LOS ANGELES – Last month the highly anticipated KTOWN Night Market welcomed an estimated 80,000 guests to the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools for its two-day community festival. In partnership with the City of Los Angeles District 10, the free-to-enter event showcased over 100 multi-ethnic food vendors, merchandise booths, art exhibits, carnival games, and live entertainment.
Both nights featured a food truck lineup curated by Seoul Sausage, which included two winners from Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race”—Grill ‘Em All and Lime Truck. The “Food Truck Alley” also included locally renowned trucks like Fluff Ice, India Jones, White Rabbit, East LA Tacos, Bowled & Beautiful, CoolHaus, Jogasaki Sushi Burrito, and Carb & Nation—the fan-voted winner of the event’s Last Food Truck Facebook contest. The “Food Truck Alley” was so popular that most of the vendors had to cart in more food after selling out earlier than expected.
Deeper into the event grounds, attendees could browse the various sponsor and community organization booths—like LAUSD, Metro, Verizon Wireless, Hustler Casino, Kollaboration, and Jubilee Project—that held promotional activities and giveaways. The food booths nearby attracted the largest crowds at the festival, serving everything from street foods like Hotapotato’s potato cyclones, Cwazy Coco Boy’s fresh Mexican coconuts, and Tanota Takoyaki’s Japanese deep-fried octopus balls, to Koreatown favorites like Iota Brew Café’s macaron ice cream sandwiches and Eight Korean BBQ’s flavored pork belly. Attendees waited over two hours to try the Original Ramen Burger, a Japanese-American fusion food that replaces bread with an egg-infused ramen bun. Bravo’s Top Chef contestant Brian Huskey also had a popular booth for his upcoming restaurant, Table 13, which served gourmet fried chicken sandwiches with a purple Okinawa potato aioli.
After eating their fill, guests ventured towards the stage area to enjoy live music, dance routines, K-Pop workshops, and cultural performances. On Friday, attendees were treated to a unique K-Pop experience, as stars like Z-Hera and headliner Lydia Paek demonstrated their pitch-perfect vocals with not only Korean hits, but also their own renditions of popular American songs. Embodying the multi-cultural elements of Koreatown, Saturday’s show united artists of different styles and backgrounds on one stage, with names like KRNFX, Dan AKA Dan, and Grammy-nominated Scoop Deville topping the list. Day 2’s headliners, Dumbfounded and DJ Zo, concluded the festival and attracted the weekend’s largest crowd with a combination of lyrical talent and electrifying beats. In conjunction with Kollaboration, the event’s organizers—Danny and Joe Park (unrelated)—consolidated a remarkable Asian-American entertainment lineup, earning it the names: “KTOWN Coachella” or “Seoulchella.” (LAist.com)
Surrounding the stage area were a number of merchandise booths, carnival games, and art exhibits for guests to indulge in. Elektro PR hosted the Artist Village that featured live art demonstrations from local talents like Jose Arias, Julius Mann, and Carlos Etcheverry. Scratch Academy sent guests home with visual art pieces, spilling paint onto music records while they spun on makeshift turntables. Popular lifestyle brands like Tokidoki and D9 Reserve headlined the merchandise sector while the Dripped Fashion Soiree hosted their “Pop-Up Trunk Show,” which featured a number of local indie designers as well as some established brands like Stussy. The Solid Coffee booth sold bags of coffee beans with all proceeds donated to Olive Crest (www.olivecrest.org) in efforts to feed neglected and abused infants.
The KTOWN Night Market highlighted both Korean-American and Angeleno culture with its diverse selection of food, activities, and entertainment. The organizers plan on expanding the festival after its recent success, so Los Angeles residents can expect more news on the second KTOWN Night Market to be released shortly.