DTLA Night Market was a rousing success this weekend. Lines at most booths were short or nonexistent, and the places with lines were well worth the wait. Plus you could eat food from other stalls while waiting in line for the next one, which most people did. There was music and dancing and shopping and art, but we were all about the food. We ate delicious scallion pancakes and pork belly buns from Wei’s Scallion Pancake Hut. We also experienced perfection in a lobster roll from The Lobsta Truck on traditional split rolls brought in from the East coast. We satisfied our sweet tooth with rich, smooth salted caramel ice cream from Paradise Fine Cookies and Ice Cream (they also had horchata, which was mind-blowing). Besides the truck, you can find Paradise Ice Cream at the Fox Hills Mall.
If you have been paying attention, you know that I was on a mission. Ever since I found out Japadog had come to LA, I have been longing to be reunited with my lost Vancouver love. The line was long, but we were given a number so we could wander around and check back in. I ordered my usual, The Oroshi — a bratwurst with daikon, soy sauce, green onions, and my own addition of wasabi mayonnaise. The daikon kind of takes the place of sauerkraut, adding a cool, gentle crunch, and all of the flavors just go so well together. Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen was not surprised to find us at Japadog. He recommended the Love Meat, but I am faithful to my Oroshi. Nguyen had come to support Chef Brian Huskey, formerly of Top Chef, who is currently revising the food at The Formosa Cafe.
That reminded us the next stop on our to-do list was at Formosa’s booth, where we had a nice chat with Chef Huskey over his fried chicken sandwich. The chicken was hot and crispy, and the addition of purple sweet potato and a kimchee/coleslaw brought new textures to the traditional sandwich. The addition of his signature “quick fire” hot sauce, which Dr. John referred to as “verily hip” gave it a definite kick. Huskey told us his plans for the Formosa, which will be all about traditional bar food instead of having a chef-driven menu. Drawing on his Los Angeles roots, he wants to bring in elements of Asian and Latin flavors, swapping out some of the usual components for ingredients like edamame, kimchee, and wonton skins.
We stepped out onto the downtown streets with full bellies and plans to eat more noodles and dumplings at the next Night Market.