Goldenvoice’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival has spent years cultivating its food and beverage menu and this year is no different. The culinary lineup will include pop-up restaurants, Outstanding in the Field four-course meals, and a host of Southern California favorites like Beer Belly, Pizzanista, and Guerrilla Tacos.
Coachella is set to outdo itself this year with its beverage offerings as well. This year will feature three bars that Goldenvoice’s Culinary Director Nic Adler is particularly proud of. Go Get Em Tiger is a coffee spot from Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market and there will be a full kombucha bar from GT.
“GT Dave started making kombucha 30 years ago and he is curating the lineup. It is kombucha from all over the country and they are all on draft,” Adler told Amplify.
Adler added, “My favorite thing that we have done is we’ve introduced a bar called Bar Not Bar. It is cocktails without booze in them. We’re literally crafting drinks that feel and taste and look as if you were at the best bar in Manhattan. Jason Isner from Block Party in Highland Park (Los Angeles) put together these recipes over the last three months. Whether you drink all night or never had a drink in your life, you can meet there and there are bartenders shaking cocktails but there’s no alcohol.”
The three unique bars will be located in the brand new Indio Central Market. Indio Central Market will be a food hall that resembles Downtown Los Angeles Grand Central Market east of the Central Dome.
“I get inspired by what is happening around the world and around the country and within LA itself. The idea of the food hall is something that people really like,” Adler said. “Ten years ago, we’d all go to McDonald’s and someone got the Filet-O-Fish and someone got a Big Mac and that was about how different we were from each other. Now that we are exposed to so much food, I think people want to go to a place where they can get a vegan macaroni and cheese pizza and someone else can get a poke bowl and sit at the same table.”
The debut Indio Central Market will feature over 15 celebrated restaurants from Los Angeles and New York under one tent. The market will have ample seating, shade, sommeliers, and dessert options to cool you down in the desert heat. The curated restaurants will range from LA’s beloved burger joint Cassell’s to Ms. Chi’s renowned dumplings.
“It is not just a tent with food. It is visually cool. It is comfortable in there and very open. It is something that I think will be a meeting point. It is a place that everyone in the festival can get to,” Adler told Amplify. “There is some stuff in there that is on the culinary side and there is some stuff that is on the Instagram side, which is important. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Let’s give a little bit of wow, but also make sure you have something like Ms Chi’s which are going to be the best dumplings you’ve ever had.”
Amplify combed through the list of vendors at the inaugural Indio Central Market to share a few of the highlights.
Los Angeles’ Cena Vegan offers plant-based meat that is flavored with generations-old recipes and made entirely by hand. The Latin American-inspired cuisine promises a delicious and healthy meat alternative without sacrificing flavor. Their nook at Indio Central Market will be serving up three of their signature dishes: the big vegan burrito, the nacho boat, and the taco trio. The big vegan burrito comes with plant-based carne asada or gluten-free barbacoa, beans, rice, and pico de gallo and salsa on the side. The nacho boat also comes with your choice of plant-based meat, beans, pico de gallo, vegan nacho cheese, and salsa on the side. The taco trio is three fresh-made corn tortillas filled with carne asada or gluten-free barbacoa, salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro and onion on the side.
Fuku restaurants have started taking over New York’s fried chicken scene. With spots in Madison Square Garden, Citi Field, and Hard Rock Stadium, it makes sense that the eatery that offers chicken, salads, fries, and slushies would make an appearance at Coachella. Fuku is bringing its signature spicy chicken sandwich to the desert that comes with a habanero thigh, pickles, butter on a potato roll. The same sandwich can come with a sweet and spicy sauce and festivalgoers can opt for a Coachella-only double habanero thigh sandwich with Fuku sauce, pickles, spicy slaw, and butter on a potato roll. Their side options include jalapeño seasoned fries or loaded fries that come with the spicy cheese sauce, ranch, bacon, and scallions. Plus, the spot will be offering a refreshing strawberry lemonade slushie.
Seabirds Kitchen is a southern California favorite. The Orange County and Los Angeles locations offer organic, plant-based, and seasonal plates all made from scratch. This year at Coachella, Seabirds is bringing along signature dishes like their purple taquitos which are purple potatoes, chipotle sour cream, fermented curtido, almond feta, and cilantro rolled up together. The eatery will also supply beer battered avocado tacos with Seabirds sauce, cabbage, red onion, and lime, as well as mushroom tacos with caramelized onion, ancho oil, fermented curtido, cilantro, and almond feta. As a Coachella exclusive, Seabirds will also be offering hemp extract feel-good cookies.
It wouldn’t be a festival without hot dogs, but Los Angeles’ Sumo Dogs go above and beyond the typical fare. The Japanese inspired hot dogs come in four options: chicken sausage, pork sausage, American wagyu all beef, and vegan. Festivalgoers will be able to choose from the Miso Katsu dog (panko crusted hot dog, cabbage, mustard miso, tonkatsu sauce, mayo, and scallions), Bacon Bahn Mi (bacon-wrapped dog, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber, cilantro, lime, jalapeno, spicy mayo, fish sauce, and furikake), the Godzilla (foot long all beef dog, spicy beef chili, togarashi cheese sauce, spicy mayo, teriyaki sauce, cabbage slaw, furikake, and kizami nori), and more. Plus they will have tater tots with the option of Sumo style which has the tots covered in chili, togarashi cheese sauce, miso cabbage, pickled peppers, jalapenos, spicy mayo, teriyaki sauce, furikake, and scallions.
The tagline for the food truck turned Chinatown hotspot is “Let’s go bowling” and they put quite a spin on rice bowls. Chego is the work of the Kogi BBQ team and helmed by Chef Roy Choi. The rice and noodle bowl menu is Choi’s riff on L.A. soul — in a rice bowl. Chego will be bringing its famous pork belly for its One Chubby Pork Belly bowl that includes kochujang-glazed, slow roasted kurobuta pork belly, pickled radishes, Chinese broccoli, salsa roja and verde, cotija cheese, thai basil, peanuts, cilantro, fried shallots, fresh chilies, egg on rice. The Coachella menu will also feature the Sour Cream Hen House with wok-seared marinated chicken, sour cream sambal, onions, Chinese broccoli, water spinach, salsa naranja, Thai basil, fresh chilies, egg and the Leafy T that comes with wok-sauteed marinated tofu, garlic mole, green and white onions, water spinach, garlic soy jus, sambal, Thai basil, fried shallots, toasted sesame, fresh chilies, egg on rice. They will also offer their Ooey Gooey Fries which are beer-battered and Chili-salted with cheese pickled garlic, sour cream samba, cilantro and cotija cheese.
Sweet Rolled Tacos
A desert getaway wouldn’t be complete without some sweets and the Indio Central Market has several desserts to cool down festivalgoers. Southern California’s Sweet Rolled Tacos are decadent, colorful, and most importantly, Instragramable. Sweet Rolled Tacos are essentially ice cream stuffed tacos wrapped in waffle cone shells. Owner of Orange County’s Sweet Cup, Kenny Tran reinvented the ice cream game by infusing boba into the desert and giving customers the option to add just about any treat into their taco. While the Coachella location won’t have every topping available, attendees will be able to choose from menu specialties like Rainbow Road, Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Monsters Inc., and Mint Oreo.