LAFW: Asian Night Market
Well, here is the first of…three or four posts I have for LAFW, or the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival. Coverage will be out of order, because, frankly, that is just how I roll these days. #Likeaboss. Even though I drank about six glasses collectively over a four day period, I still feel like I am just recovering from the sheer amount of energy a multi-day festival takes out of a person. A Spoonie like me feels the drain all that more poignantly, but I have to say, I would not trade a minute of it!
Chef Jet Tila
Although, I’d have to say that due to an overwhelming throng of people, I think Asian Night Market was my least favorite night. I missed out on Chris Oh, one of my favorite Los Angeles chefs, and lamented I hadn’t taken a photo with him when I ran into him the night before. The lines on Friday night were aggravating, and Tanaya and I called it a night shortly after nine o’clock. There were still a handful of tantalizing bites that made the crowds completely worth it, as recorded below:
Here is a closer look at my favorite bites of the night:
Five-Spice Pork Belly Taco
Chef: Jet Tila | Pakpao Thai
Hoegaarden Waffle: cilantro, yuzu custard, meringue, lime zest
Chef: Bart Vandaele | B Too
Coco Chili Snails & Beer Caramel Panna Cotta
Chef: Thi Tran | Starry Kitchen
Salmon Sashimi Tacos & Elote Dry Miso Aioli
Chef: Jason Benavente | Nobu Los Angeles
Indonesian Shrimp Satay: cashew curry, fried shallot, sambal
Chef: Tin Vuong | Little Sister
Patina Group Catering
Pork Belly – Octopus – Calamari – Big Eye Tuna – Fish Sauce – Puffed Rice
Chef: Jeffrey Lunak | Blue C Sushi
McDuck Sandwich + Duck Chips
Chef: Andre Bienvenue | Joe’s Stone Crab
Shockingly enough, the pork belly taco from Jet Tila wound up being my favorite bite; surprising as I don’t particularly care for pork outside of the dried cured deli meat variety. I’m depressed that Pakao Thai is in Dallas! Booo-urns! A close second would be the sweet and spicy bites from Starry Kitchen. NGUYEN, YOU MADE ME BREAK MY VOW NEVER TO EAT SNAILS! *shakes fist at you* AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS, DAMN YOU! Ugh. Now I need to go and try that Singaporean Chili Crab.
The duck sandwich was also amazing, though I was sure to give my best playful scowl to the chefs for the dig on my favorite Disney characters. I enjoyed the duck chips equally, if a little more than the sandwich itself. Ah, I wish Joe’s Stone Crab were in Los Angeles and not Miami! So much good food, and a tremendous amount to follow, so stay tuned!