Over the weekend was the 9th Annual LA Food Fest which for the first time, took place at the historic Santa Anita Park. With an Instagram account teasing some of LA’s most sought after and flavorful foods, including foodie favorites neighboring the San Gabriel Valley, anyone attending couldn’t help but anticipate five hours of mouth watering food.
In reality, it seemed a bit underwhelming with vendors obviously missing (maybe 30 percent?!), resulting in limited food stations and long lines. Factoring in the sweltering heat, the event wasn’t as cohesive as previous years, lacked effort with signs still going up at 3:30 p.m. (the event started at 2pm), and quite honestly was disappointing. Understanding that it’s never easy for an event to meet everyone’s expectations, it’s hard not to compare this year to past LA Food Fest events with massive crowds and more than a stomach full of vendors.
Fortunately, the vendors that DID show up did not disappoint with a variety of vegan, vegetarian and meat lover options. Despite all of the obvious missing factors, the selection of dishes were delicious. Some favorites include:
- Big Grandma’s Kitchen – Spinach and cheese pupusa
- Peddler’s Creamery – Vegan hibiscus pie
- Communitea Bakery – Flourless chocolate cake
- Passport Provisionals – Heirloom melon salad with Penang curry
- One Veg World – Vegan nachos
- The Vegan Tamale Company
For the meat eaters:
- Bone Keetle – Citrus brined chicken wings with Thai chilis
- Rock ‘N Fish – BBQ Shrimp
- Ceviche Project – Big eye tuna and sea urchin aquachile
With everything said and done, LA Food Fest could have been better – logistically. The food was great, however it’s the whole package that creates memories, anticipation to return next year and in general knowing you get your money’s worth. We cannot wait to see what happens next year!