In June, the Surviving LA on a Budget team was once again asked to attend the opening of the Downtown LA Night Market. This is the downtown sister of the 626 Night Market that started in Pasadena two years ago. It has expanded to Orange County, the Santa Anita Race Track, and even Monterey Park. From what I have heard from my colleague Steven about past 626 Night Markets, the Downtown LA Night Market is a great improvement on the original event.
There was not too much of a line entering the DTLA Night Market despite the fact that they were checking bags and tickets. The food stalls were stacked in front on the right, with a stage on the left side accompanying the beer garden. Although the name makes one think of Asian cuisine, food from all cultures were present at this event: from Spanish paella to fries and even the Grilled Cheese Truck. As boba tea is always a favorite of mine, one of our first stops was Ten Ren Tea Time’s booth near the entrance, where you can order boba and snacks. It was a hot summer day in June, so the cold iced boba was a welcome treat. We ordered boba, popcorn chicken and tobiko filled fish balls to start off. Steven also ordered a rice burger from Sticky Rice, pictured on the right. He was pleased with the texture and taste of the burger, as it was similar to those he remembered in Hong Kong.
Because I prefer dessert before dinner, I also ordered an egg puff from Purrfect Bakery Cafe which is a Hong Kong version of a pancake/waffle. I ordered an egg puff with Nutella, bananas, powdered sugar and strawberries for a delicious combination that I would highly recommend. To try something a bit different, I ordered a taco-like dish from the Crasians stall with Kalbi beef and a rice bun. It had peppers inside so it was spicy. If you like spicy tacos with meat, you’d probably enjoy the Crasian, but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.
Several bands played all afternoon and night on stage at the Night Market, and there was a small eating and dancing area set up nearby. My biggest complaint about the DTLA Night Market was that there was not enough seating set up for a proper food event, and it was quite far away from all the food stalls so every time we bought more food we’d have to walk all the way over to the stage just to sit down and eat our food. Set up more tables next time!
In an effort to build our appetites again, we also perused the merchandise, fashion and art section of the Market. Some of the more notable booths included boba-flavored hookah from Boba Bear and the Minion-styled artwork of Kris Kehasuk Jaren or Minion Moi. Below, you can see Minion Me and Minion Steven, which he drew on the spot for free (We gave him a tip, of course!). You can check out his work on Etsy here.
The DTLA Night Market is over until next year, but if you drive a bit further east, you can still attend the 626 Night Market in the Santa Anita Market in Arcadia on August 15 & 16 and September 12 & 13 from 4pm to 1pm.Unfortunately, we were not able to eat more than a few kabobs for the rest of the night. We left the Downtown LA Night Market full and happy, so I’d say it was a very successful night indeed. The DTLA Night Market was located in a large parking lot outside of the Staples Center at 1150 S. Figueroa St. in Downtown Los Angeles between 11th and 12th streets. Admission was $7 presale and $10 at the door. Generally, the lines were not too long, but I would suggest attending in the early hours (4pm to 7pm) to avoid waiting. Most food items were quite affordable at under $10.
Feel free to email us events you’d like us to attend and review at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can fit them into our busy schedules.
Have a great summer,