The annual LA Lucky Rice Feast returned again to DTLA with a fun filled night showcasing the best of Los Angeles’s Asian-influenced chefs and mixologists! Hosted this year at the Vibiana’s in the heart of Downtown LA, upon entering the beautiful venue, you can definitely feel the excitement as guests rush to visit the variety of food booths and mixologist stations!
The event runs from 8PM-10PM and tickets for this years Lucky Rice were $88 for General Admission and $150 for VIP tickets which allowed guests 1 hour early entry (7PM) into the venue. Honestly, that 1 hour does make a HUGE difference as lines were significantly shorter as half capacity. Coming early would also help with the parking situation as there was a parking lot across from the Vibiana with limited spots at $11 all day. You could also find similar lots a couple blocks down for around the same price or valet it through the Vibiana for $25.
In addition, guests who purchased their tickets with their American Express card received extra benefits such as speed line entry, exclusive access to the VIP American Express Membership Lounge which offered a fun photo booth, prize wheel, sake tastings, as well as additional tables and seats to lounge at! Spinning the wheel offered you the chance to win items such as American Express chopsticks, a Sake set, fan, LUCKY RICE cookbook, and more! Thankfully with my luck, I managed to win exactly what I had aimed for….a pair of chopsticks…
Anyways, onto the food and drinks (which there was definitely no shortage on). With a few mixologists scattered about and the hosts walking around offering drinks, you were guaranteed to have a drink in your hand at all times. The crowd favorite was the Coupe de Grace offered by The Standing Room. I mean with a mix of flavors like lychee and passionfruit, how can you go wrong? If that’s not your style, other drink offerings included Suntory Whisky Toki, Asahi Beer, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, wines of Germany, and more.
If you’re entering with a VIP ticket, your best plan of attack is to visit all the popular food booths and grab them before the lines get long. Of course, you’re free to get in line as many times as you’d like and the lines do go pretty fast, but I found that it’s much easier to grab a taste of everything so you know what’s worth standing in line for again later.
From Squid Ink Xiao Long Bao to Crispy Fried Tofu, there was a variety of Asian influenced tastes to try. Another enjoyable aspect is that you were able to personally engage with many of the restaurant staff members/owners and really see their personality shine, as well as see the creation process for tastings offered.
Through out the event, you got to hear a live Taiko performance which really made the event more festive! You even had the opportunity to experience a VR flight courtesy of Cathay Pacific’s which was a pretty cool experience.
A couple things I did appreciate was the fact that they had water bottles readily available to keep you hydrated, that there were both inside and outdoor access to tastings (just in case you needed some air), and that staff was very quick to clear tables of trash.
Overall, in my opinion, the event was one of the more festive food events out there (although I am a HUGE fan of Asian food so that might be a tad bias). The venue was perfect, there was a great variety of LA’s Asian influenced restaurants representing themselves, staff was on top of their game, and although it was a bit slow getting tickets scanned initially, it was the perfect amount of time to fully experience the offerings from this year’s LA Lucky Rice Feast.
Definitely will be keeping an eye out for next years LA Lucky Rice Feast. If you’re not from the area, Lucky Rice also hosts events in locations such as New York, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago and Brooklyn.
For more info: http://luckyrice.com/
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