KTown Night Market 2018, Los Angeles

In Food Festivals, Los Angeles, Travel!

If you’ve driven in Southern California, chances are you’ve had to brave the freeways up to Los Angeles. For some, it’s a nice time to reflect on life choices and ask pertinent  existential questions:

“Why do I insist on staying at a job I hate?”

“Can I see myself spending the rest of my life with Gerry?”

“Why do people assume that I give a shit about their opinion when I’m driving behind them?” (I ask myself that when I see cars with a lot of bumper stickers)

I personally avoid driving to LA as much as possible and when I’m forced to, I’m a petulant child about it. A myriad of thoughts went through my mind while stuck in traffic on the I-405N, the most coherent being:

“Why the fuck am I driving to LA?”

When I arrived, braving the traffic didn’t seem so bad anymore. The cost of parking was a very reasonable (For L.A.) $7 and I was soon walking to the Robert F. Kennedy Community school to enjoy what the festival had to offer. There’s more to the Ktown Night market than I expected with makeup and clothing also being on display with Silk Show and BlushCon sharing the same space.

The KTown Night Market

Much like other night markets in California, the KTown Night Market centers around a mix of Modern Asian cuisine and entertainment. For the very reasonable admission cost of $5 (for both days), you can explore the wares of local designers and artisans while stuffing your face full of food. Admittedly, I felt a little out of place because I don’t listen to K-pop and I don’t own a “Supreme” or “Anti Social Social Club” shirt. Luckily, the language of food brings us all together regardless of our (lack of) style.

The Food Stalls

While there are plenty of modern food stalls at the Ktown night market, I love that there is also a big selection of more classic restaurants. Places that don’t need to make an instagram worthy giant rainbow colored unicorn themed dish smothered in Sriracha mayo and kim chi gastrique. For most, the prerequisite for good food is flavor, and these places more than fill that requirement regardless of “insta” worthiness:

Specializing in a traditional chinese "Dragon Whisker" candy and crepes (Jian Bing)
Specializing in a traditional chinese “Dragon Whisker” candy and crepes (Jian Bing)

I’ll admit that it sounds stupid, but there is something awesome about watching people cooking on the street. I would stand there, eating and watching for hours.

Making Chinese Crepes at the Ktown Night Market
Making Chinese Crepes!

KTown Night Market foods

Ktown Night Market Korean Street Food
Fried Korean goodness.
Barbecued Squid on a stick at the KTown Night Market
Few things better or more characteristic of Night Markets like Squid on a stick!
Sugar Cane juice made through a mechanical extractor at the Ktown Night Market
Sugar cane juice, something that my parents used to buy for me when I was a kid

The Food Trucks of KTown Night Market

What’s a street food festival without a selection of food trucks? I didn’t spend a lot of time at the food trucks, but on the other side of the night market is a whole selection of different food trucks with an eclectic mix of genres. Enjoy everything from pizza slices to cajun food on this side!

The lines picking up at the Food truck lot
The lines picking up at the Food truck lot
The "Tokyo Grilled Cheese" from Okamoto Kitchen. American Cheese with salt, pepper, soy sauce and mayo on crispy rice buns. It's super rich and needs something extra to finish it. Add pork belly for $3.
The “Tokyo Grilled Cheese” from Okamoto Kitchen. American Cheese with salt, pepper, soy sauce and mayo on crispy rice buns. It’s super rich and needs something extra to finish it. Add pork belly for $3.

The Chickens!

Belly Bombz has been showing up on my social media a lot lately so I was excited to see them at the night market. They’re talent lies in Korean influences flavors mixed with some great wings, burgers, and fries. When it comes to value for money, they certainly are one of the better stalls as their portion is strong for the price.

Belly Bombz Mom's Recipe chicken
“Mom’s Recipe” chicken with a miso citrus slaw, a slightly sweet, salty, and tangy sauce with a touch of sesame.

When it comes to spice, I tend to run on the mild side. I’m a bit of a coward when it comes to the kind of heat that a lot of my friends enjoy, but I do try and partake when I can. I’ve had hot chicken one other time and I enjoyed it. I had a chance to punish myself with some hot chicken from Bred Hot Chicken and boy did it sear my tongue. They’re pretty pricey, nothing on their menu here was cheaper than $12, but it was damn good.

Bred Hot Chicken
This chicken looks like it’s about to drop a street tough mixtape

Well into my gluttonous rampage I realized that I hadn’t eaten many sandwiches. When I stopped hating myself for betraying my principals I went to the Seoul Street booth for their “Dirty” Bulgogi sandwich. Sweet marinated bulgogi beef cooked with melted cheese, onions, peppers, and fried eggs on a hot roll. It was like a sweet cheesesteak with egg, how can I be upset at that? The sandwich was excellent, even though the bread could’ve used some work.

Seoul Street provides the less adventurous with Korean classics like Bibimbap or Jab-chae and brings in interesting fusion like Wonton Bulgogi tacos or K BBQ quesadillas. If I wasn’t already bursting at the seams, I would’ve likely tried another menu item.

The Dirty bulgogi sandwich with fried eggs from Seoul Street at the KTown Night Market

The “Fun” stuff

Good food doesn’t need to look interesting to be good, but let’s face it: People like their food photogenic. Social Media (and by extension, me) has built a whole online culture on odd, pretty, and appealing culinary delights. I’m not talking about classic plating like you would see at some upscale restaurant (one’s I’m not allowed to eat at), but the casual places that put soup in a football helmet for the “likes.” It’s at best a superficial practice, but damn it it’s fun.

When I ordered my drink, I had to choose what kind of floaty it was going to be served in.
Thai Tea in a Unicorn
Thai Tea in a Unicorn
A cotton candy burrito with your choice of ice cream filling, fruity pebbles, and sour candy garnish. Why the hell is this a thing.
A cotton candy burrito with your choice of ice cream filling, fruity pebbles, and sour candy garnish. Why the hell is this a thing.

They also sold penis shaped cakes. I think that’s a good way to end this post.

“A Piece of Gayke” amused me for the duration of the night

The drive may have been a little bit of a pain, but it was totally worth the experience at the Ktown Night Market. The food selection isn’t a big as the OC Night Market, but there is a bigger variety of shops and entertainment. I enjoyed the presence of more traditional foods mixed with the modern places, it kind of reminded me of eating street food in Asia. Take some time and look at all the local designers and watch the acts on stage, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at some of the talent; while you’re there, get your face contoured or whatever the kids are doing these days.

There was also an after party, but I was too full (and not cool enough) to go.

 

-Vy

KTown Night Market Website

2 commentsOn KTown Night Market 2018, Los Angeles

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu