On May 20th, The Infatuation is jumping off your screen and into real life at EEEEEATSCON, the food festival for a new generation. Your ticket gets you through the doors of the Barker Hangar, and then it’s up to you to choose your own adventure. The good news is, there are no wrong adventures.
To help you start planning the best day of your life, here is the official map and food lineup of EEEEEATSCON. Read up on all 22 excellent things you’ll be able to purchase for your mouth (plus tons of craft beer, cocktails, and wine) at the festival, and we’ll see you in just over two weeks.
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is the official credit card of EEEEEATSCON. In between stuffing your face, seeing concerts, and watching panels, be sure to stop by the #AmexGold Lounge.
If we could, we’d go to Chi Spacca once a week. Except if we did, we’d have no money left, and would possibly be turned into a tomahawk pork chop. So to say we’re excited about the fact that they’re bringing something completely new with them to Santa Monica would be a massive understatement. At EEEEEATSCON, Chi Spacca will be serving giant pieces of coffee-rubbed tri-tip steak. Start delegating your stomach space now.
An 8.5 rating and the #1 spot on our Best New Restaurants Of 2016 list - needless to say, we’re a stage-five clinger when it comes to Salazar. The almost-entirely-outdoor space in Frogtown is everything we want in a restaurant, but the reason we go back again and again are the tacos. Housemade tortillas, mesquite-grilled meats, and an uncontrollable urge to eat as many as possible. Don’t worry, you will. The al pastor, the shrimp, and nopal tacos will all be at EEEEEATSCON.
$10 for 2 tacos, $12 for 3
If you haven’t heard of Jon & Vinny’s by now, we feel entirely sorry for your existence. That said, let’s get you up speed as fast as possible. This is pasta we want bulldozed into our mouths every 12 hours, ensuring around-the-clock Jon & Vinny’s intake. Their spicy fusilli is a thing of wonder and beauty and that’s exactly what they’ll be cooking. Bring a doctor’s note.
Eataly, the giant Italian marketplace/food-eating-extravaganza in NYC, is coming to LA and will instantly bring with it infinite more reasons to go to Century City. But before they open in the fall, EEEEEATSCON is bringing you a big preview of what’s in store. There will be cannoli, and they’ll be pulling mozzarella, and our hearts started beating faster just thinking about it.
$10 for 2 cannoli, $10-$11 for mozzarella
The beloved NYC burger spot invaded LA in a big way last year, with locations all over the city. Anybody who’s tried to get their hands on one of these burgers knows one thing - lines are long. Very long. Like, persuade the friend you dislike the most and make them go and wait while you “look for parking” kind of long. But you’re in luck, because they’ll be at the Barker Hangar serving their famous Shackburger and the world debut of their bone marrow gravy cheesy fries, straight from the new Shake Shack cookbook.
$7 fries, $8 Shackburgers
Pasquale Jones is a big deal. Like a 9.5/one of our top five favorite NYC restaurants big deal. So it’s an even bigger deal that they’re coming to LA, and bringing a wood-fired oven with them. That wood-fired oven is the source of one of the best things we’ve ever put in our mouths: their clam pie. Getting it at EEEEEATSCON is a whole lot more responsible than flying to the other side of the country for a pizza. Not that we’ve never considered it.
$12 - $16
It would be criminal of us not to bring sushi to EEEEEATSCON, and even more criminal if we didn’t bring the godfather of them all - Katsuya. Home of the most iconic LA sushi invention, spicy tuna on crispy rice, Katsuya will be on the premises all day so you can get your fill of it, along with baked crab hand rolls and cucumber salad.
Nighthawk combines two of our favorite food groups: cereal and alcohol. Their spiked cereal milk is the kind of thing that sounds like something you’d invent not-soberly - except it turns out honey nut cheerios go perfectly with bourbon. They’ll also be serving a Red Bull cocktail, so if you really want to play with fire, you can drink one after the other and see what happens next.
$15 cocktails, $3 - $5 sandwiches
You probably don’t need to go to another speakeasy bar for the rest of your life - but a sandwich speakeasy? That’s another story. When we first heard about a hidden deli in the back of a Highland Park liquor store that requires a password for entry, we got pretty damn excited. And what we found on the other side of the door was even better: an unpretentious retro deli with some downright delicious food. At EEEEEATSCON, you’ll get their ham and roast chicken sandwiches - no password necessary.
$5 sandwiches, $2-$3 snacks
The Nomad does outrageous things to roast chickens at their restaurant in NYC, like stuffing foie gras under the skin and using black truffles irresponsibly. The next logical move was probably not a food truck, but who are we to decide what’s logical? Before they open an LA restaurant later this year, they’re roving around in a food truck making an incredibly good chicken burger involving foie gras and truffle. At EEEEEATSCON, they’ll have it along with a fried fish sandwich and golden beet salad. If we’re being honest though, our hands-down favorite is the milk and honey soft serve. Save room.
