626 Night Market – Asian Food Everywhere in Pasadena

by Franklin on August 2, 2012

Night markets in Asia are ridiculous, so I hear. Lines and lines with no end, crowds from should to shoulder, moving along in a slow manner. Food of every kind, from the typical to the not so typical. This is what night markets are, and I think this is what the 626 Night Market brings to Los Angeles — more specifically, Pasadena City Hall. July 28, 2012 was the date, 4PM – 11:30PM was the time. After much debate on whether to go to this event or not, I was conflicted. Do I really want to pay a lot in the hot sun for small bites of food? Do I want to be stuck among a crowd of people? After reading horrible Yelp reviews on the 626 Night Market, I decided it was an obvious choice not to attend. I kept reading, “Worse event ever!”, “Tooooooo crowded.”, “Took 1 hours looking for parking, 5 blocks away!”, “EPIC FAIL!”… The list went on and on. Convinced this was going to suck, we headed to Pasadena anyways. We went to Arclight to catch a movie and decided to catch a flick. “If we have time, we will check out the night market,” we thought to ourselves.

I don’t know how the event was during the day, but when I went for the latter part of the event, it was quite nice! I think it is safe to say this event turned out a lot better. The venue was a lot bigger and accommodating. There were people skateboarding, dancing, walking freely — there was so much space! I didn’t know what everyone was talking about, but it looked like the new venue worked.

Walking around, you can tell the event was near the end. At around 11:00 PM, everyone was hustling and trying to get their last sales in. To do away with excess, most of the vendors were even selling everything for a dollar, if not, nearly half price. Everyone was screaming, “One dollar!”, “Sale!”. I appeared to me that I came at the perfect time. Everyone was desparate to sell everything, and I took advantage. I got some awesome fried french toast donuts for cheap. I got some expensive yakitori, $3 a stick — they threw in an extra stick for us. I even got to sample some of the free stuff too. The best was the bowl of noodles for a dollar. It was a cream based sauce with onions and nori strips on top. The massago inside gave it a nice familiar flavor. Tasty for a dollar, not for $5 though.

It was fun walking around at night and seeing all the food vendors. We got some real food at the Lobsta Truck. Though there were other truck at the event, Lobsta Truck was the best one. Honestly, the reviews on Yelp are crap. Those reflect the first event. There was no way of predicting how many people would show up to it. They learned from their mistakes and made this one a spectacular one. Huge space was what they were looking for, and that is what they got. The thing about the food here is, it is a luck of the lottery. Since most of the vendors are not really popular, you don’t quite know if a certain booth will have good food or not. You just have to trust your gut, and stomach and hope for the best. I can say the second time around was an EPIC WIN. I look forward to the next one.

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