The Los Angeles Times Food Bowl food festival just wrapped up several days ago. I checked out the “Super Market” event and ten bucks bought me a sampler of LA’s best food trucks and street cuisine.
Here’s the rundown:
Since January 2016, the Chinese Laundry food truck has cruised around the Arts District and Downtown LA offering experimental Chinese cuisine. I had the Hong Shao Pork Belly Tacos.
Hong Shao Pork Belly Tacos – $8
The braised pork was tender and savory. The taco had more than enough meat with some falling out of the tortilla. The toppings were plentiful and crunchy, from briny cucumber to bright and slightly sour pickled red lettuce and finished off with green onion and crumbled peanuts.
Owned by chef, restaurateur, food personality and former lawyer Eddie Huang, Baohaus serves up Taiwanese food in Chinatown.
Caption: Cheeto-fried Chicken – $6
I was told by the attendant that this rather large and juicy cut of chicken was brined for 24 hours and I could tell at first bite. It was bursting with lemony goodness.
Despite my fears of the ubiquitous snack food making for an easy gimmick, the cheeto added a delicate crunch and subtle savory flavor. Not overbearing or artificial-tasting. The slightly sweet steamed bun complemented it perfectly.
Kevin Bludso has honed five generations of Texas family heritage of slow-smoking meats into a fine art. Starting with a location in Compton in 2008, Bludso’s has added a location in Hollywood on La Brea Boulevard and even a place in Melbourne, Australia.
Beef Brisket – $8
Born and raised in Texas myself, I miss a heaping helping of brisket from time to time. I forgot to get a knife but turns out I didn’t need it. The juicy tender beef just fell apart when my fork dug in. The fatty end was particularly flavorful.
Not too salty. Not too smoky. A good char on the side. The dish came with a side of pickle slices and a slice of white bread to sop up the juices/remaining BBQ sauce.It looked so good a passing family asked where it came from and headed straight over.
After the brisket, I needed a palate cleanser so I joined the throngs of people waiting in line for Italian ice cream a.k.a. gelato. Gelato Messina was started by a couple blokes from Australia.
The Oreogasm serves up peanut butter ice cream and big Oreo cookie pieces. The practically punched whole sleeves of Oreos into every cup they were so big.
I also had a cup of the butter pecan. While not as outrageous as the Oreogasm, it’s a comfort food favorite of mine. The brown butter lends it a rich creaminess. It avoids a common pitfall of such ice creams – not enough pecans.
Almost two bowls of gelato later, I had to sit down and take a breather.
16 oz. Mini Amazebowl – $6
After an afternoon of awesome but thoroughly unhealthy food, Amazebowl brought some nutrition into my life with a blended concoction of fruits and juice topped with fresh fruit and granola.
The blended mixture of acai, bananas, blueberries, grapes, pineapple, hemp milk and agave left a tingling sensation on the tip of my tongue. Could be the acai. Could be the hemp milk, which I didn’t know was a thing until today. Could be an unknown food allergy.
All joking aside, it was just what I needed on a hot day. If I were more adventurous, I could have shelled out more for the 20 oz. bowl or the 12 oz. served out of a freakin’ coconut. Alas, I needed to lie down.
For a complete map of all locations featured in this blog, please follow this link: The Grand Appétit Map