Hot weather didn't prevent people from attending this year's LA Street Food Fest. (Patrick Meissner/Living Out Loud LA)
It was a long day, it was hot and sweaty, it was a lot of walking and lot of waiting in line, but damn, it was delicious. From tacos and tequila to ice cream and beer, the fourth annual LA Street Food Festival hit the Rose Bowl this weekend, featuring the best in street cuisine from all over Los Angeles County.
For a $50 ticket, festival-goers had unlimited, all you can eat, and all you can drink access to the event’s more than 100 vendors. Food trucks and pop up stands lined the outside perimeter of the stadium, each vendor with its own gimmick. Most of the food was really great, and some of it, admittedly, not so much.
The whole day is really like a trip to an amusement park. You cruise around the event, pick your favorites and go back for seconds. You keep your eyes out for short lines, and most importantly, you pace yourself. Getting through a long day of eating requires strategy and determination, and this event is by no means for the faint of heart when it comes to food.
A Few of the day’s of the day’s standouts included Big Mista’s BBQ with their cuts of thick bacon seasoned with sugar, called “Pig Candy”. Around the corner, Ceviche Project had one of the days most consistent and impressive lines with their tacos. Speaking of Seafood, Mariscos el Mazateno made quite a splash at the event with their octopus tacos. A head turner and also, surprisingly, a crowd pleaser, the octo-tacos earned Mariscos el Mazateno this year’s “Best in Show” award.
Maestro’s Sausage was a consistent standout with their mini sausage with onions and peppers. It was just the right balance of sweet and spicy, topped on a sausage that was packed with flavor already. Maestro’s stand included an interactive feature, a little thing they like to call “The World’s First Sausage Synthesizer.”
The thing was basically a set of electric drum pads with raw sausages neatly attached to the heads. Rather than play the drum pad, you played the sausage. It was pretty to easy to make music with these things too. The only problem was that the raw sausage ended up being pretty mutilated by the end of the day. Not really a pretty sight.
Down on the desert side of things, you had The Beignet Truck with a squiggly line of people that never seemed to die down. The wait was long, but their fluffy, powdery pastries are so worth it. There’s really nothing like them; unique, sweet, and yet light enough that you could keep eating after a few of them.
At the end of the evening, once the weather had cooled down, and all the food had run out, a small awards ceremony was held on the field. The event’s founder, Shawna Dawson, along with the festivals judges announced the food festival’s winning vendors. Here’s a list of this year’s winners:
Corazon y Miel
Best Nuevo Food:
Best Old School Street Food:
The Sweet Tooth Award:
Lazy Ox Canteen
Wild Card Award:
Big Mista’s BBQ
People’s Choice Award:
Best in Show:
Mariscos el Mazateno