The Coachella food lineup was announced on Monday, and the options are impressive, with a lot of Asian cuisine represented. This year, more buzzy restaurants are showing up in general admission (in years past festival organizers had kept the really good stuff in the VIP section), mainly in the Beer Barn and in one of this year's new areas, the Boardwalk. The VIP offerings, which are usually stellar, remain so, with repeat vendors including Ramen Hood and Sweetfin Poke, along with three big-name pop-ups. While the lineup as a whole is a winner, here are the 10 we're most excited about.
Taiwanese takeout will be parked on the Boardwalk, and we’re into that because noodles, dumplings and minced pork over rice are always a great idea, especially when served in portable takeout boxes with chopsticks.
L.A.’s favorite Texas-ish barbecue will grace the Beer Barn with its smoked meat specialties and, hopefully, a bunch of white bread to sop it all up. The beloved Compton location, which first opened in 2008, shut down last year to relocate, leaving only the Hollywood dining room for Californians to get their sausage fix. Now, barbecue enthusiasts can get a curated plate in the desert — perfect as a base for the IPAs sold near by.
After last year’s run in the Rose Garden, which included a $100 caviar-topped hot dog, Sumo Dog is moving to the Boardwalk to share its offerings with the people, and we’ve got two words for you: sushi tots. These are crispy rice “tots” covered in spicy pork or tofu chili, cheese sauce, jalapeños, wasabi, spicy mayo and a slew of other options. You may need to take a seat on the grassy field for those.
This K-town go-to is a no-fucks-given festivalgoer's dream with its savory duck– and bacon fat–fueled menu. Whether it’s burgers, sandwiches or fries it's serving (definitely fries), the comfort food will be a welcome reward for your sore body, and likely filling enough to be your only meal of the day. This gastropub will be back this year with the Rare Beer Bar, featuring unique brews on a daily schedule.
Belgium Liege waffles are an old-school European street food that the good people at Sweet COMBforts decided to dip in glorious things like Oreos, Fruity Pebbles and caramel … then serve on a stick so you can skip around the festival like, well, a child with a waffle on a stick.
VIP and Rose Garden:
Acai bowls are a brilliant idea in the dry desert heat when your body needs some replenishment. Packing away those delicious vitamins (and a ton of sugar) will make you feel shiny all over, and will probably be a nice break from all that celebration grease you’re enjoying over the weekend.
For those who are unaware (and there seem to be many), Coachella features pop-up restaurants that allow VIP ticket holders to make reservations for a sit-down meal (at an actual table, not on a patch of grass near a recycle bin). One of those pop-ups is Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson’s Playa Provisions, the beachside bistro in Playa del Rey that’s rumored to be serving a lobster roll, horchata rice pudding and several vegan options at the festival. Radiohead and a Top Chef meal in the same weekend? What a world. Make a reservation at OpenTable.
Roy Choi is widely represented this year with Kogi, Chego and the new grab-and-go rendition of his tourist-friendly Koreatown mainstay, POT. It will be interesting to see how Choi rethinks POT’s gigantic bowls of stew and skillets of eggy kimchi rice, but the mobile food veteran surely will cook up something exciting.
Chef Tin Vuong created a killer-sounding four-course menu for his pop-up version of Little Sister, the Vietnamese concept in the South Bay, Huntington Beach and downtown L.A. The menu will include a citrus and lemongrass cocktail along with imperial rolls, bo tai chanh (citrus-rubbed raw beef), and a braised lamb curry called ca ri cuu, among other Southeast Asian–inspired dishes. Make a reservation at OpenTable.
Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate’s new casual concept had a surprise March opening in the Hollywood & Highland complex, and we’re champing at the bit to try these burritos (and bowls), with Peruvian staples like huancaina sauce, skirt steak and ceviche.