Coachella is different things to different people. For Drake fans, it's about belting to "Hold On, We're Going Home," even if it's super down-tempo. For douches, it's about taking their favorite tribal headpiece out for a spin (eeek…) For potheads, it's about three days of, well, pot. And for foodies, it can also be about pot — but the Roy Choi kind (no, the other kind).
If you're the latter type, here's a rundown of the festival's food landscape: the beer garden, located at The Terrace, is the main festival food hub, and you can also eat at the craft beer barn. For those willing to put down $225, the Outstanding in the Field dinner series is a four-course pop-up you can try (no VIP wristband needed!) For $50, you can eat a prix-fixe dinner with a fancy chef. If you want to reserve a seat, do it with Reserve app.
Now that you know what to expect, here are five great places to eat at this crazy festival…
5. KazuNori (Rose Garden)
Hand roll concept KazuNori from the Sugarfish empire debuted at Coachella last year and has since been operating a brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown L.A. Their hand rolls are simple, but that's what makes them spectacular: less overdressing means more focus on the crunchiness of the nori, the warmth of the rice, and the contrasting coldness of the fish. The hand rolls' bit-sized form also works for people moving from show to show; they can easily finish their bay scallop or lobster hand rolls in a couple of bites and bounce.
4. POT by Roy Choi (Rose Garden)
If you're a fan of Kogi — or Korean cuisine in general — you won't want to miss POT, Roy Choi's fancier (and pricier) project originally located inside Koreatown's Line Hotel. But instead of Korean-Mexican fusion, POT is all about pure Korean soup and noodle combinations like budae jjigae (renamed "Boot Knocker" by Choi), a Korean War-originated, chili-based seafood broth soup containing instant ramen noodles, Spam, tofu, corned beef hash, and spicy pork sausage. Oh, and don't forget the kimchi-fried rice and potato pancakes!
3. Eggslut (Rose Garden)
If slutting it up with eggs is a crime you commit regularly, let Eggslut be your brothel for the weekend. One of Grand Central Market's stars, the egg joint serves egg sandwiches with bacon, sausage, or seared wagyu tri-tip steak in a warm brioche bun, and popular items like The Slut — a coddled egg on top of potato purée poached in a glass jar, and served with a demi baguette. Geezus.
2. Kushiyaki Dog (Beer Barn)
One of the places debuting at Coachella this year is Kushiyaki Dog, a Japanese-fusion hot dog joint by Jeffrey Lunak and Jevic Acain of Iron Chef Morimoto's restaurant group (cue nearest chef biting into a pepper). Among the several dogs they'll be debuting are, naturally, The Coachella — a dog with caramelized onions, pickled sweet peppers, jalapeno wasabi relish, sriracha mayo, sweet soy glaze, wasabi furikake and kizami nori. Another is The Katsu, a deep-fried tempura hot dog with cabbage slaw, mustard miso, tonkatsu sauce, bonito flakes, and cilantro. Sides are Japanese-inspired, too, like the Togarashi Corn on the Cob (corn with yuzu, Japanese mayo and togarashi butter), otherwise known as a Japanese take on Mexican elote.
1. Afters (Rose Garden)
Fountain Valley is hip? Well, if Afters is going to be selling ice cream at Coachella, Fountain Valley might actually be hip.
There's nothing more to say about the milky bun than what we've said about it in the past: a donut with ice cream filling, it's a dessert that took Orange County's food scene to the next level. It's presence at Coachella will be the first time ever lots of non-Southern Californians can try it, so there's that. If you're trying a bun for the first time, cookie monster and jasmine milk tea should definitely be in your radar.
For a full list of Coachella food vendors, check out Coachella's website.