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The Smorgasburg LA 2017 Event Recap!

Smorgasburg LA is open once again! We went to check it out it's New Year Opening last week on January 15, 2017 after the holiday break. It was fantastic because free 2 hour parking and no admission fee. Can all food festivals be like this...please!


 Here are them famous Workaholic Mandoo (Korean Dumplings) that Kevin is holding. I was shocked by how huge they were! No wonder they are priced at $6 each (comes with salad) !

This is the Shikye a.k.a. Korean rice punch drink. It was not bad but not super good. Basically, it's like your safe-for-american-food-festival-version-of-a-Korean-drink. Why are there no actual rice in the drink? I know because I legit had these in the saunas in Korea and also my lovely Homestay Korean Mother made it from scratch for me. I still miss it and no Shikye can beat that.

 Mandoo from Workaholic for everyone!

Pro-Tip: If you're over 21, go get your ID's out to enter the Beer area because there is more seating there. You don't need to be drinking any beer to sit there!

Behind the scenes of Kevin taking a photo of the dumplings. Look at how he used his Wallet as a stand to help angle the dumplings! Genius!

The Mandoo is $6 - $6.50 each but if you choose 3 different ones as a combo it will cost ya $17 (comes with a drink). So obviously... the more cost effective thing to get is the combo! Share with your friends! It's worth it because it's so big and delish!

So what I am trying to say... $6 per mandoo is kinda... expensive. Buy 3 for only $17 (saves you a few bucks) and get yourself a drink free!

All mandoo (Korean dumplings) are served with salad! 

Damnnn! The inside of the Shrimp Mandoo!

Behold... the insides of the bulgogi mandoo! 

Pictured below is the Pork and Kimchi Mandoo. All of us voted this one as our #1 favorite!

 Here is Estelle taking a pic of the photo worthy Pop'd up drink! It was... like a Jasmine fruit tea (forgot) but it was really flavorful and yummy and fruity! Would have been better if it was a sparkling drink (like soda) though!

Yay! Free Popcorn thanks to Buzzfeed! Not worth the wait though... Why? Read below to find out why we got annoyed...

Sriracha Lime Popcorn courtesy of BuzzFeed!

Here is Kevin posing for the camera with Chef Jay! 

Damn! These turkey legs are huuuuuuge! They are $9 ish bucks for one! They do get old and boring after the first few bites because it's not well marinated inside. Only the outside had flavor. We got tired of this.

You know I had to get the Green Tea Horchata. It was calling me name... 

Here is the Green Tea Horchata drink from the booth that sells Turkey Legs. The green tea horchata was whatevs. Not well mixed because most of the green tea flavors / powders are actually at the bottom of the pitcher. They should have mixed it or shook the pitcher before pouring the cups... T_____T

Ooohlalla Peruvian Tacos!

Look at that crowd! Smorgasburg LA had an unexpected crowd for their first opening after the holidays of 2017. Most things were selling out already at 1pm! And the event is supposed to last until 4pm!

Mini bookstore here!

Samples of nuts!

YAY! Laotian Beef Jerky Samples!

AMAZEBOWLS! It's a booth that sells acai bowls! They also sell them in an actual coconut! I was thiiiis close to buying one myself because I love acai bowls AND coconuts. When I was about to give them my arm and leg ...uhh I mean $8.50, the staff notified me the fact that the coconuts are frozen. They literally said they are "Rock hard" and I'd have to wait one hour for it to thaw to even eat the coconut. I also asked if it's possible to use the spoons they provide to eat the coconut (they are like those biodegradeable Yogurt-land spoons) and they said no.... 

Well then... I am not going to pay almost 9 bucks for something I have to wait an hour for to eat. I should have brought my own metal spoon to be able to eat the coconut. BUT who would think of that? 

So I said nawwwwwww. I'm good. That's the only gimmick that drew me to the booth and I wouldn't even be able to eat it. I might as well buy an acai bowl from any other store that's not overpriced at a festival.

Estelle didn't care though. She still bought her own coconut acai bowl!

Here is John taking a professional shot of the super aesthetically pleasing coconut acai bowl.

Wahhh! Smorgasburg LA is a pretty cool event!

I went to it before in Brooklyn, New York last year and had a blast! I find it so much better for consumers that parking is free and there is no admission fee! We all could expect some inflated prices so we need to save any penny we can right? Why waste $$ on parking fees and etc. Smorgasburg, you know us so well!

The website says that the first 2 hours are free. When our time was about 1 hour and 40 minutes in, we would exit the parking structure and enter again for another free 2 hours! I absolutely recommend you doing this if you stay for more than 2 hours. My friend got ripped off because he didn't do this. He instead, put his parking ticket into the pay machine and the 2 free hours didn't count? He had to pay $14!! I think it's because the parking structure itself offers 1 hour parking with validation only and possibly doesn't know about the special Smorgasburg event with 2 hours free. I really don't know.... but just to avoid that risk... just go in and out!

No worries about not finding parking by the way because this parking structure made specifically for this new developing area fits 4,000 cars!

What beautiful words that sends sweet lullabies to my ears. YES! It seems like every food event nowadays have admission fees where you have to pay like $5-$10 just to have access to vendors to pay for more food. This is why Smorgasburg stands out here!

So when we entered we looked for freebies! We saw a Buzzfeed booth that was giving out free popcorn and tumblrs only if we were to stay and watch their cooking challenge show they were recording. It was supposed to start in like 10 minutes. We sat down and waited like... 30 minutes. TIME. IS. TICKING. We were getting annoyed because they kept stalling. Why weren't they ready yet?

As we politely waited in our chairs... we saw more and more people entering Smorgasburg. Lines became longer. Our tummies became hungrier. 

ALRIGHT. I didn't care. Let's just leave. Once Kevin and our friends John and Estelle stood up to leave, a lot of others left too. LOL. We were all probably thinking the same thing that our precious eating time was being wasted! 

I hope Buzzfeed will be better prepared next time!

There were so many booths! We tried to pick out the ones we haven't seen before / wanted to try!

What we got:
  • Workaholic Mandoo! 
    • New vendor serving delicious huge Korean dumplings!
    • Our faves in order: Pork and Kimchi, Bulgogi, Shrimp, Veggie
    • Shikye (Rice Punch) was refreshing but not the best that I've had (in Korea)
    • $17 for 3 flavors + salad and drink
    • Otherwise, it's $6- $6.50 for each + salad
  • Bukchae_LA
    • We got the Tonkatsu Turkey Leg for $10 ish
    • Was good and flavorful at first on the outside. Once you get to the inside with only the meat it's tiring and sorta bland. 
    • We also got the green tea horchata ($4) - was pretty good but could have been better if they shook the pitcher before pouring because a lot of green tea powder was on  the bottom
  • Amazebowls - Acai Bowl in a coconut ($8.50)
    • I didn't order this or try it. Let's just say don't expect to eat the coconut because it's rock hard frozen solid. I seriously don't understand why they don't just thaw the coconut before hand because they know most people are getting the coconut anyway. I don't wanna pay $9 to wait an entire hour for it to thaw and eat...
    • Anyway, I did'nt even try the acai bowl but Estelle seemed to enjoy it. $9 though... we threw the coconut away T___T

That's basically all we ordered because all the other food was sold out already by 1pm to 2pm. OMG! Get here early before the lines (like 11am) and before things sell out!



Smorgasburg LA Instagram:

Alameda St. at Bay St.  Los Angeles, US

Parking Structure Address:
785 Bay St., Los Angeles, CA 90021


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