Sunday, August 31, 2014

Top 10 Bites of LA County Fair 2014

by: guest blogger @iam_robot

The 92nd Los Angeles County Fair opened last Friday, August 29th 2014, featuring the best of greasy delights, larger-than-life Chinese lanterns, 70 carnival rides, Monster Trucks, EDM clubs, and of course, Capuchin Monkeys.
Being held in Pomona Fairplex’s 487-acre land since 1922, extreme foods (consisting of anything deep fried, wrapped in bacon, or on a stick) will always be the main attraction despite organizers’ utter resilience to display newer attractions. This year, a new nighttime exhibit, called as Luminasia, will feature larger-than-life Chinese lanterns replicating wonders of the world, LA landmarks, exotic animals, and the twelve symbols of the Chinese zodiac. Also, as an avid animal lover, I’m curious to see what Mojo’s Wild & Crazy Lagoon has to offer. This is no ordinary petting zoo - they’ll have peacocks, monkeys, kangaroos, camels, and many exotic creatures. Definitely don’t miss out Zor when you’re there, they’re fire dancers performing ancient tribal dance using flaming swords, ball n chain, and other fire manipulation tools.
Last Wednesday, August 27th 2014, I was very fortunate to attend the media tasting of foods to be featured at the Fair.  Me and my brother had a field day. We ate so much, we could barely move at the end of the night. We wanted to try as much as we could for the blog – making sure readers are making the wisest/ informed decision in picking out their foods. Just remember, greasy food should be eaten with care – don’t eat them unless it’s worth it!
With that said, here are the bee’s knees:

1.       Ramen Burger by Keizo Shimamoto
Always been a fan of the original ramen burger. I was the fad chaser who lined up for 2 hours a year ago and I still make my regular visit to their stand in Koreatown. But if you never had one, ramen burger is terrific. The ramen is a little crisp on the outside but breaks apart easily when you bite into them. The quarter pounder patty is definitely the highest quality – it’s cooked medium rare and topped with a teriyaki-like sauce (I presumed it’s a combo of mustard, mayo, onion, and soy sauce). Then the arugula and scallion bring both sweetness and peppery to the party. Anyways, give it a shot – you don’t have to be drunk to eat this – it’s 600% percent better than many of the most overhyped burger joints in LA.
2.       Bacon Wrapped Zucchini by Chicken Charlie’s Enterprise
This paleo-friendly treat is very good, just the right combo of salty and crunch. There were at least 10 strips of bacon in every skewer, but they were so crispy, I forgot I was eating bacon. Plus, they didn’t feel greasy. I also like the zucchini texture – it had the right amount of moisture to cool down the bacon but not overly moist to ruin the bacon’s crunch.

3.       Triple Decker Cheese Burger with Krispy Kreme Donut buns by Chicken Charlie’s Enterprise
Embarrassed to admit this, but this is probably the greatest fair food ever invented. Just
so you know, the cheeseburger donut is the brainchild of grease queen Paula Deen. I was slobbering uncontrollably when she introduced this back in 2008. Fast forward six years, I finally had the chance to try the cheeseburger donut (albeit, in a triple fashion LOL). Gotta admit, Chicken Charlie’s Triple Decker Cheeseburger exceeded my wildest expectation. First, Chicken Charlie’s patties are just as good as In-N-Out’s – sizzled to perfection on the grill, juicy upon first bite, and intense beefy flavor. Second, I thought keeping the burger intact would be mission impossible. Not at all, for some reason, the cheese glues the donut and patty pretty well; there was definitely plenty of meat left by the time you’re on the last bite of the donut. This is definitely calories worth digesting – gotta do this once in your lifetime. FYI, this deliciousness will set you back 1754 calories…not too shabby ;)

4.       Deep Fried Oreos by Chicken Charlie’s Enterprise
The name says it all. They’re warm donut holes filled with Oreos. I like how they’re freshly fried and dusted with lots of powder sugar and chocolate syrup. As far as texture, it’s very doughy but you get the Oreo’s pleasant crunch towards the end. FYI, 25,000 of these treats were eaten last year – got a feeling this number might double this year.

5.       Funnel Cake Sausage Dog by Juicy’s
Think about it as corn dog with funnel cake coating. It’s very good – funnel cake was light and fluffy while the sausage was juicy you wouldn’t believe.  Then you dip the entire dog into this thick-buttery maple syrup. OMG that was heaven sent.

6.       Chicken Egg Roll & Coconut Shrimp by Mrs. C’s Famous Eggrolls

Mrs. C’s Famous Eggrolls comes to the fair for its first time, bringing its famed Chicken Egg Roll and Coconut Shrimp. I liked how they didn’t skimp on their meat, you can really taste the chicken in their egg rolls. Coconut shrimp was delightful too when you dip it into their homemade sweet chili sauce. Meticulously deep fried to golden brown perfection, these finger foods pair well with daytime drinking.

7.       Big Rib and Big Turkey by Ray Cammack Show
Nothing overly fancy here but you get pretty much a giant candy pop with huge hunk of beef or turkey at the end. Rumor has it, the rib is an actual cow’s rib and it doesn’t resemble the physical appearance of baby back rib or spare rib or beef rib. You eat these ribs side by side like a candy pop. I thought both the turkey and rib were juicy and tender, even without the dipping sauce.

8.       Chili Relleno Pretzel Burger
This is a very satisfying burger. I like the soft texture of the pretzel bun, though I can’t really taste the chili relleno. I also like the incorporation of spicy chorizo patty, jalapeno jam, and avocado into the burger – it’s an interplay of flavors between spicy, sweet, and savory. Btw, this burger won the Top OC Food Fair Item for 2014 – much deserved.

9.       Maple Bacon Donut, Cherry Pop Rock Donut, and Reese Peanut butter Donut by Brander Enterprise
Didn’t get a chance to sink my teeth into these but I heard the Reese Peanut Butter Donut is a must get. Go get em!

10.   Dr. Bob’s Ice Cream
Definitely one of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted…in my lifetime! I had the Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with a sliver of brownie…OMG, I had to get a second one. With 16% butterfat content, the Dark Chocolate was smooth, fudgy, rich, and overwhelmingly flavorful. Seriously, if you love chocolate as much as I do, put this one on your list of must-trys. I love it so much I bought a pint the very next day. 


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