In advance of this weekend’s LuckyRice L.A. Feast at the Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, the kick-off event of a multi-city tour, we look back to last year’s extravaganza, a spread of dozens of the city’s best Asian cuisine and cocktails. While last year’s major spirits partner was Bombay Sapphire Gin, in its eighth year, LuckyRice’s drink menu has expanded to include Asahi Super Dry Beer, Suntory Whisky Toki cocktails and Wines of Germany.
“Our Feasts celebrate the best of Asian culture through the lens of both food and drink, and cocktails are definitely paving the way for culinary enthusiasts to learn more about Asian flavors,” says festival Founder Danielle Chang. Since its founding in New York eight years ago, the festival has grown to include major food cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto and Chicago, which hosts the events on dates from late July through early November. Last year, the festival found a home in Houston for the first time.
“The Southwest has developed a huge Asian immigrant population over the past couple of decades,” Chang says. “I actually spent a part of my childhood in the 1970s in Houston, and back then the Asian community was in the definite minority. I’m excited to return to Houston to see how Asian cuisine has animated Houston’s international culinary scene over the past couple of decades.”
Some of the industry’s biggest chef names have popped up at LUCKYRICE throughout the years, including Top Chef Masters Sang Yoon, Chris Cosentino and Iron Chef’s Masaharu Morimoto. In Los Angeles, participating restaurants will include Starry Kitchen, Seoul Sausage Co., Phorage and more.
Throughout the country, guests can expect fare from Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Korea. “We’ve seen a huge evolution in terms of how Americans have come to appreciate the diversity of Chinese cuisine—whether it’s the regional cuisines of China or lesser-known Asian cuisines—like Filipino or Indonesian—whose cuisine is finally becoming as celebrated as other Asian cuisines like Japanese, Chinese or Korean,” Chang says. “This progress is so exciting as a reflection of America’s growing interest in the culinary culture of the Asian diaspora.”
LuckyRice L.A. Feast
Friday, July 28 from 8-10 pm
214 S. Main St.