Luckyrice Asian Food Festival

I love Asian food, and feel like I never get enough, so when I heard that the Asian food festival, Luckyrice, was coming to LA, I knew I wanted in.  Luckyrice started in New York four years ago as a way to introduce and celebrate Asian food and culture to people across the country.  Luckyrice now produces food festivals in five cities covering both coasts.

 Luckyrice Asian Food Festival in Culver City

Luckyrice Asian Food Festival in Culver City

This was the second year for the LA event and it was held again in Culver City.   They took over the Book Bindery, a large warehouse with exposed brick and beams, and multiple rooms with sprawling hallways.  Most LA based Asian chefs were in attendance, including Sang Yoon from Lukshon, who also played host for the event.

 Culver City's Book Bindery

Culver City's Book Bindery

There was no shortage of food and no long lines to wait in, which is always a big worry for events like this.  The free valet parking was also an added bonus. It was impressive to see most of the chefs in attendance with their restaurants, and not just their kitchen crew, including Jet Tila who not only had one of my favorite dishes of the night with his northern thai curry noodle soup, but he was also extremely warm and welcoming.

 Chef Jet Tila and I with his curry noodle soup

Chef Jet Tila and I with his curry noodle soup

Sang Yoon also had a delicious pie ear terrine with edamame, pickles and a light vinaigrette. from his Asian restaurant Lukshon.

 Sang Yoon's pig ear terrine

Sang Yoon's pig ear terrine

Ayara Thai near LAX had the only long line since they were handing out Thai lobster rolls, or rather bites, that were rich in a creamy house dressing on a homemade roll that left beautiful butter remnants on your fingers.

 Ayara Thai's lobster "bite"

Ayara Thai's lobster "bite"

Hamasuka had a well presented and tasty smoked pull pork hand roll with moromiso sauce. 

 Hamasuka's pulled pork hand roll

Hamasuka's pulled pork hand roll

Hoscotch made the longest journey from Oakland with a unique sake kasu lardo with dashi tomatos, and fresh shaved bonito loin.  A one bite wonder.

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Then there was the fried hardboiled egg from Komodo that was also pretty blow away. 

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Not to be confused with Seoul Sausage's flaming ball of cheesy kimchi fried rice with spicy pork sausage.

Park's BBQ presented a well seasoned bulgogi, while Phorage prepared a lemongrass pork belly with pickled papaya and cucumber slaw. 

 Bulgogi from Park's BBQ

Bulgogi from Park's BBQ

 Lemongrass pork belly from Phorage

Lemongrass pork belly from Phorage

Spice Table didn't disappoint with their spicy grilled beef ribs, pineapple-anchovy sauce, sawtooth herb served on lettuce.

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I focused my time on eating, but you could have come to solely drink.  Many top LA restaurants had their mixologists on hand, concocting Asian inspired drinks like Hinoki & The Bird's Enter the Dragon with Thai bird chili-infused corzo silver tequila, Mezcal, lime juice, honey, dragon fruit and Chinese five spice garnish.  

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There was also a nice selection of white wines from Bordeaux to pair with the Asian food, or even Bruce Cost's Ginger Ale, which only uses fresh ginger - no oils or extracts.  Another great pairing for the food.

They were all great companions to a well run event with great food, nice people in a fun atmosphere. 

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