The Hundreds' Family Style Food Festival Recap

The inaugural event combined some of LA's best food with some of the hottest names in streetwear

September 17, 2019

Photo by Ben Shmikler

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The Hundreds’ highly anticipated Family Style Food Festival went down this past Sunday. The inaugural event combined food and street wear culture, and what better place to do it that than in the Mecca of LA street wear culture, the Fairfax District.  Ben and Bobby Hundreds invited folks to CBS Television City on the corner of Beverly and Fairfax to celebrate the culture with really good food and exclusive merchandise.

Photo by Ben Shmikler

Ben and Bobby took the best parts of the festival world and blended those elements in a way only they can.  They, like so many others, noticed that folks love their merch.  There are usually bigger crowds around the merch booth than at some performance stages. And it just so happens that at this moment restaurant merchandise is the new status symbol.  I’m definitely a huge supporter of this trend as I’ve been wearing hats from the different restaurants I’ve visited and written about for a while now. And no!  I’m not claiming that I’ve been doing it since before it was cool.  

Photo by Ben Shmikler

Let’s be honest, everyone is a foodie now.  I think that’s an awesome thing, because food has a way of bringing people together, just like waiting in line for a Nike release or the newest Hundreds collection. It just so happens that The Hundreds brings out some of LA’s coolest people.  Everywhere you looked there was a celebrity chef or a street wear culture icon.  To your left you see Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio promoting his new venture Recreational Use, to your right is Egg Slut and The Burger Show’s Alvin Cailan, in line in front of you is Jensen of the Kevin & Bean Morning Show (I’m still too shy to introduce myself to him), even Garfield was roaming around, and of course the ring leaders themselves Ben and Bobby Hundreds.  

Photo by Ben Shmikler

For a first-time festival it all went down pretty smooth, it ran like they had done this before for the most part.  By no means am I any kind of festival expert but I’ve been on both sides of the curtain, as an attendee and on the production side.  Were there some hiccups? Sure.  It did take a good minute to get inside, but once you were in it was pure magic.  You were among beautiful people, great music and delicious food.

Michael Voltaggio put it best, “You’re in LA, there are lines everywhere you go, but we are lucky because we are the only ones here.”  It’s so easy to let a small detail like waiting in line ruin an experience, but in the end it’s a petty detail that hopefully gets engulfed in memorable experiences of pure joy.

Photo by Patrick Manalo

Being that it was a food festival, let’s talk about some food.  Some of LA’s best restaurants and even some national and international stars were showcasing some beautiful and tasty morsels.  Howlin’ Rays was slinging their perfect Nashville hot chicken sandos in the VIP area for anyone interested, usually a 2+ hour wait at their Chinatown location.  Chef Ray Zone had VIP locked down but out with the general admission crowd was where the magic was happening.  Restaurants like Jon & Vinny’s, Tacos 1986, Slab, Felix Trattoria, Petit Trois, BadMaash and too many others to list were holding it down.

Photo by Patrick Manalo

If the convenience of having a solid amount of LA’s best restaurants in one place wasn’t enough, there were some famous out of towners in attendance as well. We didn’t have to hop on a plane headed for NYC to enjoy a Katz Deli pastrami sandwich or a slice of Prince St. pizza.  It just so happens that one of my favorite dishes was the Katsu sandwich from Yakido of Hong Kong.  This is what a food festival is all about.  It gives us ordinary folks a chance to try something we wouldn’t be able to under normal circumstances. 

 

Needless to say, food is pretty damn important at a food festival but what truly made this a The Hundreds production was the exclusive merchandise merging the restaurants with some of the best artists and designers in the game. Joshua Vides designed a set of dishware with his signature black and white outlines.  Verdy designed the Jon & Vinny’s pizza box and had attendees walking around balancing as many as they can.  Petit Trois and China Town Market had a whole collection of items from t-shirts, hats, tote bags, hoodies and even a basketball all dressed in the colors of the French flag.  One of my favorite collabs was the Kenny Scharf and Cofax Coffee donut t-shirts.  The Uncle Paulie’s x Modernica cutting board had me way more excited than any one grown man should ever be over a cutting board, plus their corduroy hats are killer. Mr. Cartoon put together some classic designs for Tacos 1986 that included a couple t-shirts and a trucker hat.  The Hundreds seemed to have collaborations with everyone on the planet; they had Tapatio, Garfield, Homeboy Industries and few I’m probably forgetting.

The whole festival made me feel like I was at Comic-Con but with better food and prettier people.  Standing in line for merch reminded me of standing in line for a Hasbro exclusive.  Order sheet in hand as the queue snaked through the displays of clothing. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with anxiety hoping my size wasn’t sold out by the time I reached check out.  Luckily for me I got I wanted but I did see some broken hearts as one of the employees came out to scratch out a note card signaling that item was sold out.  Sure, you missed out on The Hundreds x Tapatio shirt but I’m sure Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream had something to cheer you up… or not.

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