Sunday, August 11, 2013

626 Night Market 2013 - Food, Food, Food!

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After posting some of my pictures, I've been asked "what's a night market?"  Night markets are big in Asia, Taipei's Shilin Night Market being the most famous.  They're more like night bazaars which are more casual than the busy markets during the day.  You can expect "street" type food and a chance to sample more of a variety than what we're commonly used to with a "plate" of food from a single vendor.

Instead of heading to Asia to sample a pleura of street food at a night market, I have one right in my backyard at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia...

Los Angeles' largest Asian Night Market

This year, 626 Night Market was held over 3 weekends in
June, July, and August.

With over 50,000 people attending over a single weekend, this place offers a chance to sample foods from all over in one setting, including some of our popular gourmet food trucks.  If you've ever been to Santa Anita Park, you know how big the area in front of the grandstand is and the number of vendors that can fit in the area.  Beside food and shopping, there's entertainment and even the World's Largest Cup of Boba Milk Tea! 

Photo by 626 Night Market

See how this GIANT Boba Milk Tea was put together
You can even see the boba at the bottom...

See What Jay Eats...

Being Japanese American, I remember all of the festivals and harvest celebrations we attended growing up.  Being a busy adult, I miss attending some of these festivals and was on the hunt for some "street" food like Takoyaki.

'Tako' is Japanese for "octopus" and 'yaki' is to "grill or fry."

The batter is made with a wheat flour and bits of octopus are added.  Once the bottom is cooked, they're flip them around until golden brown.  A sauce is added and topped with green onions and bonito shavings (topping may vary due to the vendor).  It reminds me of my last trip to Japan...

Takoyaki with a JalapeƱo Sauce
Not a traditional sauce, but this is the U.S.
6 for $5

Word of warning, the inside can be very hot, 
I seem to forget each time I have this...

Another Japanese "festival" type food for me is Okonomiyaki.
'Okono' in Japanese means "what you like" and 'yaki' means "to grill."

This one happens to be a beef one

It's a savory pancake that has different kinds of ingredients,
this one had cabbage, beef, and topped with a sweet sauce,
Japanese mayonaise, and bonito shaving.

Beef Okonomiyaki
Need something fried now...

The Ludo Truck is here
and they make a great fried chicken.

We opted for 2 pieces with spicy mayo

 HEY, I know you...
Photo courtesy  of Jodi Fung
Ran into my friend Jodi Fung and her family.

Jodi is the founder of 
and a Foodie...

She pointed out some of her favorites.
We both agreed, Mama Musubi was not to be missed

"The 24 Hour Pork Belly" 
Berkshire pork belly braised in umami sauce,
pickled daikon and Karashi mustard (spicy mustard).

I didn't taste any spicy mustard,
but the pork belly was really good.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Fung
Mama Musubi

Musubi or Onigiri is a Japanese rice ball, wrapped in seaweed.
A fancier rice ball might include flavored rice or a special ingredient
inside of the rice, like the ones in the picture above.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you know I love just about anything skewered and grilled.  So when I saw the three grills and skewered meats and Corn with a C, I had to make a stop get some grilled goodies...

The guys at the Takken booth
working the grills

Grilled Pork Belly and Teriyaki Corn
pork belly skewers:  2 for $6
teriyaki corn:  2 for $4

The Pork Belly was really good...
Will have to try the pork belly tacos next time.

The Leek Dumpling
It was huge, forgot where this is from

It was great with garlic soy sauce and hot sauce.

Lots of food options

(rice balls)

Cookin' up the Green Tofu Balls (vegetarian)

Foods I didn't have a chance to get to...

The French Fry Hot Dog

Popular in Korea, it's a battered fried hot dog covered in french fries.

Fried and on a stick,
how could this not be tasty?

Photo courtesy of Jodi Fung
I missed the grilled squid!

What's a Night Market without
Photo courtesy of Jodi Fung
Stinky Tofu!
It's fried fermented tofu
and served as a snack at the night markets in Asia.
The smell, nuff said...

The Steam Fried Dumpling

A bao size dumpling that had some pork
in it and steamed, the bottom was fried
with a nice crunchy bottom and soft top.

Must get back to this one...

Dessert Time!

Went for the Astros Mini Donuts
and opted for the 
Maple French Toast set (top)
and Lemon set (bottom).
$6 for a dozen and two flavors

I love citrus, so the lemon was my favorite

This is only a SMALL sampling of what's available at
Not to mention all of the food trucks that are there...

