Last year, Anthony Bourdain made a guest appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and was asked to name his favorite spot in Los Angeles. He replied:
“KTOWN, yeah Koreatown. The Korean restaurant scene here is the best in America. It’s a bottomless pit of wonderful restaurants, layer upon layer.”
High praise from a man who’s been wined and dined by nearly every first-world culture on Earth.
Well, now’s your chance to experience the culture and cuisine that have made Koreatown the Asian mecca of Los Angeles, and all in one place—at the KTOWN Night Market. The event will be at the Robert F. Kennedy School on 701 S. Catalina St. in the heart of Koreatown on April 18th and 19th. Hours of operation will be from 4 PM – 12 AM on Friday and 2 PM – 12 AM on Saturday.
Founders Danny and Joe Park modeled the event after the late-night bazaars and flea markets popular in Asia; however, the KTOWN Night Market will be geared towards a younger demographic, featuring hip music, urban art exhibits, street wear merchandise vendors, multi-ethnic food vendors (not just Korean food), and much more. And the best part? Entry is 100% FREE. Cue happy music.
Of all the attractions and booths at the night market, I’m most excited for the food truck lineup curated by Seoul Sausage, the Season 3 winner of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” The guys from the renowned Korean-American BBQ truck are bringing along some of their friends from the show, including the winners of Seasons 1 and 2, Grill Em All and Lime Truck. The lineup may cause problems for indecisive foodies, with dishes ranging from sushi burritos to Indian frankies to ice cream sandwiches and everything in between.
If you haven’t drooled all over your screen already, there’ll also be a separate Food Village with some of L.A.’s best restaurants and chefs duking it out for your taste buds. One of the most notable, Ramen Burger, will be dishing out its signature namesake alongside other distinguished restaurants like Orochon, Eight, Mama Musubi, and Phorage. Brian Huskey from Season 11 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” will also showcase his culinary skills at his booth, serving up signatures from his new restaurant, Table 13. In addition, Celebrity Chef Chris Oh, from the Seoul Sausage Company, will display his superhuman cooking abilities as he attempts to manage both his food-truck and his new Columbian restaurant, Escala.
Basically, there’s going to be a lot of good food. So pay a visit to your local department store; you’re going to need a bigger belt.
If you couldn’t get your hands on tickets for that festival going down in Indio, don’t worry; KTOWN Coachella’s got you covered. Partnering with Kollaboration, the event will feature some of L.A.’s most in-demand rappers and DJ’s—like Dumbfounded with DJ Zo—and K-Pop stars like Lydia Paek. You may have also heard of Scoop Deville, the Grammy-nominated producer and rapper? Well, he’ll be droppin’ bars on the night market stage along with others like J. Reyez, Shin-B, the Fu, and past Kollaboration contestants—KRNFX, Dan AKA Dan, Mike B, and Ashley Yoon. With over 20 different acts set to perform this weekend, the KTOWN Night Market stage should have a little something for every music junkie.
Now, unless you’re from some weird place where good music and food aren’t the bee’s knees, you should be pretty occupied with all the aforementioned activities. But okay, there might be a few pretentious highbrows who’ll find some reason to hate on all the glorious food and entertainers, so the KTOWN Night Market organizers have even booked unique merchandise vendors, art exhibits, and carnival games to satisfy even the pickiest guests.
Urban fashion brands such as Tokidoki and D9 Reserve will be selling their trendy street-wear at the merchandise area, while Dripped Fashion Soiree, a lifestyle fashion brand and artist collective, will host the “Dripped Pop-Up Trunk Show,” featuring a number of local independent designers—such as Stussy. An art walk hosted by Elektro PR will also be available with local talents like Jose Arias, Julius Mann, and Carlos Etcheverry demonstrating their artistic brilliance. With all that said, even Simon Cowell would find it hard to bash the KTOWN Night Market.
With its diverse array of residents, Los Angeles has undoubtedly become the cultural melting-pot of America, and while the KTOWN Night Market intends to highlight certain aspects of Korean-American culture, it will also embody the multi-ethnic cuisine, art, and entertainment that have made this city one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world.
KTOWN Night Market
Friday, April 18, 4PM – 12AM
Saturday, April 19, 2PM – 12AM
Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools
701 S. Catalina St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
For more info visit www.ktownnightmarket.com