Standing in front of the World Famous Rose Bowl in beautiful Pasadena as the temperature crept into the 100’s, you could literally smell excitement permeating from afar as thousands of fans began to line up at the gates like a scene straight out of “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.” The 4th annual LA Street Food Fest was moments away from starting and with over 100 food & beverage vendors ready to hand out those sought after goods that we all find ourselves flocking to every form of social media to diligently showcase day after day, it was truly a foodies dream.
Arriving well before the VIP call-time so that we could people watch & see who the guests were going to be making a mad dash towards when the gates opened, we had a good time just mixing it up amongst the attendees before the bash even began. Taking a quick stroll around the set up to see the entire layout of the grounds we grabbed a few cold beers courtesy of the good folks over at Singha and proceeded towards the opposite side of the venue to get our hands “dirty.”
Stopping at the Honest Tea booth we grabbed a couple cold bottles of their peach tea and stepped over to the Sushi Roku booth for some spicy tuna hand rolls that were incredibly fresh. On a hot day such as this, its always a crap shoot when eating fish outside, but a well prepared provider of any kind has more than enough supplies to help keep all of their foods well within the safe zone in regards to temperature. With so many spots to choose from and only so much room in the stomach our next notable stop was Badmaash (which translates to Bad Ass) for some perfectly seasoned and spiced Curry Chicken & Rice.
Curry flavor whether it has been derived from a Caribbean or Indian recipe is such a complex layering of flavors that add so much depth to even the most bland of proteins and grains, is a staple in our test kitchens and on our menus. We did the smart thing and began to double fist every location so that we could take it all in as effortlessly as possible, which began with double helpings of delicious tacos from La Flor de Yucatan, Bulgogi boneless Pork Rib Tacos from Street Foods Co and 9021Pho.
A special note must be made about the cool folks who worked the Street Foods Co truck, they had the perfect set up going with their selection of funky instrumentals and vintage theme, to us they had the best presentation of the day.
Stopping for a few great libations from Raymond 1886 we were treated to an impromptu show from the mixologist who tossed drink mixers and bottles around like her was performing a circus trick, something that was unexpected to say the least in this heat. Looking for a little bit of meat, potato and gravy in our lives we stumbled up The Lobos Truck for their incredible Wacho Fries & Sliders.
Before we knew it we had tried just about everything we could and were rolling ourselves towards our two favorite desserts, Fluff Ice and Sugar Fix cupcakes. We couldn't decide which to tackle first so we hit them both at the same time and walked away with a sense of accomplishment that can only be described as a stimulating moment in our food career.
When you get a bite of a warm freshly made Smore’s style treat from Sugar Fix Dessert and double that up with some ice cold fluff ice (shaved ice with a twist as they so accurately describe it) you know you made the right decision by coming out such a heatwave to eat, drink and be merry as only fully stuffed individuals can do.
When we slid back ove the beer garden side of town, we couldn't help but get our dance on to the music played by the authentic Mariachis who came out with the livest truck in game, The Jarritos LA truck who is on hand at all of the freshest events throughout the Southland and always handing out thousands of bottles of their delicious (and always cold) flavored sodas.
To be honest a cold Lime Jarritos and a cup of crab gumbo with a buttermilk beignet from Starry Kitchen went so excellent together that it may quickly become my guilty Friday pleasure for a while, replacing my usual Friday fair of fried fish and strong mixed drinks…
After all of the amazing food, awesome conversation with everyone from the vendors, volunteers and other attendees as well as the entertainment it was time to take a nap. Any event that sees you leaving on a different belt size than when you arrived is a complete success in our book. We must thank everyone who helped make the day memorable for us from Rachel and her hard working staff to all of the Chefs, Sous Chefs and meticulous assistants all working together too put together a successful day we say Job Well Done and we cant wait to on hand for the 5th annual LA Street Food Fest.