Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chinatown Summer Nights

This past Saturday I attended the Summer Nights event in LA's Chinatown. After meeting up with a few other members of the Pleasure Palate meet-up group in front of Hop Li's Seafood Restaurant, we walked a couples of blocks til we found the "official" entrance to Chinatown:

This first thing we did was, of course, head for the food trucks. Fusion tacos are big right now; there were at least two offering tasty bites like these:

Those are crunchy tofu and pork belly steamed buns and a tamarind duck taco.

And my hickory-barbecue chicken taco, with peanuts, mango slaw, and green chile aioli. In my opinion $2.75 is a bit pricey for something you can consume in three bites, but it was tasty and a bit more complex than what you get at your usual tacqueria. I also tried my first bite of Korean fried chicken, which seemed to be basically fried chicken marinated in an extremely soy sauce-based concoction. Tasty in small doses, but if I tried to eat a whole portion I'd probably end up massively dehydrated. Luckily, a stand nearby was offering samples of Jarritos brand soda. I tried tamarind (left) and mandarin (right).

Verdict: Mandarin = orange soda but slightly better tasting, tamarind = not exactly bad, but not exactly good, either. Glad I tried it though.

 We ate our high-end tacos and salty chicken while being serenaded by birds hanging in cages from store awnings.

Must be a Chinese thing? The birdsong actually went quite well with the Chinese-style music being piped in through speakers.

After the savory portion of our meal, it was time for dessert! There were some interesting options from the food trucks, like fancy S'mores (click to enlarge):

(And Scooby Snacks...I have no idea what those are.)

Also, weird flavors of ice cream:

The Pancake Breakfast sounded kind of appealing (kind of), but there were also other things to explore, like my first ever Chinese bakery. There were plenty of pretty cakes

And fortune cookies of course (wouldn't those make fun party favors?)

And the counter service offered boba tea, ice cream, and some other tasty treats. But sometimes all you want is a simple almond cookie:

This means you won't be too full for ping pong!

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