626 Night Market, the Asian food event franchise you love to wait in line for, is switching things up after being plagued by years of intensely packed crowds across many of their events in both Los Angeles and Orange County. The new format they’re trying out is called Taste of Night Market, and it’s a sort of capsule event meant to entice the Westside out of their bubble, with the promise of guaranteed food via a ticketing system, rather than the cheaper pay-per-vendor model from before.
This year’s first-ever Taste of Night Market runs February 5 and 6 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, and will of course include a wide variety of tastes from the past few Night Market years, as well as other, newer options like Brazilian street food from Marina Chung, a past contestant on The Taste. Those diminutive kid chefs from Man vs. Child will also be on hand, generally being adorable in their chef’s outfits. There’s also the inclusion of more live music and general entertainment this year, which hasn’t been as large a focus in years past.
Tickets for Taste of Night Market are on sale now, with the event taking place on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6. Unlike previous 626 Night Markets you aren’t paying just to get in and pay for the food. Instead this is a ticketed event with sample-sized bites from the vendors. General admission tickets are $65 on Friday and $75 on Saturday, with VIP options also available (mostly it’s just an extra hour of food).