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July 24, 2010

LA Street Food Fest 2010

The Fun at the LA Street Food Fest's Summer Tasting Event today at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena....

The Event....

I arrived during the VIP hour, which was limited to about 1500 people. There were two four hour shifts of volunteers, and I took the later shift so that I could enjoy the event beforehand. I thought some of the lines were a bit lengthy when I got there, but it was nothing like....

...the size of the crowd by the time I left.

Last year's event was held downtown LA at LA Center Studios, with a flat $5 admission but charges at each food truck. The first-time event was open unlimited ticketing at the door, leading to huge crowds, and the food running out. To improve this year's event, tickets were limited advance purchasing, much more expensive at around $65 for general admission, but all you can eat with no further charges at the trucks. That sped up the lines considerably, but the 3,000 people still filled the football field.

I've been to the Rose Bowl before for the namesake football game, and it was a stark difference to see the field populated by foodies. I expected the food trucks to ring the stadium, the way the Rose Bowl Flea Market is run. So it was a great surprise to actually get to walk out onto the field! Fun to see that it is actually grass, not an artificial astroturf.

They had live twitter feed about the festival on the Jumbotron, and several cameras wandering the event.

The signage wasn't great, so you'd often find yourself waiting in a line not knowing what they were serving. But the surprises were half the fun. It's definitely an event to tag-team, preferably with four or six people in a group, so that you can leap-frog all the lines. Logistically, it was well laid out, and it was nice to be able to spread a blanket out on the green.

And, of course, The Food....

I've waited months to sample the Grilled Cheese Truck, and they did not disappoint, with traditional cheddar on french bread, and a mac n cheese sandwich, along with tater tots and tomato soup.

Crispy Tofu Balls from Starry Kitchen, at 350 S. Grand Ave, 90071 (without the spicy aioli)....these were my favorite of the day: crunchy outer shell, chewy inner tofu filling, and great protein.

A Soyrizo Taco, that looked great but unfortunately I didn't get a chance to taste....

A wonderful Vegan Spring Roll from The Vegan Joint, at 10438 National Blvd, LA, 90034 (who also caters)....totally yummy!

Strawberry Tamales from Tameles Elena, based in Wilmington near the 105 frwy....the fruit taste was subtle, but the corn tamale was a great palate cleanser amongst all the dessert items. I often get pineapple tamales at the farmers market in Burbank, and I'll be looking for this company in the future.

Author Robert Danhi was at the event publicizing his cookbook Southeast Asian Flavors. What most impressed me were his lovely sculptures of honeydew and watermelon:

The day would have been perfect, but a vendor at Tiara Cafe promised me a vegetarian option of a portobello mushroom wrapped item, which turned out to be pork! I bit into it unknowingly because of the wrapping--it was similar to an eggroll. I've been a vegetarian for at least 25 years, and I think I may throw up tonight. Of course, I spit the food out into my plate, and ended up throwing all the food I'd been collecting from several lines into the trash. I had a call time for volunteering, so I couldn't wait in all those lines again. It took several desserts to wash the awful aftertaste from my mouth. I'm totally grossed out but trying to get over it.

And I would have had more pictures of beautiful food (including the desserts) but of course my camera battery ran out.

So there's my recap. Were you at the event? What did you think of it--especially, what was your favorite food item? Please leave your comments on the blog.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the pics. Mine didn't turn out so well… One of the surprises for me were the brik turnovers from The Breek Truck. Too bad it was also one of the slowest lines with a single overworked cook and fry pan as far as I could tell. Ta Bom Brazilian was also great.


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