An Update From L.A. Food & Wine

Well hello there! So I’m in the midst of 6 (yes, SIX!) different food events this weekend, and I’ve got two down so far. Talk about a blissful food coma!

Here are some of the fun highlights from L.A. Food & Wine’s Asian Night Market. Cameos include talented chef personalities Jet Tila, Aarti Sequeira and Nguyen Tran… plus I eat coconut curry snails. Yes, SNAILS! Check it out here:

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Click above to see my favorite moments of L.A. Food & Wine Asian Night Market… and to see how the snails were!

Phew! More highlights and photos of all the innovative food and creative cocktails to come (peanut butter matcha sesame oil cocktails, say what?!). Alright, I’ll be priming my stomach for more food now, because I’m off to the Lexus Grand Tasting and will be reporting back shortly!

For realtime updates, you can always follow me on Instagram and Twitter for some other fun, exclusive tidbits from each of the events… and my crazy, unpredictable foodie life in general. I’d love to connect with you guys and see what you’re eating and experience, too… Cheers!

Advertisements

Top Picks For An Epic Foodie Weekend

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Summer is still in full swing, with tastings and fun activities to suit everyone’s palates, from the fancy foodie to the laid-back luncher. This weekend alone happens to be gastronomically pleasing beyond belief!

Here are my picks for where to go and what to taste this weekend, from L.A. to the O.C.:

L.A. Food & Wine – The premiere foodie event– or actually, a series of events over four days… starting tonight! Renowned chefs from all over L.A. and the nation will convene to give us mouthwatering bites exploding with innovation and flavor through unique events such as Iron Chef Morimoto’s Asian Night Market, and Graham Elliot & Fabio Viviani’s Ultimate Bites of L.A. soiree. (Side note: I’m a big fan of Fabio Viviani since his Top Chef days, and he’s such a sweetheart each time I’ve met him, too. He even gave a shoutout to Tanaya’s Table last year! Who else is a Fabio Viviani fan??)

This is a can’t-miss shindig in the heart of downtown, if you’re willing to invest (quite) a bit more to get pampered at a luxe food event. I will say from the past few years covering L.A. Food & Wine that the experience you get is unparalleled, and you will have a memorable time!

Thes past posts here may help to show you the evolution of the event since 2011 (I was working & living in Hong Kong the summer 0f 2012 — the only way you can keep me away from this event is to send me to another country!):

L.A. Weekly Pancake Breakfast – I’m quite excited for this one, since brunch is my all-time favorite meal. Curated by KCRW’s Evan Kleiman, top restaurants around Los Angeles will serve their unique renditions of a classic brunch. Plus, there will be mimosas and more. Yum!

K-Town Night Market OC Block Party – Held at Angel Stadium in Orange County. Music and masses of people, plus traditional and Asian-inspired food will be served. With SIX (yes, six!) consecutive food events to cover over the course of these next four days, I’m still bummed I’ll be missing this one!

If you’re missing them but wish you weren’t, I will be covering a good portion of these, and will take you with me through the videos, photos and stories to come! It’ll be like you were right there with me, minus the calories ;).

BONUS: L.A. Times’ The Taste is the very next weekend, so pace yourselves, people! It’s yet another series of food events you don’t want to miss, right in L.A. From “Field to Fork” to “Sunday Brunch,” there are a ton of good eats that await! Get your tickets while you can, and prime your tastebuds for some serious fun ahead.

 

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Around L.A: Bites From The DTLA Night Market

The 626 Night Market, known for hosting events in the San Gabriel Valley akin to the original night markets found in Asia, has now come to Los Angeles. The first-ever DTLA Night Market was held at the lot across from Staples Center in the heart of downtown, with plenty of food and retail vendors, art and live entertainment.

Having covered past 626 Night Markets, the downtown L.A. event seemed to have a slightly different vibe, with more of a modern, eclectic selection of vendors as well as crowd, which also seemed to skew younger, at least during the time we were there on Friday.

The event was held June 20-21st, running from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. both nights. Quick protip: If you’re going to taste a variety of good food, it’s best to get there earlier in the day, to beat the rush. You’ll get dibs on the best items before they may run out, and also avoid long lines. If you’re going for the ambiance and more of the true “night market” feel, go in the evening when it’s bustling with more people, lights and live music.

With an artwalk, hookah lounge, beer garden, 97.1 AMP Radio DJ’ing onsite and more, the event had a lively vibe, with a diverse group of vendors offering a variety of different bites for purchase. Here are some of the top bites we tried:

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

This red velvet mochi egg waffle comes from Puffect, a bakery that specializes in creating these unique crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside waffles that can commonly be found on the streets of Hong Kong. Some of my fondest street food memories in Hong Kong (I lived there one summer, and plan to share those adventures as well… so much good food!) involve these delicious treats. Puffect offers lots of creative takes on the classic egg waffle by creating flavored batters such as Thai tea and green tea, in addition to the red velvet variation. A host of add-ons can texturally enhance your egg waffle experience, as our mochi-studded dessert provided chewy pockets of gooey, starchy goodness.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

This special version of the original Ramen Burger is a collaboration with La Sriracha Macha, a Mexican-inspired version of the now-ubiquitous Sriracha sauce. The patty was good and all, but the ramen bun was unique and tasty, with an even texture throughout that held up well when repeatedly bitten into (unlike some other imposter ramen buns). The sauce added great flavor that made the entire thing juicier, with a little heat.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Kalbi taco buns from Crasians had a “secret ingredient” which gives the traditionally soft bao a crunchy exterior when frying. I think it’s some sort of larger bread crumb flake, because it looked liked flaked coconut but didn’t taste like it. Delicious nonetheless.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

This anything-but-ordinary fried chicken sandwich was created by Formosa Cafe’s Brian Huskey (who is also a former “Top Chef” contestant). The crispy exterior and juicy interior of the chicken was accompanied by the refreshing coolness of the coleslaw, a sweet richness from the Okinawan purple potato, and a little kick of heat from the accompanying jalapeño yuzu sauce. All of these components joined forces to create one of the most well-balanced bites of the entire event.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

The newest item from Mama Musubi is the Currywurst rice ball. With a quality tidbit of Berkshire pork sausage and a dab of Japanese curry aioli, the flavors added a nice depth to the seasoned rice + seaweed base. I’ve had other rice ball variations from Mama Musubi, all of which have been varying degrees of tasty. Still, I’ve always felt that it’s a lot of rice for what you’re paying, and more importantly, for all the stomach real estate (as I like to call it) that it takes up during a food event. The rice is quite filling, and there’s a lot of it in proportion to the actual toppings. Still a pretty solid bite overall.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Now, on to the uni cream and truffle oil tater tots from Lotza Tots. Rich, creamy, just the right amount of uni– which, by the way, is sourced straight from the Maruhide Uni Club… so you know their sea urchin is legit. These tots were quite rich as you’d expect, but Lotza Tots was kind enough to entice us with a special half-order. Flavor-wise, these tots were uni-tater perfection. True indulgence at its finest: a little deep-fried fair fare, topped with creamy class.

Copyright 2014 Tanaya Ghosh

Other interesting eats and drinks included spiked Amaretto boba by Boba 7, Hello Kitty and other character-inspired cupcakes by Mwokaji Cakery, liquid nitrogen frozen popcorn by NitroPop, and fried ice cream from Frio Frito. There was also watermelon-basil lemonade, ice cream sundaes in the form of potted plants, and much more to try! The first DTLA Night Market was certainly a hit. If you want to check it out for yourself, the next 626 Night Market series will be held in Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on the following Fridays and Saturdays, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m:

  • July 18 & 19
  • August 15 & 16
  • September 12 & 13

For those who have only been to the 626 Night Market, the OC Night Market, or this past event in downtown, it’s safe to say you’ll experience a few new things at each location. For updates on the next event, check out the 626 Night Market website.