The 626 Night Market is coming back on June 8 and 9, bigger and better than before. It takes its inspiration from the evening markets of Asia, where kebabs, baos and tapioca-infused drinks are passed out like cards. This time around it’s located in Paddock Gardens at the Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Admission is $2 from 4 to 6 pm and $3 after 6 pm. Parking is free, but we suggest getting there early.
With roughly 160 vendors lined up, the night bazaar has a solid selection of pan-Asian selections that will undoubtedly make it the San Gabriel Valley’s largest food event. We’ve compiled a guide to navigating this event.
Daw Yee Myanmar Café
Daw Yee has been making rounds in the media as an up-and-coming Burmese joint in Monterey Park. They’ll be serving kima platha (a crispy flatbread stuffed with beef), tea leaf salad (Myanmar imported fermented tea leaves with nuts, tomato, cabbage) and a sweet tapioca coconut drink.
Dragon Whiskers Candy
Dragon whiskers candy is the Chinese version of cotton candy. The difference: there’s a lower sugar content but a higher fat content. It’s sugar and honey that’s twisted, pulled, stretched and stuffed with peanuts. Confectioner Alex Goh, who has been at the task for more than 20 years, does the entire process by hand. Eat them while fresh.
Boba entrepreneur Elton Keung won the 626 Night Market vendor contest and will be set up with a booth of alcoholic boba drinks. This year’s night market will feature a beer garden. Think Green Tea Heineken with honey boba. For those who just want a virgin cocktail, Keung whips up a mean Nutella Milk Tea.
Ginger Cakettes serves gingerbread cakes with a Filipino twists. All the flavors are natural and ingredients include red bean, ube (purple yam), macapuno (a Philippine variety of coconut) and green tea pandan. The ginger cakes have the texture of madeleines — spongy and moist.
It isn’t a night market without skewers. The Kebab Brothers will be whipping out lamb and rib-eye, and corn and fish cake kebabs, plus stinky tofu. If you’re arriving early, be sure to hit up the kebab joints first. The lines are infamously long.
Stinky Tofu Inc
Taiwanese night markets can be sniffed from a mile away and that’s usually because of the stinky tofu. Stinky Tofu Inc will be selling exactly what it sounds like: plates of fried, putrid tofu. Also on the menu are other Taiwanese specialties like meatball soup (or gong wan), fatty pork over rice and plum juice.