Now, writing isn’t an occupation I would recommend to anyone. It’s a thankless job and though there’s writing everywhere, it is taken for granted all the time. That being said, on rare occasions, there are perks as was the case this past weekend. Thanks to the folks at KTown Night Market, I was able to head out early to the biggest foodie event in Los Angeles, the EAT Show.
To paint all the uninitiated a picture, imagine a giant indoor, air conditioned venue with over 50 different restaurants bringing their most popular food items to attract new customers. Thankfully, I was saved from the undoubtedly lengthy lines that were plaguing the event once admission was opened up to the public. I arrived for the Social Media pre-show two hours before the event opened to the public, and the lobby was already full. Seriously.
I want to congratulate the KTown Night Market team and their collaborative effort with the Crave Expo team. The event was extremely well run, and I was pleasantly surprised at the diverse range of restaurants that had booths. The format was well thought out with all the restaurants being divided up into 11 different different groups of 3 to 4 restaurants each. You would walk to each zone, get signed off as you entered the line, enjoy your food then move to the next group.
The centerpiece of the show was the open bar provided by Mr. Bartender. I tried two of the cocktails they offered (Screw the Roses and Geronimo), both of which were excellent and provided plenty of kick. Tsingtao also had a booth that offered free bottled beer throughout the duration of the event.
Rather than go through everything that my fat ass ate, I will point out some of my favorites and show stoppers.
Sleeper Hit – Emporium Thai Cuisine
I am a fan of Thai food. Something about meat in spicy curry really speaks to me. Luckily, there were several Thai eateries represented at EAT, but one stood above the rest. Emporium Thai Cuisine, located in West LA, brought their A game and earned the title of Sleeper Hit. I had never tried their food prior to Saturday but I was blown away. They offered three dishes: Southern Curry Chicken, Southern Curry Tofu, and a Coco Mango Salad. All the items tasted great, but the Southern Curry Chicken was my favorite. It had a powerful kick and the perfect blend of what I can only assume was butter and crack because I seriously thought about walking back into line and stealing someone else’s punch card so I could grab another sample.
Perennial Favorite – Fogo De Chao
For all the carnivores like myself that live in sunny Southern California, Fogo De Chao is the premier Brazilian barbecue experience. All the tender cuts of steak, chicken, and sausages you can eat at relatively reasonable prices. Yes, Fogo De Chao did not disappoint when they made their appearance at the EAT Show this year. With their new location in Downtown LA still finding its footing at the site of Roy’s off Figueroa, this was the perfect way to attract new traffic. They had a great sampling of chicken, sausage, and steak for their EAT platter and though it wasn’t as hot as I wanted, it was definitely tasty.
Delectable Delight – Freaky Shakey
I am not a dessert guy, but I did get a chance to take a few samples here and there of the many awesome dessert spots scattered about the hall. One of these spots was Freaky Shakey whose goal in life is to give everyone diabetes. That being said, these things were works of art. I myself tried the Cookies Crumble shake which was awesome and even came with a little Krispy Kreme donut topping. Bonus points for bringing in Krispy Kreme as a ringer.
Now, I won’t say that these are the end-all-be-all restaurants in LA. I will say that these were my favorites of the show. In all fairness, there was no way I was going to make it to all of the different booths. I tried and failed, but was a better man for it. If I’m completely honest, I was able to get through a little less than half of the eateries and I felt like I was going to explode.
I can’t wait until this show comes back again. To the teams that put on the show, great job. If I had ANY suggestions to make this a better experience the next time, it would be first, PLEASE provide a smaller punch card with a lanyard so all of us fatties out here don’t have to choose between holding our food tickets and actually holding our food. Second, I would suggest that each eatery provide a non-edible display of their food items or at least provide a photo-ready display off to the side so that writers like myself aren’t having to juggle a camera, our notes, and the food itself. Finally, BIGGER TRAYS.