The 1st Annual OC Night Market Brings a Taste of the East to Orange County

Posted: May 16, 2014 in Drinks, Events, Food, Food Truck, Orange County
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The popular 626 Night Market arrived in Orange County this past weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa. This weekend-long all-ages festival brought the nightlife of the east to the west, and showed the locals what goes on at night in populated Asian cities. Taking place in the northwestern section of the fairgrounds, this event dedicated a huge chunk of the space to the various food, drinks, and desserts that everyone could explore and taste, while leaving a smaller space for all other vendors. At the far back of the event, visitors could find a live stage with entertainment taking place all weekend. Admission only cost $5 per person, while guests had to pay for everything else once inside.

Upon entering the fairgrounds, visitors would find various merchandise vendors to the right, while they would find all food and drinks to the left. The merchandise side on the right did not go as deep as the food side, so visitors did not spend as much time here. Regardless, visitors could find some neat items while they browsed around.

At the very back of the event area, visitors could enter the hangar to find a stage, filled with live entertainment all weekend, including some popular K-Pop stars.

Visitors discovered the main attraction of the OC Night Market in the food. Visitors could find cuisine from multiple different regions of Asia, from Chinese to Thai to Vietnamese to Japanese to Korean and more. The huge front section housed all of the booths of vendors mostly hailing from all over Southern California, with a few from out of town. All the way in the back corner, visitors could find a big group of food trucks. The longest lines occurred at booths with the demanded items, such as the infamous Ramen Burger, Mama Musubi, stinky tofu, squid roe, and Spiked Juices.

  • Ramen Burger: I have tried this before, and it does not impress. Basically, take a fast food burger, and replace the buns with ramen that you can make at home for less than a dollar, then charge $10 for it. Nothing gourmet exists in this burger – it exists solely as a fad moneymaker.
  • Mama Musubi: Long line for such a small product. Tastes great, but they use way too much rice compared to the meat filling. Also costs too much because of the excess rice in it.
  • Stinky tofu: Every time I smell it, I want to puke. You could stand clear on the other side of the festival from this, and still smell it. Basically, it smells like trash water, or the foul liquid that accumulates at the bottom of a restaurant’s dumpster.
  • Spiked Juices: Great marketing tool. They sold their juices in mason jars with their logo on it. When people walked around with it, others asked them where to get it. Like a domino effect, their line accumulated all day and all night.

Since the 626 Night Market team puts this event on, those who attended those events up in Arcadia would feel right at home at this event. Expect another OC Night Market to come around later this year, sometime around October. Also catch the 626 Night Market going on every month at the Santa Anita Park all summer long.


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