L.A. loves a good food hall, and the city can’t get enough of Smorgasburg—just ask anyone who’s waited an hour in line for pineapple shrimp boats on a blazing hot Sunday. But for those in the 818, some of the city’s most exciting blends of cuisine and vendors can feel a world away, with most of the food halls planted firmly Downtown. This weekend, that changes when Studio City enters the arena.
Valley Urban Market, a new, weekly open-air event, launches Saturday morning with stalls selling dumplings, BBQ, boba and fanciful iced teas. Set in the parking lot of Midcentury-Modern charmer Sportsmen’s Lodge, the Saturday food fest has a bit of everything, including a range of 20-or-so food vendors, out-of-town guest chefs, DJ sets and family-friendly entertainment like balloon art, face painting and photo booths. And for those who love their BBQ pork rolls with a bit of rock and roll, Dave Grohl will serve you pit-smoked meats everlong—or at least until the Beached Pig sells out.
On September 22 and 29, Grohl will hand out pulled pork sandwiches, brisket tacos and specialty sides with his pitmaster friend, Billy Terrell, who’s packing up his 28-foot trailer (complete with 1,270-pound cooker) and hitting the road to bring L.A. a taste of his roving Tennessee BBQ concept, the Beached Pig.
Brisket from the Beached Pig
Allow us to explain: In addition to his general BBQ enthusiasm (judging ’Q contests, for one), the Foo Fighters and Nirvana musician is married to one of the new food fair’s founders, Jordyn Grohl. She’s launching the market with her longtime friends and fellow Valley natives, Megan Gefsky and Deborah Saly, who want to bring the something-for-all food-hall ethos to the SFV.
Other vendors include Buttery Popcorn Co., which serves small-batch sweet-and-savory flavors like cereal milk; modern-Chinese truck Dina’s Dumplings, which boasts handmade pork and cabbage, beet, and vegan dumplings. There’s also Emsaymada Project, which brings Filipino cheesy brioche ensaymadas, as well as Hearth and Olive, which keeps you cool from the heat with market mezze and Middle East-meets-California fare.
That’s not all: The picture-perfect Lobsterdamus offers its trademark flayed-and-grilled lobsters, as well as its lobster noodles; Okipoki takes its DTLA poke to Studio City; Sunny Blue’s made-to-order omosubi (rice balls) are on hand; Sticky Rice’s mobile truck rolls in with Thai food; and catering operation Wa-ii Kamikaze sets up shop with boba and burgers. Wash it all down with customizable teas and fruit drinks from the Base, which uses fresh fruit, matcha, coconut water, raw sugar cane, herbs and more.
Unlike DTLA’s Smorgasburg, there is an admission fee, though it helps a good cause: Entry costs $5 per guest, and a portion of the proceeds benefit Valley Food Bank. Bringing little ones? Children under 5 get in for free.
Valley Urban Market launches Saturday, September 22, at 12825 Ventura Blvd in Studio City. Stop by every Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Parking is free.