. Portola offers seating for about 800, including 200 seats on the patio overlooking the mountains and Santa Catalina swimming pool.

But even more notable than Portola’s size is the attention to detail in the equipment and design. For example, machinery such as the Power Soak system allows staff to load and wash pans more efficiently and ergonomically, keeping employees comfortable and safe. Or, the new Blast Chiller/Shock Freezer has the capability of quickly cooling or freezing food, making food safety a priority. Portola even has a state of the art Produce Soak that is gentle enough to wash the most delicate fruit and berries without bruising them. And if you’re not impressed yet, maybe the tortilla machine that can crank out about 900 tortillas an hour will pique your interest!

Additionally, Portola prides itself on the many ways it contributes to HDAE's core value of being environmentally sensitive. Portola is not only in the process of becoming LEED certified, but all of its equipment is Energy Star-rated. What’s more, Portola uses a solar-powered water system that uses the sun’s energy to heat and transfer water into its boilers. Much of Portola’s equipment is environmentally friendly, such as the compactor for pre- and post-consumer waste or the water-saving dish machine. These are only a few of the many features that you’ll find at Portola; but what better way to learn more than by stopping by to see for yourself? Portola is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday – Friday, and brunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday. 

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