I know this post is a bit overdue, but my schedule’s been jammed packed as of late and this is the first real down time I’ve had in a while. I know I’ve told several people that I was done with my 626 Night Market reviews, but I have to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 626 Night Market summer series this past summer, and I just had to blog about it.
There’s been some major improvements to the event, including the location. I definitely preferred the front entrance of the race track as opposed to the inner field of the race track. It has great visual from the parking lot and there’s no mistake in where to go. (I admit that I got a little lost last time it was in the infield). The smells and sounds of the event hits you the moment you step out of your car– more specifically, you can’t escape the stinky tofu stench.
I attended the 626 night market on two separate occasions, once in June with Calvin and another in August with the boyfriend. My dear friend Calvin introduced me to this amazing, simple dish that I just couldn’t stop dreaming about for days right after.
It was my first time having Gua Bao, and it was just amazing! I loved the texture of the fatty pork in combination with the crushed peanuts and the chopped mustard greens. The bun was warm and soft, soaking up the amazing juices running from the fatty pork. I don’t eat fatty pork that often, because, well, it’s fatty, but it’s such a treat when it’s cooked right.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a booth serving Burmese food. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try kima platha and have tea leaf salad.
I hadn’t had Burmese food in a long time, so when I saw that there was a booth serving Burmese food I just had to have it. The Kima Platha had a beautiful crisp outside of the flat bread. It was nicely stuffed with beef that had a subtle masala flavor to it. The tea leaf salad had crunchy lentils inside but not enough tea leaves for my taste! I wanted more!
The second time I went to the Night Market, I brought the boyfriend along. It was his first time there, so we made our rounds to see what food we were interested in. We had some elote in a cup ($4), Kogi short rib tacos, bulgolgi cheese fries, and macaron ice cream sandwiches. I’ve had Kogi quite a few times during my UCLA days, but it was a first for the boyfriend. It’s still as good as I remembered it, nicely marinated short ribs with a slight kick at the end. The bulgogi cheese fries was not what I had expected. The fries were nice and crispy, which juxtaposed the meaty texture of the bulgogi. The boyfriend and I agreed that the bulgogi was not the best quality. It was lacking something that I couldn’t put my finger on. Unfortunately it tasted very one dimensional.
The macaron ice cream sandwiches were something I’ve been wanting to try since my first visit in June. We tried the strawberry and green tea flavored macaron ice cream sandwiches. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful texture of the macaron. My favorite was the strawberry one. The green tea ice cream was a miss for me, unfortunately.
The quality of the green tea was just bad. You can see it in the picture– it had this weird ice ring around it and it didn’t taste creamy at all. It tasted very artificial. I was really disappointed, since green tea is sort of a go-to flavor when it comes to desserts for me. I was looking at pictures people were posting of the same sandwich, just to see if we just got a bad one, but it looked like everyone had something similar.
Overall though, I had a great time at the 626 Night Market. Some changes from last year to watch out for is that parking is now free! However, admission is no longer free 😦 But I can understand why. The people who put up the 626 Night Market can earn more by charging admission and help keep the event going. And admission is not too much, around $4 if I’m not mistaken.
I have to really give big thanks to the 626 Night Market coordinators and the wonderful Aileen Xu for inviting me out throughout this summer to check the event out.
Sad that you couldn’t make it out this summer?
The 626 Night Market has added one more weekend to round out their summer series! Come join the fun this weekend during Labor Day at the Santa Anita Race Track.