What’s good at the Friday evening market | On the table

The first Friday Night Market of the season crossed lightsabers with the Forest Moon Festival on May 31, filling the closed streets of Old Town with vendors and Vaders, buskers and Wookiees. Favorites have returned, like Frybread Love’s Indian tacos, La Colombiana’s empanadas, and, yes, that’s the mobile fryer from the Love Mini Donuts stand you’re smelling. Nicaraguan Food’s tamales and pupusas are now served in a sugary blue trailer resembling an old-fashioned lunch pail/post office box, and the line outside the Pineapple Express truck bodes well for its upcoming restaurant in the former Humboldt Soup Co. spot. Among the new and unique stalls, three market regulars stand out.

Seoul sizzles

If you’re not hosting or invited to a backyard Korean barbecue this summer, beef bulgogi The Seoul Sizzle Lunch Plate ($15) can hold back despair. (If you are indeed hosting such a barbecue, my DMs are wide open.) In the back of the tent, onions and thinly sliced ​​marinated beef sizzle and steam on a mobile flat-top grill, giving both a slight coal. The seasoning touches on traditional soy sauce and garlic, but is more savory than sweet and fully satisfying with a pile of steaming short-grain white rice.

Sidebar: I’m not trying to disparage the potato – undying respect for its royal underground starch in all its myriad forms – but nothing absorbs and amplifies the savory, fatty meat juices from the pan like white rice sticky. (*Raises lighter, lowers head.) Here, it expands the deep flavor of bulgogi and sweet onions browned in its fat.

The perfect complement to all of this is the quick kimchi cucumber side and the small spring salad with miso vinaigrette. The latter might be the palate cleanser you need to prepare for the next stand.

Food with Hoy

Alex Hoy’s street stall and catering business, which once cooked some of the best smash burgers in the county, takes on its new form under a custom red and black tent with a menu reminiscent of the foods he grew up with while eating and cooking for family and friends. , primarily Chinese and Japanese ingredients combined with Southeast Asian cooking techniques.

This week’s offering of char siu pork – marinated for 24 hours, smoked and grilled for char – is a great example. The long process allows the strips of fatty and sweet pork meat to be enhanced. Served over a bowl of white rice (see above) with a garnish of crunchy fried garlic and bok choy – well-cooked but preserving a little punch – it’s home-style nostalgia with an added kick ( $15).

Is it cruel to hang the char siu when he might not be there next time? This is the challenge of a constantly evolving map. Keep an eye out for any meatballs this week, complete with a sauce bar to enjoy.

Lulu’s creations

Compared to waving banners declaring “Corn!” next door, Lulu’s Kreations keeps a low profile. Less modest are the stand’s paper trays, composed of puffy miniature pancakes striped with syrup and covered in an avalanche of whipped cream. The list of syrups and toppings, from Oreo cookies to Mazapan, offers customization, but the tres leches already on the menu are a winner ($7 for 10 pancakes). The small pieces of crepes are soft and delicate, masked by strawberries, tres leches and a cumulus of whipped cream. And suddenly crepes for dinner or dessert become a walkable street food option. A problem solved before you know you have it.

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill (she/her) is arts and features editor at the Journal. Contact her at (707) 442-1400, ext. 320 or (email protected). Follow her on Instagram @JFumikoCahill.

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