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Family-friendlyL.A. CountyOrange County

If you love Asian food, check out the night market mega-feasts in Arcadia and Costa Mesa

 (Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Why: Think of these night markets as the Comic-Con of street food. For 20 bucks, you can nibble your way through some of the most delicious, and occasionally outlandish, Asian dishes you've never seen. I guarantee you'll walk out full.

What: Held during summer weekends beneath billowing clouds of barbecue smoke, Asian night markets at Santa Anita Park and now in Orange County feature more than 150 vendors under pop-up tents, serving mostly Asian-themed street food.

They are modeled on a craze that began in Taiwan, and now, with games, entertainment and all sorts of creative dishes, feel like a traditional county fair on steroids. It is also evidence that no American could ever resist something that is both deep-fried and skewered on a stick.

 (Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
(Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Prices begin at a buck or two for sample plates of chicken wings or sausages. Portions are generous.

The markets are a cheaper version of the food-truck craze but with more choices and a laid-back, chatty atmosphere. Among the perennial favorites: Squid on a stick; stinky tofu; Peking duck tacos; pork belly musubi.

Go early to avoid the longer lines, which can stretch 40 minutes for such popular items as spiral-cut potatoes.

How much: Admission is $3-$5, depending on when you go.

Where: The 626 Night Market is at Santa Anita Park, 285 Huntington Drive, in Arcadia, 17 miles northeast of downtown L.A. The OC Night Market is at the Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, in Costa Mesa, 40 miles southeast of downtown L.A. Each venue holds a Friday-Sunday event about once a month during the summer. See websites for schedules.

Info: 626 Night MarketOC Night Market

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