Events & Festivals 3

LA Tofu Festival

lil mikey | Aug 13, 2005 11:29 PM

First of all, in the mid-afternoon it gets hot. Wear a hat. Drink plenty of liquids (not just beer and sake).

Secondly, this is a charity event. I don’t know the specifics of how the vendors are paid; but I assume they are contributing some portion of their “sales” to the cause. In fact, you don’t even pay the vendors, you buy tickets for a dollar and then give the vendors the tickets. So I feel obligated to thank the vendors for their contribution.

All I’m saying is what I like.

And here it is:

Curry House – Green Tea (1 ticket) It’s in a regular sized cup, like you would find at a well stocked water cooler. I liked it, but the wife found it a little sweet.

Fuze Beverages – Free Sample (0 tickets) You get a little cup like the mouthwash at the dentist filled with some nice fruity drink. I liked this, but it may have been too sweet if we had more than that little cup.

Church of Perfect Liberty – Tofu Tostadas (2 tickets) The best thing we had at the festival. It’s cold and refreshing and I recommend this full-heartedly. The added bonus is there’s no line. No idea what the Church of Perfect Liberty is all about.

V&R Thai Chinese Food – Pad Thai Tofu (3 tickets) The line at this place was the longest of the day. It was 20-strong the whole time we were there (mid-afternoon). It took probably about 10-15 minutes to get though the line. Once to the booth, though, the proprietors were kind and very accommodating. They serve chicken satay, pad thai and lobster balls. I wanted to stand in the line solely because the pad thai looked so good on other people’s tray, but once we tried it, we were a little disappointed. On first bite, the flavors were there, but it was a little greasy, and the flavors just didn’t hold up past the first couple of bites. The green onions were too raw, and it just didn’t hold our interest. I’d pass on this.

Soul Folks Café – BBQ Tofu (2 tickets) I waited in a line of about 10 people, and when I arrived at the booth, they were out of this. Lesson: Check out the booth before getting in the line.

Maison Akira – Mushroom Spinach Ravioli w/Atsu Age (2 tickets) It’s cold, and served with slices of marinated peppers and cold fried tofu. The sauce is tasty.

DISKovery Center – Tofu Quesadilla w/Various Cheeses (2 tickets) This may have been the weakest dish we had. The tortillas are wheat, which I like, but the tofu and other filling fell out all over the plate. Also, the salsa they give you is in a store-bought jar on the desk and you spoon it onto your plate. However, as there are no forks at the booth, and the quesadillas are falling apart to being with, there is no way to properly get the salsa onto the quesadilla quarters. Flavor was just okay.

Thai Tofu Nirvana – Spicy Mint Leaf Tofu Stir Fry (2 tickets) The line for this booth was about 7-deep, so about average for the good places. This dish was pretty good. As advertised, it was a little spicy, and had slices of tofu, basil, mint, bell peppers and a sauce. It was served in a little bowl and it’s easy to eat it with a fork and then sip the broth. We both liked this one.

Thai Tofu Nirvana - Green Thai Curry Coconut Tofu (2 tickets) This is the same booth as above, but a different dish. It’s a classic panang, with coconut milk and spices. Tofu is substituted for chicken, and there’s a nice squash in the mix. My wife didn’t like it because she doesn’t like coconut milk. I liked it a lot, though, because I like panang dishes.

Jack’s FDC – Soy Jerky Sandwiches (2 tickets) I really liked this. The flavors were good, and the textures were more in line with the food I eat every day. There is a nice big slice of cucumber, a lot of the tofu jerky, a delicious pesto sauce, and a tasty baguette. My only complaint on this one is that the baguette fell apart as I got to the end. This made it difficult to finish, as then all the components of the sandwich were hard to scoop up.

Otafuku USA, Inc – Tofu Okonomiyaki (2 tickets, although the program says 5 tickets) This was really good. I’d never had it before, but I really liked it. It’s a little pancake, about a half-inch thick with soybeans, potatoes, obviously tofu. Honestly I don’t know what’s in there, but it’s good. We both really liked it. One of the highlights.

Wasaba Tofu Noodles – Cold Tofu Noodles in a Wasabi Sauce (2 tickets) This looked good from far, but was far from good. The sauce was watery, and there wasn’t much flavor.

Now as to the mascot TOFUZILLA: It’s just not doin’ it. It’s funny to talk about, but as the actual mascot is about 6 feet tall, it’s hardly a “ZILLA”.

Overall, I highly recommend this festival. (1) There are a lot of food booths. We tried about 1/3 of them. (2) There are a number of other booths selling shirts and stuff, talking about community services; and (3) It’s for a good cause.

Link: http://www.tofufest.org/mainpage.html#

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