The LA Food Bowl is in full swing now with different events everyday in the month of May. If you missed the Night Market don’t worry you can go next year and don’t miss it next year because there was so much to eat that you will want to go several days to try everything. I can’t pick a favorite because each stand and food truck was good so whatever you try you won’t disappoint you. Also, there is such a good variety of food that everything is so different you can’t really compare one to another. Night Market was in Downtown LA in Grand Park and it featured 50 restaurants, bars and food trucks. I went on the last day and thought I was going to try everything but I couldn’t. Next year, I will take my time trying it over the five days and to explore all it has to offer. If you still don’t know what the LA Food Bowl is, it is the LA Times and Jonathan Gold’s latest food event that is happening in Los Angeles during the entire month of May. The LA Food Bowl is a festival that is showcasing and celebrating our food scene in the city. The festival partners up with No Kid Hungry. Food Forward and PATH (People Assisting the Homeless).
I started my day off with a Matcha Cronut from DK Donuts and it was so good. It was my first cronut and I loved how fluffy and light each layer was. It was early in the day and they had already run out of many donuts but I will definitely go and check them out at their location and try more donuts.
I then followed that with a Gelato Burger at Gelato Messina. This was such a fun dessert, for those who love to Instagram food this is definitely one you need to try. It is a chocolate gelato patty with rice crispies in it, topped with “cheese” that is made out of white chocolate and the ketchup and mustard are fruit sauces. It is served on a real grilled bun. I really didn’t think this was going to be great in flavor because when I was looking at it I kept thinking burger because it looks exactly like a juicy burger but when I bit into it, it was so good. I ate the entire thing. Gelato Messina is originally from Australia with many locations there and one location in Las Vegas (go there). They told me they are looking to open a location in LA soon! The “mustard” was my favorite it was made with passion fruit and the “patty” was so good it was chocolate gelato. The bread really balances out the flavors so it’s not too sweet. Thinking about it makes me wish I had one right now. Check them out on Instagram @GelatoMessina.
After I got my sweet tooth out of the way I tried pasta at Louise’s, I use to eat at this restaurant in West LA and Santa Monica as a kid and forgotten about it. Louise’s is an Italian restaurant that has been around for 38 years. I am going to start going back. The pasta was so good. They were serving a black truffle pasta that really made me want to get seconds. I’m going to the restaurant for that and making this one of my regular spots again! If you didn’t make it to the Night Market you can still try them at one of their three locations. Follow them on Instagram @Louises.LA
After that I tried Dogtown Dogs, they definitely took me out of my comfort zone. Dogtown Dogs is a food truck that takes a spin on the average hotdog. I do want to try some of their other signature dogs like the California Dog, Spicy Angeleno, and Trailer Trash dog. Their tots also look like they are a must. They guys at the booth told me to try the Alligator Andouille that they were serving that day. It I really didn’t want to but I was feeling adventurous and said yes. It was served in a soft bun, with cajun corn, sweet potato hash and NOLA creole aioli. I’m glad I tried it because it was amazing. I never thought in my life I would eat aliligator and if you like to try exotic meats it’s one you have to try. Downtown Dogs knows what they are doing. You can find them on Instagram @DowntownDog
I then tried Lobsterdamus which doesn’t have a location. They are a pop up restaurant that you can find at different festivals, catering, events and at Smorgasburg LA (haven’t been yet but I have been wanting to go). They were serving a variety of dishes from fries topped with lobster, garlic noodles, lobster nachos, grilling whole lobsters, and what I tried the Seafood Arroz Caldo. This dish is beyond amazing. I want to eat it all the time, it’s that good. It was so flavorful and even though it was rice it didn’t feel heavy. I will have to go to Smorgasburg to try their fries and nachos next! You can see all their other dishes on Instagram @Lobsterdamus.
I did check out Instagram before I went to the Night Market and saw these large colorful dumplings from Workaholics. I tried one of the dumplings and I would love to try the other flavors that they have. I had the Spicy Pork and Kimchi which is red (not in the photo), the dough is dyed red with beet juice. I definitely want to try their beef bulgogi, chicken and veggie one. You can also find them at Smorgasburg LA. Check out their Instagram at @Workaholics_USA.
One of the highlights of the day was trying Jitlada this is one restaurant that I have always wanted to try but just haven’t. That’s why I love these food festivals because you can really try a lot of different cuisines in one place so you know where you want to visit again. Jitlada lives up to everything I have heard about it. It’s amazing. I met the owner of Jitlada, Jazz and she recommend me to have Jonathan Gold’s favorite Spicy Burger. I love eating spicy food and I added Jazz’s Crazy Spicy sauce on it. It definitely packs on the heat and if you can eat super spicy like me this is for you. I am obsessed with Jitlada and will be going to there to try everything on the menu. I have become a huge fan.
I had to try one more sweet thing while I was at the Night Market. I tried a warm Ube Brioche from Ensaymada Project. I love that they heated it up for me, the ube just melted over the soft buttery bun. It was heaven. I loved it. I have tried a lot of ube desserts before and none have really made an impact on me. This one is to die for. They did tell me that they had run out of flavors because it was already late in the day by the time I got to them. I would love to try some other flavors that they have. Even if you missed them at the Night Market you can attend another LA Food Bowl Event, Filipino Food Night at Grand Central Market May 20th. You can follow them on Instagram @EnsaymadaProject.
I finished off the day with Holy Cow BBQ and of course I had to try the Cowboy Parfait. It was sold out on the first night so it was a must for me. The Cowboy Parfait is layers of BBQ beans, coleslaw, pulled pork and it’s topped with their homemade mac n’ cheese. They did run out of coleslaw when I got to their booth but it was still amazing. I love the pulled pork and beans. The baked beans were not too sweet and had a little spice to them. Don’t worry if you missed them they have two locations in LA and a food truck. You can still try their BBQ. Find them on Instagram @HolyCowBBQ
Other restaurants that were at Night Market that I wanted to try but didn’t have a chance to were Amazebowls, Bao Haus, Bludso’s BBQ, Prova Pizza, Waffling Around, Prince of Venice, Cousin’s Lobster, and Loco L. After trying so many different places at the Night Market and every one of them was great, I will definitely go try the ones that I didn’t get to try while I was at the event.
You can still attend events for the LA Food Bowl they go until the end of May. You don’t want to miss out on some of these amazing events. Some that sound amazing are A Taste of Brae with Dan Hunter and Michael Cimarusti at Providence (May 20th), Fergus Henderson X Redbird (May 20th), Dinner with Dario Cecchini at Osteria Mozza (May 23rd) , Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Providence (May 30th), Soiree Poulet at Bouchon Bistro (May 31st), and so many others.
You can see the full schedule here, LAFoodBowl.
Photos by Dan Steinberg are the city, gelato burger Dogtown Dogs and Workaholics, the rest are mine.