The Five Best Things We Ate at Coachella

Ramen Champ, Kushiyaki Dog, Terrine, Indie Jams, and Spicy Pie win the weekend

This past weekend, tens of thousands of people descended upon Indio, California, to watch music, show off new Forever 21 purchases, see a caterpillar turn into a butterfly (sorry…forgot to say “spoiler alert”!), and, of course, eat some great food. For us, it was mostly just that last thing. And if you’re one of the tens of thousands who will be heading to Coachella for weekend two, here are the five things you most definitely should eat.

1. Mazeman Noodles from Ramen Champ

The new noodle house from the folks behind Egg Slut has gotten some mixed reviews since opening in Chinatown a few months ago. But there was nothing mixed about the reaction to their Rose Garden booth at Coachella over the weekend. Their dry mazeman noodle bowl topped with bacon, pea shoots, and a shockingly perfect despite-having-to-be-cooked-in-a-music-festival-food-booth soy sauce egg was the runaway food hit of Coachella 2015. The mazeman hasn’t made it to the regular menu at the shop  just yet, but chef Alvin Cailan confirmed that it will “definitely” be part of the lunch menu once they expand their hours.

2. Katsu Dog from Kushiyaki Dog
Coachella Katsu Dog from Kushiyaki

Following in the footsteps of hand-roll spot Kazunori last year, Kushiyaki Dog chose the Indio desert as the location to debut their brand-new Japanese hot dog concept. Topping hot dogs with nori and other Japanese condiments is nothing new, but splitting that hot dog in half, dipping it in tempura batter, and deep-frying it is something we never even knew we really really wanted. And from the look of the lines, neither did most of the people at Coachella. Not sure what their post-festival plans are but, considering that the dogs come from Morimoto alums, we’re excited to find out.

3. Terrine’s mustard sauce

coachellaterrineFor Coachella vets, there is something a bit surreal about enjoying a quality sit-down meal while the madness unfolds around you. But those who found time to pull themselves away from the music were treated to some of the festival’s best food. Roy Choi’s Pot made the transition from kitchen to desert flawlessly, but my favorite thing of the weekend was the mostarda that came with Terrine chef’s Kris Morningstar’s pork belly and farro. It tasted like a combination of the hot mustard and duck sauce you get at a New York Chinese food restaurant, and would have been a welcome addition at any of the Asian BBQ stands on the field.

4. Indie Jams’ Pop Tarts
Breakfast and dessert are super underrated at Coachella. If you did make it out to the field early on any of the days, you could have enjoyed a great cup of coffee by Verve, and a soft-scrambled egg “hangover cure” bowl by Egg Slut. And if you were looking for an afternoon sugar rush, there was Action Cookies, some great ice cream options, and the classic Coachella workhorse: frozen lemonade. Interestingly enough, the most fun option that hits both food groups were the handmade organic pop tarts jam-filled pastries by Indie Jams in the Terrace yurts. Think smoky blueberry jam topped with cinnamon whiskey glaze, or strawberry prosecco jam topped with pop rocks. (Yes you read that right. Pop. Rocks.)

5. Spicy Pie
Even with the influx of gourmet food over the past two years, you can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore the Coachella classics.  This could have easily been a corn dog, crab fries, or generic Asian noodles, but in the end you can’t leave Indio with having at least one piece of Spicy Pie.  Or two. Most likely two.