Asian Night Market
Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2013
Grand Avenue between 1st and 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dining date: 8/23/13
Friday night’s Asian Night Market was one of two LA Food & Wine tasting events this year to have a ‘theme’ (the other being Giada’s Festa Italiana). It had to be one of the more impressive chef lineups around for a night market, with 25 chefs from LA and around the country represented. Some big names like Masaharu Morimoto and Roy Yamagauchi combined with some of LA’s favorites to create a modern interpretation of a night market.
This was by far the most approachable tasting event price-wise at $125 ($175 VIP). As with all of these tasting events, it’s all-you-can-eat/drink. The venue was in the middle of downtown – Grand Street was shut down for the event in the shadow of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Morimoto Napa takoyaki
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen crispy thai wings
Chi Lin kale and shiitake mushroom salad
610 Magnolia roast pork & shrimp pancake, red boat aioli, brussels sprout kimchi
Hamasaku chicken nanban sliders with miso slaw
M.B. Post cha soba and blue crab with shiso, radish, ginger-apple ponzu
Nobu LA wagyu beef tacos; salmon tacos
Hinoki & The Bird chili crab toast
The Spice Table spicy grilled beef ribs, pineapple-anchovy sauce, lettuce
Seoul Sausage Co. flaming ball; deep fried kimchi-fried rice and spicy pork
Jet Tila northern thai curry noodles with braised tendon
House of An seared tuna on jicama; lemongrass spicy beef taco; garlic noodles
Lola Restaurant duck mortadella & peach chutney banh mi
Fluff Ice lamill coffee fluff
Starry Kitchen chili crab gumbo, buttermilk beer beignets
Kogi Truck short rib taco
Belga Cafe hoegaarden beer float, cilantro, lemongrass, vanilla ice cream
Mr. Chow spare ribs & shanghai cucumbers
Roy’s shellfish curry with lobster, shrimp, mussels, kaffir lime and coconut crisp
Night + Market isan tuna ceviche, shrimp chip
Mo-Chica grilled pork neck gochujang, green onions, ajiaco
Patina Pastry nitro cotton candy; coconut tapioca
All of the wine stands made up the interior of the venue.
This was the exact same venue as Live on Grand; I really liked being right in the middle of downtown next to the concert hall. However as the picture shows, it got pretty congested in some areas.
Fittingly, the 626-based Fung Brothers presented some of their YouTube hits and Asian-American-centric comedy.
Compared to the other three tasting events I attended this weekend, I didn’t find as many standout dishes here. There were favorites though – RockSugar’s was one of them. The wings were nicely fried, still crispy, with a sweet/savory glaze and moist meat. Night+Market’s take on a fish taco was a good one too, using a thin shrimp chip as a tortilla substitute. Tuna ceviche brought the bulk of flavor and quite of bit of heat, too. A bit of a surprise for me was the Hoegaarden float. It was refreshing on this summer evening and I really liked the sweet and herbal flavors. Lastly, one of Patina Pastry’s bites was perhaps the most memorable – liquid nitrogen cotton candy had diners blowing steam all evening.
If choosing between just one tasting event, I would probably recommend upping the ante slightly and going for one of the grand tastings. There’s simply much more variety in terms of cuisines represented. However, between the evening events, the Asian Night Market gave patrons a look at everything a LAFW tasting event has to offer, with the least amount of sticker shock.
Note: This was a hosted event.