On Friday, July 31, Spoon had the honor of attending the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University‘s Summer in SoMa: StrEat Food Festival in San Francisco, and it was everything we had hoped and dreamed it would be.
Upon entering the park, we were greeted by a team of interns from the Asian Liver Center. Some were busy putting the final finishing touches on set-up while others handed out flyers and stickers to the event attendees. We arrived a bit early, so the venue wasn’t too crowded.
Some event attendees were milling about, checking out the various food trucks. Although the weather was cloudy—typical San Francisco—the atmosphere was still quite welcoming and encouraging; the event was accompanied by music at all times, and at one point a live band even performed.
For those of you who haven’t gone to the park at SoMa before, the park is vaguely bean-shaped, and they had the trucks stationed in a semi-circle, making it easy to find the food trucks we wanted to try. All the same, it was still quite difficult to finalize on our selections.
The first food truck we tried was the Tacos El Tuca food truck, which sells a wide variety of Mexican food.
We ordered the Tostada de Salpicon: ceviche, shrimp, octopus, crab, salsas, pico de gallo and plenty of avocado all served on a hard tortilla. The crunchy tortilla base complemented the tang of the pico de gallo, which consisted of chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantros, serranos, salt and lime juice. The combination of seafood and the pico de gallo offered a refreshing taste, and to top it all off, the moist, soft avocado served as the perfect finishing touch to the Tostada. This cold dish was the perfect appetizer to prep our taste buds for all the food to come.
Once we were done, we ordered a Sangri’a Senorial, a non-alcoholic drink similar to apple cider.
Having a cold dish on a cold day made us search for something warm, and our noses led us to Kokio Republic, a food truck that specializes in Korean fried chicken.
The aromas and the wide variety of options offered made it very difficult for us to make up our mind. Kokio offered selections from the Kokio Combos (that included chicken with a choice of a side), to just an order of their Kokio Chicken specialty, to Garlic Cheese Fries and Kokio Fried Balls (which were either kimchi or tofu). After much deliberation, we finally settled on their most famous and recommended dish: the Kokio Chicken breasts in hot and sweet sauce.
Our box of hot Kokio chicken came out glazed with their hot and sweet sauce, and sprinkled with basil, nuts and sesame seeds.
We were a little concerned about how spicy this chicken would be, and even though we kept reaching for the Sangri’a Senioral throughout our meal, the chicken was undeniably delicious. The meat was juicy, and the sprinkled nuts and sesame offered a unique, crunchy taste. What was interesting to note was that although the chicken tasted very spicy while eating, the spice dissipated after only a few minutes.
Our third food truck of choice was Bacon Bacon. We were tempted to get a burger but, we decided to just order Garlic Fries instead to save room for everything else.
When these fries came out, we were a little wary. They did look a lot like any standard fast food fare that was generally soggy, oily and too salty, but we were so wrong.
The fries were cut just the right size, and had tasted of a rich potato flavor. These fries had just the right amount of oil and salt, and for a selling finishing touch, parmesan cheese and garlic were sprinkled over them.
Even though we were basically bursting, we decided to continue our food adventure (All for the purpose of reporting back to you, of course.) with KhaoSan ThaiFood that offered Pad Thai with chicken, a staple dish for nearly every Thai restaurant.
At first glance, we feared for our lives—were there really more vegetables than pad thai? No, despite the fullness already settled in our stomach, KhaoSan served just the right amount. The bean sprouts offered a fresh crunch that complemented the tangy pad thai noodles and the chicken.
Don’t worry. We didn’t forget about dessert, even after all four of those plates. Post Street Creamery and its ice cream sandwich combos was ready and waiting for us at the end of our food adventure. We tried two combinations: honey cookies with salted caramel ice cream, and chocolate chip cookies with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
We’ve probably already had all of CREAM’s ice cream sandwich combos already, but Post Street Creamery’s ice cream sandwiches offer a richer taste and experience. The cookies seemed like homemade cookies with their freshly-baked warmth and softness, and every bite of the ice cream was rich with flavor.
The worker who served us showed great dedication and care while making the sandwiches. He very gingerly put the combo together, rather than simply squish a dollop of ice cream between the two cookies. We preferred the chocolate chip cookie dough combination because we could actually savor and taste each bit of chocolate chip in the ice cream.
Our final verdict on the StrEat Food Festival in SoMa? We enjoyed the food trucks we sampled, and regret only that our stomachs weren’t quite big enough to try all the others. Though the weather was dreary, we were glad it wasn’t too crowded when we went, because that only meant we could more closely inspect each food truck to our heart’s desire.
If this event is coming back next summer, we would definitely recommend for any and all foodies in the area to go. Worried you won’t have company? Don’t look any further. We’ve got you covered on that front.
A big thanks to the Stanford Asian Liver Center for hosting this event and for satisfying our palates at Spoon! We can’t wait for any upcoming food events in the future.