Luckyrice – We Ate – We Drank – We Got Lucky!

Lisa Ling at Luckyrice (All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat)

In 2010, Luckyrice was founded in Manhattan to “…explore Asian culture through the lens of food.” Luckyrice hosts festivals, including Night Markets, Cocktail Parties and Ramen Slurpfests across the United States. Last Friday night they took over Vibiana with their 8th annual Feast and there was no shortage of dumplings, noodles, and other examples of Asian food’s influence on Los Angeles.

I really enjoyed the squid ink bao buns that the Standing Room served with its pork belly sliders, filled with crispy pork belly and a kimchi slaw. The squid ink didn’t exude any of the fishiness found in squid ink pasta. For many years the Standing Room has inhabited the back of Catalina Liquor store in Redondo Beach. Last year they opened a large sit-down restaurant in Hermosa and even hosted a Descendents show there! Total South Bay cred.

Everyone’s favorite Korean BBQ, Park’s served bulgogi on skewers. Skewers were big, with Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage serving Mini Kalbi Corndogs. We were thrilled to see Bone Kettle again, whose dumplings impressed us at The Masters of Taste. This time around they were serving their signature bone broth ramen.

Eagle Rock Public House and Brewery turned me out with their Smoky Pickled Mussels. I have never liked mussels. We used them as bait when I was a kid and I guess I never got over it. But I have learned anything lo these many food events, it is that a great chef with quality ingredients will always surprise you. I loved them. I also loved the gilded toast created with Luster Dust and I have decided that next Valentine’s Day I am going to coat my entire body in Luster Dust. Our current favorite, Mama Lion went all out with pork belly wrapped in a pancake. So good!

Little Fatty created exquisite Squid Ink Xiao Long Bao, pork “soup” buns, that fill your mouth with hot soup when you bite down on them. Like “Squirt” gum…remember that? I am not usually a fan of squid ink, but the fishiness it exudes in pasta was not at all apparent. Bling Bling Dumpling also brought it with a ginger pork potsticker. Is there anything that is not improved with the addition of ginger? Phorage’s chili wonton with pork and fresh herbs rounded out the trio of dumplings.

Phorage also created a “Saigon Mule”with EFFEN Vodka, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Cinnamon-Infused Ginger Syrup, Lime Juice and Mint. They were so delicious I had a couple of them. And then I tried to force Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen, who was saying crazy stuff into a megaphone, to say even crazier stuff. Luckily I didn’t get into the Suntory Whisky. Know your limits.

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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