The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Labor Day Weekend 2013: Asian food fest at Santa Anita

Looking for the ultimate tailgate party? Check out this weekend’s 626 Night Market, a sweeping and smoky street food festival at Santa Anita Park featuring 150 vendors.

Think of it as the Comic-Con of Asian street food.

Prices begin at $1.50 to $2 for chicken wings or sausages. Portions are generous, yet most small plates are about $4.

Admission is $2 (from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and $3 (after 6 p.m.). Children 12 and younger are free, as is parking.

Squid on a stick. Stinky tofu. Peking duck tacos. Pork belly musubi. The market is a cheaper version of the food-truck craze but with more choices and a laid-back, chatty atmosphere. For 20 bucks, you can nibble your way through some of the most delicious, and occasionally outlandish, dishes you've never seen.

Formerly held amid cramped quarters in Old Pasadena, the Santa Anita venue allows for a lusher, roomier location. But get there early, before 8 p.m., when the crowds begin to swell.

Beer and mixed drinks are served at booths throughout the festival. But to escape the crowds and heat, look to the bar that is open inside the track itself. It overlooks the festival, including a live music stage.

Hours 4 p.m. till 1 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday. Parking: Enter Gate 8 off Baldwin Boulevard, or Gates 3 or 5 off Huntington Drive.

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