La Brea is back with a Kanpai Snack Bar and Jarritos pop-up collaboration with a Mexican Asian menu. They will be doing a 3 month pop-up specials featured at Kanpai on the last Mondays of each month (May 29, June 26, July 31).
On May 1st, we got to sample the mashup of Mexican and Asian flavours on the menu. Appetizers started with the crispy Wonton Tortilla Chips with Gucamame & Srirachamame. The Gucamame is guacamole made out of edamame, chickpeas, and avocado. For those looking for a kick, the Srirachamame was delicious, a guacamole mix of Sriracha sauce, edamame, avocado, red onion and cilantro.
We can’t forget the Jarritos Mango flavour to go along the Gucamole and Chips. Jarritos is a widely popular Mexican soft drink, originated in 1950, where experimentation with local fruits and natural cane sugar launched the success of the colourful soda.
Getting into more MexicAsian mashup, we had the deconstructed Pork Bone Pozole with Ramen. Co-Owner Trevor Lui made his family’s soup, pure bone broth and herbs simmering 6 hours. To make it a Mexican mashup, like pozole, a traditional Mexican soup, we were provided with traditional pozole garnishes such as shredded iceberg lettuce, chili peppers, radishes, limes and herbs. As with comfort food, we were served family style, with a big bowl of soup, topping our bowls of ramen.
For those who haven’t tried MexicAsian flavours, you’ll understand why the flavours complement each other fittingly. We had the Tinga De Pollo Bao Torta, shredded chicken in a traditional tomato adobe sauce, in a bao, a fluffy Asian steamed bread, topped with a lettuce and drizzled with lime creama. For lovers of Tacos, we had the OG Pork Belly Tacos, a crispy yet tender pork belly topped with cilantro and scallions and drizzled with lime.
For the night, we sampled their specialty cocktail, Barrio Chinos, which means Chinatown. The cocktail is strong with tequila, barley wine, with a refreshing taste mixed of Jarritos Lime and a spicy splash of chili syrup.
To end the night, it was interesting to see the incorporation of Churros with Nori & Sugar dust, dipped with condensed milk. It was delicious with the freshly fried Mexican pastry sugar dust with incorporating Asian taste of the seaweed umami flavour and a dollop of rich, creamy condensed milk. It’s addictive; I did have 3 pieces.
Photos by Flora Tran