The first special event at Night Market was the Collaboration Lab. It joined chefs from beloved LA restaurants as well as national and international chefs to create a dish that embodied the cuisine at their respective restaurants. The collaborations were as follows:
Bavel x Taco Maria Kismet x Çiya Shibumi x Spago Scratch Bar & Kitchen x Ari Taymor of Little Prince Fiona x Cicatriz Chengdu Taste x Jitlada Openaire x Arlo Grey The Bazaar x Otoño Otium x Salazar
Bavel and Taco Maria’s octopus was served on an heirloom blue corn tostada and topped with sunflower tahani, burnt harissa and preserved meyer lemon. Kismet and Turkey’s Çiya had mussels two ways: marinated and stuffed (midye dolmasi). Shibumi and Spago use binchotan to grill teriyaki burgers and paired it spring pickles. Scratch Bar & Kitchen and Ari Taymor of Little Prince poured bowls of bone broth and decorated them with pickled cherry blossoms and a wagyu medallion. Fiona and Cicatriz from CDMX gave us a Vietnamese-style fried chicken sandwich with salsa macha. Chengdu Taste and Jitlada had the spiciest dish: chengdu chicken and spicy fried rice. Openaire and Arlo Grey plated fried buns with whipped almond and gochujang braised duck. The Bazaar and Otoño served a vegetarian-friendly asparagus conserva with black garlic vinaigrette and a Spanish octopus with uni cream and escabeche. Otium and Salazar went hog wild with their BBQ pork tacos topped with duck liver mousse and XO sauce.
Beverages included cocktails by Jose Cuervo and Suntory, beer by Sapporo and Peroni, coconut water by Zico, and mineral water by Topo Chico.
During the event, the Los Angeles Times Food Team announced that this year’s recipient of Restaurant of the Year was Bavel and The Gold Award was presented to Cassia L.A.