Several weeks ago, we were graciously invited to a pre-tasting of the third annual L.A. Street Food Fest. The popular festival has evolved a bit this year. In addition to food trucks, the organizers have invited street cart vendors, pop-up concepts, and restaurant chefs to join in on the fun. Live music, cocktails, beer, wine, and a wide selection of dessert vendors are also expected at the event, set to take place this Saturday, June 29 at Pasadena's Rose Bowl. See the full list of (100+) vendors here.
So, how to navigate such a vast array of food and drink? Allow us to recommend five bites that are worth a taste.
❶ The Grilled Cheese Truck: It doesn't really matter what The Grilled Cheese Truck is serving this year, because it will be fried to a crisp and oozing with at least two kinds of cheese. This is one to wait in line for.
❷ Ceviche Project: For years, Octavio Olivas and his wife Shannon have hosted guests at various locations in celebration of ceviche. The Mexico-city native works as an attorney, but has propelled his love of raw fish marinated in acid into a regular pop-up. At the street food fest, Olivas will be offering white fish ceviche on addictive plantain crisps.
❸ Luckdish Curry: Tomo Seo's newish food truck slings comfort food in the way of Japanese-style curry. The entreprenueur drove all the way to Michigan to find the 1969 Airstream that he turned into Luckdish. Now mostly stationed downtown and in Santa Monica, Luckdish will be serving a chicken curry at the fest. The clean, bright flavor of this curry goes well with a crisp beer.
❹ Dante's Fried Chicken: You can now get Dante's Fried Chicken every Tuesday at Short Order at the Farmers Market. But if you're heading to the fest, do check out Dante's crispy chicken biscuit bites. He'll be serving them with a sauce called apricot crack. Enough said.
❺ Donut Snob: New to the fest this year is Donut Snob, a gourmet donut caterer. Behind the fantastical creations at the Snob is baker Janeen Gudelj, who will be handing out creations like The Oinkster (raised maple cinnamon with maple bacon bits) and Salted Caramel (with a caramel and sea salt glaze).
L.A. Street Food Fest, The Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena