By Laura Medina
The District by Hannah An's Mac n' Cheese Butter Ramen Noodles.
Being situated, obviously, on the Pacific Ocean, California and Los Angeles are gateways to Asia whereas New York is the modern world's cross roads, well one of them any way.
So, they're rivals in one-upping each other in who has the best and who has the most cutting-edge Asian cuisine, particularly in the United States.
Let's face it, it's Los Angeles' non-traditional bounded, genre-busting attitude that created unique Asian cuisine that set trends and new standards. Hello? Asian-Fusion anyone?
Lucky Rice, the traveling Asian food festival, collects and showcases the best Asian restaurants, bistros, and chefs under one roof.
The Los Angeles edition debuts the freshest food trends that will set new standards, especially in fusion comfort food, mac n' cheese ramen noodles anyone?
The stand-out hit that has hungry party-goers grabbing cup after cup was the butter noodle by The District by Hannah An. It's the newest fusion of American comfort food meets Asian comfort food, a secret recipe that turn ramen noodles into bread crumb-encrusted ramen noodle sauteed in gooey mac n' cheese. This scribe doesn't have a clue in how she does it. The flavor ingredients may sound simple: crunchy bread crumbs dusted on top of gooey cheese coating ramen noodles. But, this scribe guess the cooking technique is difficult. Let it to the pros. This is the new comfort food that has you craving at midnight.
Katsuya' s Truffle & Chive Chawanmushi aka Truffle & Chive Coddled Egg Yolks.
From the new comfort food basic to the new fancy fusion.
If this scribe is still left figuring out how to knock-off The District's mac n' cheese ramen noodles, then this scribe has completely given up on how to coddle egg yolks in their own shells with truffle.
This was the other hit that might hit upscale Asian restaurants, Katsuya's Truffle & Chive Chawanmushi aka Truffle & Chive Coddled Egg Yolks drenched in truffle oil.
People were slurping those suckers up. This scribe snuck some home then turn them into luxurious and easy scrambled eggs for breakfast the next day. Again, another potential Asian-Fusion classic.
Open Blue's Cobia Crudo resting on Fried Chicken Skin.
Another food trend that is holding strong enough to morph is Open Blue's Cobia Crudo topping Fried Chicken Skin.
One reason people are now chowing down on the Asian bandwagon is it's low-calorie, protein-rich seafood dishes and taking the most common of ingredients than making them deliciously great...frugal at first but really smart in the end.
Open Blue continues that tradition and trend with it's low-calorie, fresh, and raw Cobia Crudo resting on an humble cracker of fried chicken skin, the new pork rind.
The Hart & The Hunter, the down-home Southern restaurant in West Hollywood's Fairfax District was the first one to take the lowly chicken skin then fry it into a appetizer cracker which follows at...
Open Blue using it as a bed for raw and fresh, meaty fish, such as cobia crudo.
As long as you keep it fresh, this is one heck of an easy appetizer. Once you master frying the chicken skin into a puffy, crunchy rind, it's easy from there.
Of course, people got thirsty chowing down on all these delicious meals.
Lucky Rice's faithful sponsor, Bombay Sapphire Gin upped the ante by having a full-fledged Tonic and Bitters Bar. What are tonics? What are bitters? These are what sodas used to be, oils flavored by herbs and spices dropped into glasses of sparkling water, the tonics, to cure what ails you. That was the originally purpose of sodas, medicinal drinks to soothe your tummy and fever, before they were devalued into junk food drinks.
Well, Bombay Sapphire Gin's Tonic Bar brought back artisanal sodas/cocktails for adults, individually handcrafted to a parched yet gratefully hungry horde.
Being the key sponsor, Bombay Sapphire Gin still has signature drinks for Lucky Rice 2015...
Gin & Tonic Reimagined
1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire East Gin
3 oz Fevertree tonic
Lime wedge OR different garnish (lemongrass, juniper, coriander, cassia bark, etc)
Method: Press lemongrass stem and lime wedge into base of glass. Fill with ice and build.
Glass: Old fashioned
Garnish: Lime wedge, lemongrass stem
2 oz. Chamomile-infused Bombay Sapphire East Gin
3/4 oz. Ginger syrup
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon
2 oz. Soda water
2 droppers Bittercube Bolivar Bitters
Garnish: Two lemon peels inserted into the glass
Served in a CollinsCreated by Bacardi Mixologist, Nick Kosevich