The FINAL 626 Night Market of 2013
will be
Saturday, August 31st from 4 pm to 1 am
Sunday, September 1st from 4 pm to 1 am

Santa Anita Park
Front Paddock Gardens
285 W. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91007
(Gates 3 or 5 off Huntington Drive; Gate 8 off Baldwin Avenue)

FREE Parking

$2 / person 4 pm - 6 pm
$3 / person after 6 pm
Free for ages 12 and younger

 For more information:

Follow them on 

See You There!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Unless noted
Jay Eats

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hawaii: The Food Event of the Year!

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Being in the food industry, I've been to a lot of food events, tastings, and food festivals.  Although I haven't been to the Food and Wine Festival in Aspen or South Beach, but for me, the Food Event of the Year is in Hawaii.  I was fortunate to attend the first two years of the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival and enjoyed every minute of the 4 day festival!  This year, the 3rd Annual Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival is September 1 - 9, 2013.  If you're a foodie, this is the event to be at...

Here's some of my highlights from the 
2012 Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival

See What Jay Eats...

The First Daytime Event

"The Bounty of He'eia"
Presented by the Kamehameha Schools

We assembled at Paepae o He'eia,
which is an ancient fishpond.

As we look for sustainable food sources,
we can learn from what the ancient Hawaiians
did to survive 700 years ago.

Learning how the fishpond works
and the moi that live in the pond.

For more information, see

We boarded the buses and headed up the mountain
Welcome to Papahana Kuaola!

We explored the grounds, native Hawaiian plants,
and the volunteers who have worked to bring
back the natural beauty and native plant life.

Time for Lunch!
Incredible Lau Lau
with 3 preparations of taro and breadfruit.

I wanted more, but knew there was plenty more food
on today's menu.

Read more about

This was my favorite part of the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival.
If you have a chance to attend the festival in the future,

The First Signature Event

"Enter The MODERN Dragon:  Morimoto and Friends"
The MODERN Honolulu

Chef Chai Chowasaree
Chef Chai

Big Island Abalone

Very tender and the evening's favorite

Chef Scott Toner
The MODERN Honolulu

Seafood Tower

Chef Joanne Chang
Myers + Chang

Chef Chang didn't serve her famous
Mama Chang's Dumplings
but did make a great Pavlova dessert.

A Daytime Event

"Mix with the Masters"

An all-star cast of chefs and food producers
shared stories.  They all shared the same
theme; food has a story, community first, love the land,
keep it local, and know where your food comes from.
Words to live by...

To read more

Get Wild and Raw in Hawai'i with Morimoto and Ming Tsai

Chef Ming Tsai and Iron Chef Morimoto demonstrated
raw preparations and the very best ingredients
that Hawai'i has to offer...

Audience Participation Time!
We got to sample both chefs creations.
This is Chef Ming Tsai's dish

including exclusive video too.

Lunch is Served!
"Hawai'i in a Bowl:  From Poi Bowl to Pho"

Chef Colin Hazama
Sheraton Waikiki

Poke Bowl

See more of what was served for lunch

The Saturday Night Signature Event
at the
Hilton Hawaiian Village

Chef Lee Anne Wong
from the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats
New York

Locally sourced paiai demonstrated by Mana Ai
for Chef Wong's dish of crispy paiai.

Chef Susan Feniger
Border Grill and STREET
Los Angeles

LA is Represented!

Seared "Sen Pei" Spanish Tuna Belly
with Mesclun Leaves

Chef Justin Quek

See more food from this event

The Final Signature Event

Cuisines of the Stars:  A Magical Journey of Food and Culture 
Ko Olina Resort

Held on the beach between
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
and JW Marriott Ihliani Resort & Spa

It was a beautiful day and 
great venue

Met the winner of "Cupcake Wars" 
Erieka "Bubba" McGee of
"Bubba Sweets" in Huntington Beach, CA

As part of her win, she presented her cupcakes
and show piece at the Ko'olina Resort event

My complete Cupcake Wars post

Iron Chef French Hiroyuki Sakai
La Rochelle
Tokyo, Japan

It was an honor to sample his food...

Grilled Kulana beef with poached Kona lobster
on a braised oxtail truffle stuffed potato with black truffle emulsion

Chef Raphael Lunetta
Santa Monica, California

Hawaiian Verrine

Chef Patrick Fahy
Sixteen at
Trump International Hotel and Tower

This is only a small part of the food and events at the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival.  At the end of the day, it's really about the amazing food products from Hawai'i and those who created the wonderful dishes, beverages, and desserts.  It's always about learning new techniques, new products, and sharing of ideas.  

It's truly the food event of the year not to be missed!

Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival
September 1 - 9, 2013

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
Oahu Visitors Bureau
Lindsay Chambers
Denise Hayashi
Nathan Kam
Darlene Morikawa
Rebecca Pang 
Roy Yamaguchi
Alan Wong

Note:  I was a guest of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
Oahu Visitors Bureau, and their partners.
I thank them for the invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats