Taste of Stubhub Center
18400 Avalon Blvd.
Carson, CA 90746
I'm not going to write about this great event, and try to fool you into thinking that I'm some sort of soccer enthusiast. To be truthful, every four years I try to get into soccer when the World Cup rolls around, but then there's always some sort of awful call, or I get tired of watching the players rolling around on the ground trying to draw penalties. I know there is athletic skill involved here, but the flopping is the biggest reason I tune out when soccer comes on.
So you ask, why am I at Stubhub Center? My love of food outweighs almost everything. I was told that there are lots of great new food options being offered to the supporters of the LA Galaxy, along with many craft beer options. I also wanted my good friend Richard, who is one of the biggest fans of the Galaxy, and soccer in general, to experience this event with me. So we left work a little early, and braved the traffic on the northbound 405 freeway.
This was my first visit to Stubhub Center, which is not only a world class venue for soccer, but they also have an 8,000 seat tennis stadium here, along with the soccer stadium that seats over 27,000 rabid fans. Opened since 2003, Stubhub Center has hosted some of the biggest soccer games in Major League Soccer (MLS) history, been the setting for some of the hottest entertainment acts around today, and is located on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Even though I'm not a real big soccer fan, I am a fan of sports, and being this close to the field was pretty impressive. I also may, or may not have gone out there and kicked a few imaginary goals for my adoring fans in the stands. All that running around made me hungry, so I was looking forward to seeing what the folks at Stubhub had in store for us.
I was told this was not your typical stadium grub, and the first thing we tried, the Hawaiian Tuna Poke confirmed that. Poke is all the rage right now, with many restaurants popping up that solely serve these tasty dice sized morsels of seasoned tuna. This was a good version, with plenty of avocado, cucumber slices on the side, and it was simply seasoned to allow the natural flavor of the tuna to shine through. A nice light option for fans that don't want to eat heavy, so they have the energy to cheer on Alan Gordon and the rest of his LA Galaxy teammates.
Also not something that you see everyday at sporting events, were these Korean BBQ Short Ribs with Asian Slaw. These were probably one of my favorite things I had on this evening. The short ribs were easy to eat since they were so tender, and they tasted great too. I'm really a big fan of short ribs, and having these while watching sports, would be a winning combination.
You've probably had nachos at baseball and football games, but nothing like these from Stubhub Center. No gross orange liquid cheese here. They use real cheese, along with roasted corn, cotija cheese, and some very good tortilla chips. Not overly heavy like other ballparks nachos, so you still have energy to cheer on your LA Galaxy.
The hits just kept on coming at Stubhub Center, with this Jamaican Jerk Chicken served with Quinoa Salad and Yucca Fries. The chicken really did have a jerk feel to it, but it was a little clumsy to eat because it was such a big piece. The yucca fries were pretty solid, even though I'm not big fan of yucca. I also am no fan of quinoa, as I've been burned by it many times during the run of this blog, but the girl next to me raved about this salad, so I'll take her word for it.
Of course Hamburgers are nothing new at sporting events, but this might have been one of the better ones I've had at a stadium. I really liked the real strips of bacon used on these burgers, and the cheese was melted perfectly. The burgers could have used a little more condiments on them, but still a juicy burger. Garlic fries are all the rage right now, and these were excellent. Fired nicely, with a good crunch to them, and the right amount of garlic was used here.
After all this food, I did not try these Pizzas from Fresh Brothers, but they looked pretty tasty. Fresh Brothers is a pizza chain that is expanding rather rapidly, and they just became the official pizza of Stubhub Center earlier this year. I'm looking forward to trying them out real soon.
Not only is the food being upgraded at Stubhub Center, but they have also added lots of local craft beer choices at many of the concession stands here. We were talking with the craft beer guys that were here, and they said that this South Bay area is becoming a real hotbed for craft beer in Southern California. They rattled off more than a dozen brewers producing their beverages in this area, many of which are available at Stubhub Center. I really enjoyed the Absolution Hefeweizen, as it went down real smooth on this rather warm day.
I left Stubhub Center pretty impressed. The food was of course pretty stellar, but what I was most impressed with was that they are taking chances, and bringing items to a sporting event that you usually do not see. Talking with a few of the people from Stubhub Center, they said that soccer fans are more demanding of their food, than other sports fans, and their concessions have to reflect that. I'd say they nailed it with the new food items we tried.
The end of the LA Galaxy season is fast approaching, and if you haven't been paying attention, they currently are sitting in first place, with two games to go, and then they will be trying to win their MLS record leading sixth championship. So you have one more regular season game, (October 18th against the Portland Timbers), to try this food that is available at Stand 18, which is located on the Stadium Club end of the stadium. I might not be the biggest soccer fan in the world, but with food like this, they might have made me a convert.
To find out all the latest things going on at Stubhub Center, including their schedule of events, go to their website here: http://www.stubhubcenter.com/