I was so excited when I got on the train, honestly I was. I've only just moved back to LA, and this was going to be my first food-excursion that would be off my usual beaten what-I-eat-when-I-come-to-LA path.
But a warning to all those heading out to the Chinese Food Festival today in Chinatown: Please, please don't expect to be anywhere close to thrilled with the food.
And I'm not a picky Chinese food eater! I don't need the best of the best, I don't hunt out the most "authentic." I just want it to taste good, and when I'm paying $8 admission and $1 for each food ticket (and much of the food cost 2 tickets, and were itty bitty little food festival portions), I'd like to go "ooh, yum!" about at least one item. And I didn't.
I don't mind the money spent. I know it's all going back into the neighborhood, and there's a lot in Chinatown that deserves supporting. Everyone was nice and friendly and chatty, the shows were fun to watch, and it was fun being out in the sun and walking around in the bustle of the festival.
But the food just wasn't good. I wish it was. I was excited for it to be.
That said, desperate for something that would satisfy both our stomachs and souls, we headed to the Mandarin Deli (on my sister's suggestion) for hand-pulled noodles and boiled meat dumplings. And I have this to say about the subject:
Please, please go to the Mandarin Deli for hand-pulled noodles and boiled meat dumplings. You won't regret the mini-festival of pork and ginger and cilantro and essence of heaven that lies within, I promise you that.
For those who want to head to the festival, it's still worth it, just don't spend money on food tickets - head elsewhere for lunch or dinner. But hit those events!
Event schedule can be found at: http://www.chinesefoodfestivalla.com/...
There's also a coupon there for $2 off in case you can't take public transport.