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626 OC Night Market (2015)

I am a little behind on this post because I had to search around for the name of the restaurants that I tried samples of their menu from at the 626 OC Night Market, but it is definitely better late than never! This is my first time attending any 626 Night Market and it was quite an eye-opening experience. If you are not from the Southern California region, the 626 Night Market originated in the 626 area, Los Angeles. It occurs every year during the summer in celebration of good food and arts. It is an event that usually takes place during the evening and there are a number of performances that happens throughout the time that the event takes place - something that you should definitely bring your family along to enjoy. This year, my friends dragged me along to try something different and it happened to be hosted in Orange County around this time. Check out the photos below for a few reviews of the things I got and ate!


626 OC Night Market
OC Fair and Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
May 8-9, June 5-6
My friends and I arrived at the event quite early around 2PM to avoid issues finding parking. Despite the event closing around midnight, people still show up an hour before closing just to enjoy the lights and the liveliness of the booths and performances that take place. Luckily, by arriving quite early, we managed to nab decent parking that was fairly close to the entrance of where the Night Market was located. Parking is roughly $7 and the tickets to get in are $5. Already, you have spent a great deal of money to enter into a place where you have to purchase food and gifts, but you will see later in the post why this quite worth the entrance fee.


Simpang Asia
10433 National Blvd #2
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Strawberry lemonade ($8)
I am a sucker for lemonade, but I am an even bigger sucker for strawberry lemonade that is made with more strawberries than lemonade (did that make sense?). For lemonade in a glass jar, it was a whopping $8. Pricey for lemonade? Hell yeah, but much cheaper than getting it from Snow Monster, for sure. The lemonade was absolutely thirst-quenchingly delicious. Yes, I made up that word thirst-quenchingly. The person who was making it took his time making sure that every bit of strawberry goodness is added into your drink, and how can you deny the umbrella and fun bendy straw? Luckily, if you cannot finish your drink, you can pick up a lid (to which I did) and cap your drink as you roam around the other booths.


Forking Good Cafe
6744 Greenleaf Ave
Whittier, CA 90601
  Mexican Kobe beef hot dog with pico de gallo topped with cheese and garlic aioli sauce on a pretzel bun ($6)
Expensive for a hot dog you say? Yes, it was. After walking around the vicinity of the food booths twice, I decided to come back to Forking Good Cafe. For some reason, it did not have a line at all unlike its neighboring booths. It did not deter me away from wanting to try a hot dog so I went ahead and gave it a go. It was surprisingly pretty good! I think the pretzel bun was kind of dry, but the toppings did help salvage the dryness especially with the aioli sauce and pico de gallo.


Sunset Catering
Huntington Beach, CA 92615
Beignets with a side of strawberry jam ($11)
I honestly wish I could praise these beignets, but they were not that great. I could taste the yeast and flour more so than the amount of powered sugar that was piled on top of them - which says a lot about how I feel about these beignets. The strawberry jam did help with making them a little bit more enjoyable, but I could not help but to wish they were airier and fluffy, not doughnut-like and bland. For $11, I do not think it was worth it. Fair warning though, eating this made me look like I got blasted by chalk because the breeze got the powdered sugar to fly all over me.  


Anchor Hitch Seafood + Rawbar
27741 Crown Valley Parkway
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Cilantro lime oyster (price unknown)
I cannot say much about this oyster given that I did not buy it nor did I eat it, but according to my friend, it was extremely good. I would not suggest you try to eat the black beans, though. It seems as though that was more for the aesthetic than it is edible.


Kirin Ichiban
Offered at most restaurants that offer Japanese beers
Free sample cup with valid driver's license (21+)
This is probably one of the few times I have tried beer and despite everyone waiting in line to purchase a larger cup of Kirin Ichiban, I am still not convinced I enjoy beer. I guess it is more of an acquired taste that I have to eventually build up to, but it was an interesting experience none of the less. Oddly enough, towards the end of the night, there were more pop-up booths selling just the beer that was not there when the free samples were being given out. Talk about great marketing!


Minion Me
Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/minionmeshop
Unfortunately, I did not purchase anything from the Minion Me booth (mostly because I spent a great deal of money on food already), but I did want to showcase the artist's amazing work. Just look how adorable those minions look! My favorite one would definitely have to be the Spiderman one.


Fantastic Fam Fashion & Hulma
Partner in Crime pins ($2/each); Nail ring ($10); Tiffany & Co ring
This is the first time that I have ever heard of Fantastic Fam and my friend who took me to the OC Night Market was searching high and low for their booth. Turns out, they are well known for the pun-filled Asian-themed clothing and accessories. From Sriracha bottles to Super Bowl (of pho) themed tops, I thought it was a cute and innovative idea to make fashion more fun. They are also known for creating "couple" clothing. Couple clothes are clothes that you and your significant other can wear to match. Rather than buying the apparel, I went ahead and bought the pins. I also saw a ring from a corner of my eye at the Hulma booth and could not leave the Night Market without it. For a $10 ring that looks nearly identical to the Cartier nail ring, it was a steal.


Benection
Chocoteddy ($8)
Lastly, I wanted to get something for myself to cuddle late at night. Do not judge me, I am a big cuddler. I thought this was the most adorable plushie ever. Just look at his eyes! Does that not make you want to smile? Turns out, there are multiple uses for this bear as it states on the tag. You can use it to help with your posture when you sit in your chair, as a sleeping pillow when you are traveling, or just to cuddle with!


All in all, it was a fun experience for me. There were a lot of booths that sold the same stuff but with small variations in the food. Some booths were far more popular than others because of their ability to market themselves in advance for the event, but do not let small lines prevent you from wanting to try out the food at those less-crowded booths. Towards the end of the night there were just a sea of people flooding in and it was extremely lively. Will I go again in the future? Sure! I think I would want to try out the original Night Market in Los Angeles, though, just for a change of scenery.
If you went to the OC Night Market, what was your favorite booth?