Guide To The 2016 L.A. Food Festival

July 10, 2016 9:28 AM

credit: LA Food Fest)

credit: LA Food Fest)

LA‘s largest and most affordable tasting event LA Food Fest returns to its roots in downtown Los Angeles at Exposition Park for its seventh consecutive year with a new partner, new location and expanded schedule and offerings. The former Rose Bowl event is partnering with promoter Nederlander to offer attendees tasty bites and refreshing cocktails from 100+ food, beverage, beer, wine and craft cocktail vendors. The festival will take place Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10 and feature LA’s best food, entertainment, culture and community for Angelenos, by Angelenos. The festival kicks off on Friday, July 8th with a chef driven Dinner and Opening Party with guest chefs include Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage, Hanjip), Johnny Ray Zone (Howlin’ Rays) and Los Angeles legends Nguyen and Thi Tran (Starry Kitchen, Button Mash); tickets to the Friday night Kick Off Party are $150 and include all food, drink and entertainment
Exposition Park
700 Exposition Park Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90037
Friday, July 8 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 9 at 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, July 10 at 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.      

(credit: Ryan Tanaka)

(credit: Ryan Tanaka)

General admission tickets for the LA Food Fest MRKT are available for $10 online and will be $20 at the door. All-inclusive VIP Golden Hour tickets are $69 and include two hours of unlimited sampling in the MRKT, two drink tickets for use at the Food Fest bars and early access to all of the cash bars. Exclusive Rose Garden Pop-Up Restaurant tickets range from $95 to $150 for “hangry brunch”, lunch and dinner, which include preferred access to the Rose Garden and the MRKT all day, plus a multi course family style meal with beer and wine pairings and souvenir glass. 

About The Festival
(credit: Brian Feinzimer)

(credit: Brian Feinzimer)

The event kicks off on Friday, July 8 with a chef-hosted Rose Garden Party ($150) celebrating the Food Fest’s past and present. The main event spans from Saturday, July 9 to Sunday, July 10 at Exposition Park beginning at 12 p.m. with an all-inclusive VIP “Golden Hour” while the general admission MRKT, where attendees can choose their own adventure with food, drink and more for purchase from 100+ vendors, starts at 3 p.m. Along with past festival favorites which include the signature ice cream social, iced coffee lounge and craft cocktail tastings, new additions include a wine garden, a live culinary stage, games on the lawn, live music and much more.
There will also be intimate 250-person chef-driven “long table” events in the Food Fest Rose Garden Pop-Up Restaurant during the weekend. The community event aims to showcase the best of Los Angeles’ vibrant food scene with signature eats and event only special menus priced at $5 and $9 from gourmet food trucks to award winning restaurants and top chef’s in Los Angeles.

Featured Food Vendors
(credit: Amazebowls)

(credit: Amazebowls)

Hoover St & W Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(310) 384-2202

Amazebowls takes a playful approach to provide nutrition-packed foods that are indulgent and healthy. At LA Food Fest they will be selling their popular acai base in guest’s choice of a coconut or a regular sized bowl. Each bowl comes beautifully and carefully topped with fruits, granola along with other superfood treats.

(credit: Wafflejack)

(credit: Wafflejack)

6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Wafflejack is serving Belgian Liege-Style waffles with a fun twist. Each waffle is hand-crafted to order and served with an option of Nutella, Fresh Fruit, or Ice Cream. waffles are made with 100% authentic pearl sugar that we import from Belgium. When these sugars meet our cast-iron waffle irons, the pearl sugars caramelize forming a sweet and crispy texture on the outside of our waffles.

(credit: Nabil Miftahi)

(credit: Nabil Miftahi)

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream
199 Avenue A
New York, NY 10009
(646) 896-1836

Mikey Likes It Ice Cream will soon open a retail location in the LA area and has partnered with Merry Jane for a true Cali-style unveiling at the LA Food Fest. The New York based pop culture ice cream shop Mikey Likes It Ice Cream will be serving up single scoops and will also be bringing out the ‘big guns’ and serving up the popular Mac Daddy’s which are two half hot cakey waffles with a scoop of guests favorite ice cream flavor. The two brands will also debut a custom flavor called MERRY JANE’s addiction; pistachio ice cream with toasted pistachio pieces and chunks of baklava with 7-10MG of CBD in each serving.

(credit: Shavonne Hylton of Shakers & Beakers)

(credit: Shavonne Hylton of Shakers & Beakers)

Brooklyn Pig
(213) 293-0744

The Brooklyn Pig specializes in refined street food with a Brooklyn edge and a California style. This year at LAFF they will be serving what their regulars love to call the truth: a Mexican chorizo burger on cornbread, the ode to superfine: a grilled Spanish tuna pizza, along with parmesan truffle fries. And during the golden hour, hey will be serving ricotta, Asian pear and amaretti cookie wontons with brunoise of pear & chiffonade of basil.

(credit: Starry Kitchen)

(credit: Starry Kitchen)

Starry Kitchen
1391 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, 90026
(213) 814-1123

Starry Kitchen, along with Chris Oh (Hanjip, Seoul Sausage) and Johnny Rayzone (Howlin Rays) are serving a massive family style dinner to kick off the LA Food Fest. The dinner includes Howlin Rays famous Hot Chicken and Chris Oh’s Kimchi Braised Short Rib along with a smorgasbord of banchan-style pickles made by each chef to compliment the different dishes. Furthermore, Starry Kitchen is resurrecting their most elusive saucy Singaporean Chili Crab served with a side of Howlin Rays white bread to sop up that sweetly savory sauce-liciousness. And finally, there will be family-style Howlin Rays Chocolate Chip Cookies and Starry Kitchen’s Almond Tofu with fresh fruit.

Featured Drink Vendors
(credit: Winc)

(credit: Winc)

5340 Alla Road Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90066

The official wine sponsor of the 2016 LA Food Fest, Winc is a direct-distribution wine company perfecting how wine is made, distributed, purchased, perceived, and enjoyed on behalf of a new generation of wine lovers. At the Winc Wine Garden in the MRKT, they will be pouring the following on tap: the 2015 Sauvetage Rosé, a light, delicate option from Provence; the 2015 Pacificana® Pinot Noir, a fresh, classic California Pinot from the Central Coast; and the 2015 Pacificana® Sauvignon Blanc, a smooth, juicy white from Paso Robles. The Sauvignon Blanc is vegan, as is the other wine you’ll be able to buy, the 2015 Ruza® – a sparkling rosé in a can – made with thoughtfully farmed, small-lot Zinfandel from Lodi.

(credit: Verve Coffee Roasters)

(credit: Verve Coffee Roasters)

Verve Coffee Roasters
8925 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 385-9605

Verve Coffee Roasters has opened three locations in Los Angeles to much acclaim. Locations on 3rd Street near The Grove, on Melrose in West Hollywood and in DTLA on Spring St have Angelenos excited. At LAFF they will be serving four offerings: a creamy Summer Missile coffee; the Nitro Cold Brew; their Cappucino; and the smooth Sakura Affogato, a marriage of coffee and fruit.

(credit: Julio Uriarte)

(credit: Julio Uriarte)

Longshot Coffee
625 N San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 495-3015

Longshot Coffee specializes in creating high end, pop up espresso bars all across LA from award shows, exclusive parties, convention centers, businesses and more, serving a fine Australian roast. Their Longshot Mobile Espresso Bar features state of the art espresso machines that provide a full complement of espresso based beverages. At LAFF they will be serving guests a variety of options including an Americano, aussie salted caramel latte, dirty chai latte, iced salted caramel latte, cold brew and many more.

(credit: @eatlikealadyboss (bernadette low)

(credit: @eatlikealadyboss (bernadette low)


(310) 384-4892

POPDUP is a native Angeleno premium syrup and beverage company, whose syrup is made from scratch, using ingredients that are fresh and locally sourced and are 100% natural and made with: fresh fruit, raw sugar, herbs and a dash of love. Their syrups offer versatility to make cocktails, sodas, dressings and marinades and can also be added to teas, coffee, lemonade, as well as desserts. At LAFF they will be serving their cold brew teas and sodas using hibiscus, thyme orange, raspberry apricot and lychee butterflypea syrup flavors in either a 16 oz. plastic cup for $5, 24 oz. POPDUP jar for $8, or a 24 oz. POPDUP jar with take home 1oz. sampler for $9.

Featured Attractions

The Festival features a variety of entertainment from Food Porn Cinema to DJ sets, chef demonstrations to live performances by mariachi bands, and Black Crystal Wolf Kids, plus games, activities and much more!

For a Good Cause

Peace4Kids is this year’s charitable organization benefiting from LA Food Fest. Peace4Kids is a non-profit, volunteer supported organization promoting trust, equity and stability for children in foster care. Peace4Kids, employs an approach that they call “Community as Family”. Youth in foster care, supported by a responsive, consistent and culturally sensitive volunteer community, develop a sense of belonging and permanence.

Article by Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers: restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. More of his work can be viewed at Connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.

More From CBS Los Angeles

KNX 1070 Newsradio

Watch & Listen LIVE