Friday night LA Food and Wine’s Asian Night Market lit up downtown with some of the best chefs cooking Asian food in LA, with a nod to San Francisco, New York and Napa. Host Iron Chef Morimoto posed for pictures with excited fans and doled out chicken dumplings with a Sriracha sauce.
The night’s menu leaned heavily toward noodles and dumplings. Eggslut impressed with a spicy lamb Mazemen Ramen made with very little broth. Besides Chef Morimoto’s dumplings, Slanted Door from San Francisco presented huge Shrimp & Spinach Dumplings that had an explosion of hot broth like soup dumplings. A seriously inspired Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co. made a Little Osaka Japanese Curry Rice Ball filled with Ground Kalbi.
This being LA, there were also delicious Pork Belly Tacos from Jet Tila and Adobo Tacos from B Sweet. Nobu Los Angeles served gorgeous cocktail-sized salmon sashimi tacos. Chef Brad Farmerie of Public also went with salmon in an alluringly presented roll with salmon caviar.
One of the most exotic dishes was spicy periwinkles accompanied by a Craft Beer Panna Cotta with a Chocolate Stout Caramel using Hangar 24 Belgian Summer Ale from Starry Kitchen. Another daring dish came courtesy of Fickle, which is known for its nose-to-tail menu, a Cambodian Beef Heart Tartar in a Lemongrass-Curry Vinaigrette with Green Mango and Squash Blossoms on a Crispy Squash Chip. I know that seems like a lot to fit on one squash chip. It was a big chip.
Photo essay after the jump
Joe’s Stone Crab shone all weekend, and Asian Night Market was no exception. Gum Ball Ramen Soup and McDuck sandwiches had the line snaking around the next booth. Blue C Sushi of Hollywood served delicious skewers of pork belly, octopus, calamari, and big eye tuna with fish sauce. We also enjoyed Yamashiro’s Kurobuta Pork Carnitas. Manhattan Beach’s Little Sister grilled Indonesian Shrimp Satay with Cashew Curry and Fried Shallot Sambal.
To satisfy the sweet tooth, Chef Carlos Enriquez of Patina Pastry created unusual “shrimp chips” with dots of mango. B Sweet provided Ube Yam Bread Pudding and Lula’s Chocolates shared salted caramels and silky rich chocolates. Fluff Ice refreshed with green tea “fluffed” ice. Chef Vandaele of B Too changed the pace with Hoegaarden waffles. For the grown-up sweet tooth Ocean Vodka mixed Blueberry Ginger cocktails and the Asian Fusion with lime and lemongrass.
Wine and champagne flowed freely as guests mingled, tasted and partied with the twinkling lights of Downtown LA providing an elegant background.