Deliciousness in All Forms: LA Street Food Fest Preview & IOTA Cafe Review

On Thursday night, July 7th, we were invited to the media preview for LA Street Food Fest, which turned out to be so much more than just tons of delicious bites from vendors who will be participating in the big event on July 16th.

The event was hosted by the minds behind the LA Street Food Fest, Marcus Beer & Shawna Dawson (also of Sauce LA), as they MCed the night introducing the people and food involved in the upcoming Food Fest.

Held at the soon-to-be-open IOTA Cafe in Koreatown (They open sometime next week, we hear!) the newly finished space was abuzz with food bloggers and journalists, trying out the amazing dishes which will be served at the LA Street Food Fest from the Mighty Boba Truck, Glowfish Truck, and IOTA Cafe’s special items.

You might need to wipe the drool off your keyboards after looking at these photos. You have been warned!

Mighty Boba Truck was a first for us, and we were surprised to find out that they serve MUCH more than just boba teas! Founded by three childhood friends, Mighty Boba serves a delicious selection of Taiwanese food such as Taiwanese sweet sausage, Marinated Tofu steak, Sweet Butter Toast and Island Pork Chops. AND BUTTERMILK POPCORN CHICKEN. Yes. You heard me correctly. It is amazing. Thanks to Frances and Luca for being sweethearts and chatting with us about their food!

Mighty Boba Truck's Popcorn Chicken! A Taiwanese street food staple, this is their number one seller. It's slightly spicy, and deliciously crunchy. This was one of our favorite bites at tonight's event.

Mighty Boba Truck's signature boba teas, made from steeped black tea, non-dairy creamer ("for all of us lactose intolerant Asians!" they said.. which is SO TRUE), and some sugar for sweetness.

Glowfish Truck was the next up in the tasting, and despite their name, actually serve up a wide range of food other than fish! In fact, they serve some of our FAVORITE FOOD EVER… and that is… JAPANESE FESTIVAL CUISINE! We drooled at their menu which ranges from teppanyaki (grilled items), to okonomiyaki (Japanese “pancakes,” but savory), to agemono (fried things galore, including katsu done with all types of meat). This truck will be doing their public debut at the LA Street Food Fest, so make sure you check them out!

Glowfish Truck's Beef and Garlic Soy Teppanyaki platter, with the salad topped with a mix of grated ginger, miso, and apple.

Glowfish Truck's okonomiyaki with bacon, shrimp, and cheese, topped with bonito flakes! This was another knockout fave of ours.

IOTA Cafe’s fare has a wide range, with super filling savory items, and delectable sweets on the menu. It was delicious and inspired, definitely not your typical cafe-fare food. No wonder they have an enormous glass-walled kitchen visible as soon as you walk into the space!

IOTA Cafe's Amai Wings (sweet soy sauce crispy wings). These are ADDICTING, and done in that Korean Fried Chicken kind of way that rivals Kyochon or Ponchan's chicken wings! It's a MUST TRY.

IOTA Cafe's Chicken Skewer Katsu Salad

A random trio of the delicious cakes they will have for sale at IOTA cafe once it opens. These three are the Tiramisu, Mango, and Cheesecake Red Velvet cakes. SO. GOOD. EVERY LAST ONE. Our fave was the mango out of all three of them though!

¬†As event producers, we here at Bubble Punch couldn’t help but be impressed with the well-organized event that LA Street Food Fest staff put on that night. Thanks so much for the great preview night, you guys!

On top of that, we were very excited about IOTA cafe itself, which has yet to open to the public. IOTA Cafe’s owner, Brian Chung, (also owner of Moo Dae Po, Moo Dae Po II, and HAUS) infused the night with Korean cultural experience, with demonstrations of traditional Korean papercraft and the Korean Tea Ceremony. He emphasizes that IOTA Cafe was made to embrace all ethnicities, so that everyone can learn about not only Korean culture, but all other Asian cultures as well. The cafe is huge and modern, with 2 floors and a back patio for seating, projections of Korean Pop music videos on the walls, and a gigantic coffee bean roaster situated behind the grandiose coffee bar. “We don’t make Starbucks coffee here,” he laughs, as he explains that all coffee brewed at IOTA is done with a slow drip method.

IOTA Cafe's exterior

Traditional Korean papercraft, used to cover small boxes, trays, and accoutrements.

Traditional Korean papercraft used to create a portrait.

Projection displays of Korean Pop music videos on the walls. Mesmerizing. One could drink coffee and stare at them all day.

The enormous back patio had manwa (Korean comic) styled art along the main wall, customized for IOTA.

A Korean Tea Ceremony demonstration was held on the back patio of IOTA.

We had a wonderful time, and encourage everyone to make plans to go to the LA Street Food Fest on July 16th. Tickets sell out EVERY YEAR so make sure to get yours soon. Even if you’re afraid of the traffic, they’ve listed a ton of different alternatives to sitting in your car in a huff on their website! Be brave, for foods’ sake everyone! Also, a portion of the proceeds from this event will be going to the Downtown Women’s Center. Food for a GOOD CAUSE is cause enough to go!

Also, after they open in the next week or so, please check out IOTA cafe. You’ll probably find us there soon enough, lazing around a table and staring at the Korean music videos.

There are lots more photos of the media preview event on our Official Flickr, so be sure to check it out!

We know that was a ton of info, so here’s the break down:
Saturday, July 16th at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena

Food trucks we tried that will be at the LA Food Fest:
Mighty Boba Truck
Glowfish Truck
Venue for preview event that we loved:

IOTA Cafe: Yelp Page / Official Website TBA
Opens Soon
528 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020 Ph:(310) 923-2724
Neighborhood: Koreatown, conveniently situated between Beer Belly, I Love Boba, and Frank & Hank’s
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