5 must-try dishes at the event – San Bernardino Sun

Asian hip-hop, pop and R&B media company and arts collective 88rising is bringing the fourth installment of its Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival to Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Aug. 20-21.

While the music lineup includes performances by Jackson Wang, Niki, Rich Brian, Bibi, Jay Park, Chung Ha and about two dozen other acts, the cuisine served up at the festival has also become a major draw thanks to the 626 Night Market.

“You’re going to be well fed, you don’t have to worry about that,” 626 Night Market marketing director Jennifer Sanchez said during a recent phone interview.

626 Night Market made its debut in Old Town Pasadena in 2012. It’s modeled after the open-air night markets in Asia and features a varying lineup of vendors including all-star local chefs, entrepreneurs and artists. The flagship market includes about 250 vendors and is now held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. The market also has events at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton and recently added a mini night market in Santa Monica.

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For Head in the Clouds, the market is bringing in a dozen of its most popular food booths. Even for those with the biggest appetites, it might be impossible to sample items from each spot, so Sanchez shared her five must-try menu items for those attending the festival.

All Dat Dim Sum

It’s all about dim sum, the delicious little dumplings that can be devoured in a couple of bites. They’re filling, tasty and easy to handle, so a perfect festival food. For Sanchez, the go-to dim sum is a dish called “Kevin’s Creation,” which is beef bulgogi dumplings in house oil and chili sauce.

“It’s just drenched in chili sauce and just so good,” she said. With all that chili sauce, topped with green onions and sesame seeds, this dish almost resembles dim sum soup, so be ready to slurp from the bowl once you’re done with the dumplings.

Tao’s Bao

Bao buns are steamed, fluffy balls of goodness that can be stuffed with just about anything. Tao’s Bao serves up pork belly buns with options like miso and kimchi.

“These are gourmet buns you’re getting,” said Sanchez, who recommends the miso pork belly. “They put an orange miso sauce on top and then they sprinkle it with seaweed and it has cucumber in it as well. That’s what I always get.”

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