Monday, October 29, 2018

OC Japan Fair - Costa Mesa

A few weekends ago, I went to the OC Japan Fair. It was as it was last year: a smaller, more intimate version of 626 Night Market. There was a focus on Japanese food, but it wasn’t exclusive—I saw Vietnamese and Korean food there, too.

Since I was going for the purpose of covering it for OC Weekly, some of my expenses were covered. So I enjoyed myself. But in retrospect, I realized as I often do when I attend these kind of events: if I had to pay my own way, I wouldn’t have come.

With an $8 parking and an $8 admission fee, I would’ve been $16 in the hole before I bought a single scrap of food. And the cost of a typical meal at one of these vendors is, at best, the same as it is outside. At worst, it’s more.

So I left with the same thinking as I always do: why do people go to these things when restaurants and food courts provide the same food for the same or less cost with the added benefit of shelter, seating, and service?

The answer is the nostalgia and the novelty, which, I admit, is a good reason to go if you haven’t been. But the more you do, the less it makes sense, especially when you’re sweating in the hot sun, looking for a seat under shade, to eat something you’ve eaten dozens of times before, for which you stood in a long line and paid a premium.

Mrs. Bean - Santa Ana


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