$6 - $10
It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time before Mr. Holmes opened in Highland Park. Which was actually less than a year ago. Ever since, we’ve been making regular pilgrimages for their cruffins, churro croissants, and whatever else we find in their huge pastry case. If you’re a Westsider who barely even knows what a Highland Park is, this is your chance to try cornflake and chocolate chip cookies and an exclusive donut flavor they’re making just for us. Once you do, we can guarantee you’ll be getting very familiar with the 110.
$3 cookies, $3.50 donuts
If you didn’t know, now you know - in addition to being a singer and songwriter, Kelis is also a chef. In the ultimate overachiever move, she went to culinary school, and now has her own line of sauces called Bounty & Full. Not only will Kelis herself be at EEEEEATSCON, but she’ll be cooking up a full roast animal, serving it with Colombian arepas, fresh cheese, and Bounty & Full sauce flights.
$10 - $14 arepas
It’s 3pm, the sun’s at full blast, and you need to hit the refresh button. Say hello to After’s, home of the milky bun (basically a sugar-laced hamburger bun stuffed with ice cream) and that bright blue ice cream called Cookie Monster you’ve probably seen all over Instagram. It doesn’t just look good on your social media, it tastes amazing too.
$8 - $10
The idea of vegan ramen sounds about as appealing as a two-hour demonstration on how to build a birdhouse using only your compost bin. But Ramen Hood over in Grand Central Market hasn’t just made vegan ramen appealing - it’s made it something we stay awake at night thinking about. We can’t tell you how they do it (because we actually have no idea), but we can tell you that these guys will be at EEEEEATSCON serving their awesome ramen. In partnership with Fueled by Ramen Records.
Badmaash is a cool, casual downtown spot and our favorite place for modern Indian food in LA. Everything from their butter chicken samosa to their spicy lamb burger is great, but the most important order here is the chicken tikka poutine. Masala tots, cheese curds, and tandoori chicken tikka loaded on top. Prepare to be forever changed.
If you haven’t heard of La Colombe, don’t worry - this East Coast coffee favorite (and Infatuation NYC’s go-to for afternoon caffeine needs) is about to take over LA. Before they commence their invasion (they’re opening at least five cafes this year) they’ll be at EEEEEATSCON, so you’ll be able to tell all your friends you knew them before they were famous. Their iced coffee is our favorite legal drug.
$3 - $4
There’s a whole lot of poké in Los Angeles right now, but Sweetfin is right up there with the best in class. While visits to their store involve dodging tourists on the Promenade and then being paralyzed with indecision at the 452 possible topping combinations, at EEEEEATSCON things will be much easier. You’ll only need to elbow your friends out of the way, and they’ll be making a special yuzu truffle yellowtail poké bowl just for us. And you.
$6 - $10
No, LA will never be New York when it comes to bagels, and honestly, we don’t give a sh*t. Because we have Yeastie Boys, and that’s all we ever need when we’re craving carbs and eggs and shmear together at last in our stomachs. The food truck has been popping up all over town since 2014, and we’ve been stalking it the entire way. You’re going to show up to EEEEEATSCON very hungry, and Yeastie Boys better be your first prey of the day.
$5 - $12
While you were busy choking down that probiotic salad, LA’s BBQ situation has become pretty fantastic. One of our favorite spots is Maple Block in Culver City. The king here is the brisket - it’s smokey, melt in your mouth greatness, and you’ll want to hit these guys at least once during EEEEEATSCON (and also shove some in your shirt for the ride home). Get a slaw-covered brisket sandwich or one of their excellent all-beef Maple Block Dogs.
$6 - $9
Fat Dragon might be the newest vendor we have at EEEEEATSCON, but it took one visit to this Chinese spot in Silver Lake to realize they’re doing something very special. From their spicy wontons, to the dragon fried rice, to a beef and broccoli that has no business being as good as it is, Fat Dragon is the the kind of place every neighborhood in LA wished they had. Come May 20th, they’ll be serving bowls of Sichuan cold noodles ideal for that midday heat wave.
$5 - $9
EEEEEATSCON is a unicorn food and drink-free zone. But we do approve of another trendy drink that’s actually good: matcha. A favorite of our NYC team, MatchaBar opened their first West Coast store in Silver Lake earlier this year, so Infatuation LA no longer needs to come up with elaborate excuses for “business” trips just so we can get our hands on this excellent green liquid. They’ll be serving all kinds of iced drinks on the day - everything from the regular stuff to watermelon-flavored matcha.
$6 - $8
Dream Pops are popsicles made in 3D-printed molds, because this is the future. They’re also vegan, organic, gluten-free, and frozen with liquid nitrogen, because the future is complicated. And while Dream Pops certainly look good in an Instagram post, they’re even better in real life/your mouth.