Cumin Lamb Skewers
Lamb bits and pieces were rubbed with salt and crushed cumin seeds, then grilled on sticks on charcoal. The result was tender, gamey and delicious.
Dried Shrimp Okonomiyaki
Dried shrimp was used in this okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake that was touted as "healthy" on the booth's sign. It was doused with the sweet Okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonaise and a bunch of smokey bonito flakes.
Assorted fish cakes
A vendor in all Chinese signage specialized in chewy fried assorted fish cakes on sticks.
Imitation Shark Fin Soup
Freshly banned in California, a Chinese-Indonesian vendor was selling this peppery soup where al dente vermicelli noodles took the place of the prized sinewy seafood.
Warning, tofu ahead
The air was thick with the wafting odor of this fermented beancurd delight since there were a couple of booths that specialized in this uniquely odorous delicacy.
Stinky Tofu So Good, Grandma Would Approve
Hugo Foods was one among the two stinky tofu specialists. From the tofu slicing to the deep frying, it was a family operation.
The taste isn't nearly as strong as the odor. The spongy aged tofu was deep fried and served with pickles.
These hard boiled eggs from Shilin Foods were hard boiled, slightly cracked and then lightly boiled in black tea, soy sauce and five spice. Their flavor was savory and floral.
This Taiwanese specialty held briny plump oysters in a sheet of thin egg omelette. It was topped with a sweet chili sauce.
Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen
Always entertaining and always cheerful, Starry Kitchen's Nguyen Tran was dressed in a banana costume and working his charm with customers. His popular crispy tofu balls sold out before it got dark.
Pandan Churros from Starry Kitchen
Described as "making love to your mouth" by Nguyen Tran, his airy, crispy Pandan Churros were served with a creamy, lightly sweet kaya coconut paste.
The all-time teahouse favorite snack was being hawked by multiple vendors. We opted for the super umami-filled cracklin' beauties at Hugo Foods.
Pork Belly Musubi
Mama Musubi is already gathering a cult following thanks to her out-of-the-box Musubi creations. This one was generously packed with tender pork belly and furikake seasoning.
Carne Asada Fries
Despite the mostly-Asian offerings of the food festival, a few So-Cal. specialties like these cheesy Carne Asada Fries were also popular.
Spiral Potato Chips
This slightly gimmicky spiraled take on good ol' fried potatoes had the biggest line of the night. This particular one was flavored with half ketchup and half BBQ powder.