The Block Party Food Marathon
Back in Wisconsin, spring was a brilliant time of year. Absolutely dreadful winter conditions subsided and unanimous sentiment was to proceed directly toward the sun. Everyone was infused with life and happiness. Block parties, like the infamous Mifflin Street celebration drew crowds from all over the state. As Los Angeles is beautiful year round, there isn't that spring relief that's felt in the midwest. After this weekend, it doesn't seem like there's any spring at all- just blazing, apocalyptic summer.
Yesterday in Hollywood, there was a block party for the spring celebration of Songkran (Thai New Years). The event is marked by country-wide water fights that are intended to wash away the bad of the previous year. Oddly, there weren't any water fights on Hollywood Blvd yesterday despite the perilous heat. There was, however, a two mile long block party with Muay Thai (kick boxing), a beer garden, music, monks, food and thousands of people.
If you look carefully you can see two eight year olds beating the hell out of each other in the ring:My gripe with festival food (at Coachella, Sunset Junction, yesterday) is that it's always the same restaurants from Arleta and Covina and other off-the-map places. I realize these "Chinese BBQ" and "Thai Sweets" stalls are equipped to cook on location, but I really would have liked to see Ocha, Jitlada, Yai and the other Thai town favorites. I know it's never gonna happen...The waits at Ord, the Thailand Plaza Restaurant and Ruen Pair were too long we ate pork, chicken, beef, Issan sausages, lobster balls, meatballs, dumplings and bao from the street vendors.
Nothing was great. Greasy, not that cheap- overall just average.
We drank beer in the beer garden in front of the misting fans before watching some of the skilled kick boxers.
The fighting wasn't exactly first rate (two old timers showing off their skills and one fight between a 42 year old and a 22 year old- you can guess who won) but it was fun to watch.
It wouldn't be a trip to Thai town without Jitlada's mango sticky rice, so we stopped there on our way to the car.
We wanted to make ice cream sandwiches with Square One's chocolate chip cookies and Scoops' gelato but Square One doesn't sell their cookies anymore. Despite our disappointment we headed towards Scoops.
Luckily Heliotrope was closed off for the Bike Kitchen's block party. This meant a lot of hipsters in vintage t-shirts and small hats on expensive bikes. They had contests, DJ's and prizes. We walked over to Scoops and chose the alcohol flavored gelato: Vanilla Jim Beam, Chocolate Guiness and Corona Lemon.My favorite was the Vanilla Jim Beam, but they all had the perfect balance of sweet to liquor.Although it wasn't a food-heavy marathon, it was a marathon with great flow and diversity. I mean what's better than music, kick boxing, sunshine, ice cream and beer?