By Andy J. Gordon
New York City based marketing and media company Luckyrice held an Asian Night Market themed event in Culver City on August 4, 2012. The night of star chef food creations and mixologist designed custom cocktails was sponsored by Bombay Sapphire EAST with Sang Yoon (Father’s Office and Lukshon) hosting. It was the inaugural event in Los Angeles after three years of successful events in New York. The sold out food and booze extravaganza was a smashing success that will hopefully launch a series of events in LA.
The East Asian Design Warehouse at Helms Bakery was decorated with Chinese lanterns and filled with booths serving an array of Asian inspired cuisine. Several area mixologists created Bombay Sapphire EAST cocktails and additional libations were offered to quench the thirst of the large, attractive crowd that attended the event. The organizers did an excellent job of bringing in a group of LA based and national chefs known for their expertise in Asian inspired dishes. Even with the formidable lineup, Yang Soon was the center of attention since his large Lukshon booth was in the middle of the event space. He had no less than five dishes available. The ones that stood out were the creamy cured Hawaiian Butter fish with a pickled watermelon radish and the succulent pork confit lettuce cups with black beans and slaw. Other chefs presented outstanding dishes as well. Mohan Ismail, the executive chef at Century City’s RockSugar served a tasty Thai beef salad with toasted rice and deliciously smoky bbq ribs. Jitlada, the renowned Thai restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. served an intensely spicy but excellent yellow curry chicken dish. Kris Yenbamroong from Night + Market on the Sunset Strip made a very tender “Startled Pig” dish which was a salad of grilled pork, Thai basil, lemongrass, lime and fish sauce.
For the Vegetarians in the crowd, Andrea Nguyen, whose new book Asian Tofu was displayed at her station, prepared a very tasty Sichuan pressed tofu with peanuts and spicy bean sauce. The longest line for food was definitely at the booth for Jet Tila’s The Charleston in Santa Monica. He created a decadent five spiced pork belly on a crispy bao bun that was worth the wait. While it was difficult to leave room for dessert, guests had a choice of several fine selections. The Coolhaus ice cream truck had a long line of sweets lovers waiting for chocolate wasabi, candied ginger and green tea ice creams each paired with cookies. Sun Kwon Yang’s Eat Cake Café in Rowland Heights served a creamy, satisfying mango passion fruit mousse cake. Erik Bruner-Yang, from Toki Underground in Washington, D.C. offered an intriguing Kim chi snicker doodle, which was a Korean spiced chocolate sugar cookie.
While all of the mixologists created cocktails featuring Bombay Sapphire EAST, a couple of non-gin creations drew our attention. Rosie Ruiz from Big Bar in Hollywood made a refreshing Grey Goose vodka concoction called One in a Melon. It had a refreshing combination of watermelon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, M&R Prosecco and mint. If tequila was your preferred spirit, another watermelon cocktail, created by H. Joseph Ehrmann from Elixir in San Francisco made something similarly tasty. It was called Whatamelon No. 3 and had a delicious blend of Corzo silver tequila, St. Germain, watermelon, mint, lime juice and agave nectar with a sprig of fresh mint as a garnish. Bottled water from Saratoga Spring Water Co. and Singha beer were also available throughout the evening.
The Luckyrice Asian Night Market drew a large crowd of Los Angeles foodies anxious to sample some inspired dishes and cocktails. Everyone seemed to have a great time while the talented chefs and mixologists in attendance definitely gained lots of new followers. Keep an eye out for the next Luckyrice event in the LA area. They really know how to throw a great party.
Photos courtesy of Richard Patterson