LA Food Fest Tasting Event Makes Me Super Excited For The Manila Machine (and the Dim Sum Truck’s New Deluxe Dumplings)
After an aborted trip to the inaugural LA Street Food Festival Downtown back in February, I decided to give Profiled Lunchers Shawna and Sonja another chance on Saturday- and hit up Pasadena for their massive tasting event, featuring food trucks and street food inspired restaurants all handing out food on the field of the Rose Bowl. The lines weren’t much shorter this time around, but they moved a lot quicker (that happens when you don’t have to take money for each dish) and *most* (but not all) of the vendors seemed a bit more prepared for the crush. Plus, getting to hang on the field at the Rose Bowl while drinking beer and tequila makes waiting 30 minutes for a taco much more palatable.
Truthfully, for a guy like me even the best run tasting event is stressful. My strategy is always to get there as early as I can (buying the VIP tickets is definitely the way to go), and run from booth to booth eating as much as I can as quickly as I can before the lines get to be too long (which happens pretty quick when an event like this is sold out and thousands of people are waiting at the gate to get in at the very beginning.) Not fun, right? And it’s tough to really taste or enjoy the food. And yet something about these events keeps me going back again and again- excited for the prospect of being able to try so many places, from all over the city, in one spot, even though it’s not always a good representation of what you’d get if you went to actual truck or restaurant. After all, sometimes a great restaurant will serve up something that is not nearly as good as the food made fresh at their actual location, and bad places can easily pull it together to serve up one good bite.
And yet- despite my running, and face stuffing, one dish did manage to stand out above the rest. Not just to me, but to “The Guru” as well. And that place is now at the top of my list of must try spots…
Much has been written about the Manila Machine Filipino food truck on the blogs since their launch last month, and since I haven’t had a chance to check it out I was pretty excited to try their booth at the festival.
In a word? Awesome. I know it was just one bite, but that little piece of pork belly adobo was really flavorful and left me wanting more. The lumpia was good too (even the worst fried spring roll usually is) but that pork? It will haunt my dreams until I get to finally try the truck (and apparently it won runner up in the judging as well.) Not sure where they’ll be today (they might be taking the day off), but you can follow them on Twitter to find out.
Also of note… the Dim Sum Truck used the occasion to launch their new line of deluxe dumplings (which you should be able to try at the truck starting this week.) I got to try the”baked potato” dumpling (think dumpling version of a pierogi), and the “cheeseburger” dumpling (think In N Out version of a dumpling, complete with special sauce on the side).
Neither will be replacing any of my dim sum faves (sealing a grease filled meat and cheese ball into an oil covered wrapper is better in theory than in practice) but I love the innovation. And it will be a lot of fun to see the idea evolve, and try what other crazy concoctions the truck has up their sleeve. The Dim Sum Truck also takes Mondays off, but you can follow them on Twitter @dimsumtruck or @deluxedumplings.
And finally, how could we not post this photo? We already know how awesome Starry Kitchen’s tofu balls are, so we didn’t need to waste space on them… haven’t tried them yet? Starry Kitchen will be serving them today in limited quantities (aka until they run out.) Do it. Do it.