As part of ISA’s Global Cultural Month, ISA held an event called inFusion where students had the chance to try Asian fusion food. The delight of free food brought students in from far and wide as they made a pit stop before their next classes. In exchange for a food ticket, students were asked to check into a booth and could acquire a second ticket by explaining “what being international” meant to them. USC students were encouraged to come out and celebrate the diversity on campus.
Once I got my tickets, I skipped to the food trucks in joy. After two months of consecutive dining hall meals, this was my big break. The aroma was mouth-watering. The Chinese Laundry food truck had a delicious assortment of tacos, which I could not keep my eyes off of. A fellow intern, Monica, went with the Hainan Chicken Taco. The chicken was marinated in a mixture of “house-made” ginger scallion sauce, dark soy, and chili sauce, and steep cooked to perfection. The sweet, salty tang of the chicken was balanced with crisp cucumbers, cilantro, and chickpeas. And to top it off, the chef had sprinkled in crispy onions to get that perfect, satisfying crunch. Yum. I decided to be a little more adventurous and picked up the Mapo Tofu Taco, which incorporated the same soy base as the chicken one. I would have never thought of putting tofu into a corn tortilla, but boy, did it work. The tortilla was warm in my hands, and it complemented the spiciness of the tofu. The two options catered to students of all different dietary habits, while showcasing traditional Chinese flavors. I would highly recommend Chinese Laundry. If you find me in Downtown LA, I may or may not be looking for another fusion taco fix.
The other food truck, White Rabbit, was hard to miss. Colored vibrant hues of yellow and orange, White Rabbit immediately caught my eye as I walked into the quad. The big rabbit painted on all sides of the food truck was adorable too! White Rabbit’s menu featured Filipino fusion cuisine like tacos, burritos, rice bowls, and quesadillas. Freshly fried lumpia as well as sweet and sour sauce was passed around. The sensation of chicken adobo and pork sisig filled the air and students' growling bellies.
The icing on the cake was the drinks served by Urban Espresso. Their menu featured classics like frappuccinos and smoothies, but also had unique items like Nutella coffee. Needless to say, my iced latte didn’t disappoint.
InFusion can be boiled down to this: the excited expression on student’s faces as they bit into their tacos and lumpias. ISA’s event showcased central pieces of Chinese and Filipino culture that people from all backgrounds were able share, enjoy, and experience.