OR IT'S MORE LIKE DISNEYLAND, BUT ASIAN-ER AND TASTIER
Have you ever wondered what it'd be like go to Disneyland but like without the Disney part and with more Taiwanese stinky food and Asians tryna avoid the sun with visors, umbrellas, huge hats and wearing full bodied clothing in hot summer weather? Okay. Neither have I. But lucky for us, 626 Night Market has burped this into existence and it smells vaguely of stinky toe-jam Taiwanese tofu.
This past Sunday I was on the main stage of the 626 Night Market trying to entertain the masses. The crowd was already packed in the Market but I don't think they were expecting an obnoxious Chinese girl to be taking the mic. Folks were walking by thinking, "What is this crazy Asian lady doing yelling at us in Mandarin and Taiwanese?"
Okay, I lied. I didn't know what they were thinking. I just know what I was thinking about myself.
Luckily I had a big group of rowdy and drunk Vietnamese dudes nearby who thought I was going to school at University of CA Irvine (zot zot) but I was saying Swarthmore you guyz. SWARTHMORE. (umm...I'd say that's pretty drunk). They were just enough audience for me to do my comedy rap songs - so much so that they were dancing in the empty space in the middle shaking their whatevers and looking like a dance crew. (See photo of the dudes in the photoset below)
This was also the first time anyone has come to see me perform only because they saw me featured on the Showtime documentary "Why We Laugh: Funny Women"! I love that Ricky and Chris came because they wanted to show support for one of the few Asian and female stand up comics around. Warms my heart. <3 awwww. I took a photo with them and other supporters who showed up or just wanted to say that I entertained them. More warmsies. (See photoset below)
Just a sidenote: I totally saw the dad from The Wonder Years (or more recently from TBS's "Sullivan and Sons" tv sitcom) stroll by while I was doing my stand up comedy. You know. The one with the thick eyebrows and frowny resting face? I wanted to call him out but he looked cranky...like he always does on TV. Let's leave well enough alone. I had drunk Vietnamese guys to make fun of.
THE FOOD HIGHLIGHTS
So many. Overall, I got to get nostalgic by eating the classic Taiwanese night market items that make me so happy and miss Taiwan so much. I stuffed so much crap down my gullet I'm surprised I had enough intestine to hold it all (by the way, I was disappointed no one had a variation on the intestine on a stick or what not on their menus. not that I would've eaten it). (SEE ALL PHOTOS OF FOOD BELOW)
sinbala : taiwan is all up in my heart
I had three items from the Sinbala Taiwanese cuisine booth: Tempura (but not like the battered Japanese kind...the Taiwanese kind) with ample pepper and salt, BBQ corn (I was disappointed the CHAR and stickiness of the sauce on the corn on the cob wasn't as robust as I had remembered it), and cold tofu dessert with peanuts (SO GOOD. lots of soft stewed peanuts with just the right amount of sweet).
ozero tea and sweets : two words: mochi. waffle.
Grrrl...you had me at MOCHI WAFFLE. I've been to Ozero in Little Tokyo but didn't know they had such a waffle treat. I LOVE the chewyness of Mochi so I went with the Chocolate Waffle. It was SO great. It reminded me of the yellow batter they use on the outside of IMAGAWAYAKIs (link here if you don't know what it is) . Yum. I would definitely go back to Ozero for boba and a waffle.
calvin's bar-b-q: the one that got away
The ONE thing I really wish I had the patience to wait in line for was the squid skewers from this place I had never heard of: calvin's bar-b-q. I was able to walk up right to their grill where you can see they were taking really great care to keep the squid flat and evenly cooked. Man. Next time.
starry kitchen: banana man be crazy
Just look at the photos below at the end of the set. Owner Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen is known for his outlandish personality and ability to get attention on his creative Asian-y treats. I finally had a chance to try their much-lauded deep-fried tofu balls with Sriracha sauce. mm. REALLY delish. Very savory/umami. For just a buck more I had to try the black sesame panna cotta because I'm obsessed with black sesame flavor. I have to say thought that I much prefer the Phoenix Bakery black sesame pudding over this panna cotta because I like a stronger sesame flavor. SMOKY. I'm looking forward to checking out their new residency at the legendary Grand Star in Chinatown (aaaah. so many memories there)
P.S. Someday, I hope to dance with the Mighty Boba Truck's Boba costume guy. Perhaps I should invite him to be in my music video that I will eventually shoot for my Tapioca Milk Tea song?