Carmageddon? Where? The traffic-nightmare-that-never-was (westside to Pasadena in under 30 minutes!!!) may have kept cars off the road and eaters from attending LA Street Food Fest, but their loss was our gain. With few lines, we managed to sample from EVERY vendor at the festival. Yes, every vendor. Talk about a glutton for punishment.
Our favorite bite? Like everyone else, we were wowed by chef Javier Plascencia of Tijuana restaurant Mision 19 and his Oyster Asada, an oyster swimming in a swirl of serrano ponzu butter and topped with crisp nibbles of short rib chicharron, lemongrass foam and sprigs of the verdant salt marsh herb known as salicornia. Tacos Guerrernse also made a pretty amazing mini-tostada with sea urchin guisado and an oily peanut hot sauce. The umpteen tacos we tried were pretty good too.
Here's how the judges, and the people, voted.
Best in Show – Javier Plascencia / Mision 19 Smoked Oyster w/ Chicharron and Sea Pickle
Best Old School Street Food – Antojitos Carmen / Huitlacoche Huarache
Best Nouveau Street Food – Ricardo Zarate / Peruvian Cau Cau
Best Original Showmanship – La Guerrerense / Sea Urchin Tostada with Pismo Clam
The Sweet Tooth – Bulgarini Gelato
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
Javier Plascencia / Mision 19 Smoked Oyster w/ Chicharron and Sea Pickle
2nd Place – Mariscos Jalisco / Taco Dorado de Camaraon
3rd Place – Naan Stop / Samosas
4th Place (three way tie) – Seoul Sausage, Starry Kitchen and Great Balls on Tires