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Inspired by Buddhist Monks and Taqueros, This New Pop-Up Stand in West L.A. Brings Thai Mango Sticky Rice to the Streets Year-Round

4:21 PM PDT on September 27, 2019

[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]here’s a new pop-up haven blooming in the westside and its newest player is My Mango Sticky Rice. A first-of-its-kind in L.A. Taco’s book of Los Angeles street food specializing in mango and sticky rice.

This vegan Thai dessert pop-up is only four weeks old, but it has already found a home next to a taquero—in true this-could-only-happen-in-Los-Angeles fashion—on the corner of Palms & Sepulveda Boulevards.

Tripp Burgers was one of the first street stands to find success on this particular corner and next up are Jean Tipsiri & Waan Arsinrum, two friends from Thailand whose paths crossed in Los Angeles. They both met working at a Thai restaurant and since then, Jean has continued working for other restaurants like Ramen Joy & Panda Express. Waan now works for an imports logistics company.

The team behind My Mango Sticky Rice in action.

“We are tired of working for other people. We always got off around 2 o’clock and thought to ourselves, how could we use that time better?” Jean tells L.A. Taco. “We always go by that lot and see the taco guy and thought, “Hey, we can do something like that too!” 

[“We saw] the taco guy and thought, “Hey, we can do something like that too!” 

Jean, in fact, already had begun doing something like that thanks to the counseling and help of Buddhist Monks from Wat Thai Temple, the largest Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles and home to a Thai Food Market on the weekends.  With the monk's counsel, Jean started Yai Ju Bananas with her Mother, Judy, and younger sister Gina, in January of this year. 

Thai Iced Tea is made with almond milk instead of half-and-half at My Mango Sticky Rice.

“We wanted to do something but every type of Thai food was already at the market. We went to the temple and they said there’s one thing that hasn’t been done. Fried bananas.” Jean and her mother had no idea how to make fried bananas. But that didn’t hold them back. The monk gave them the recipe to learn. “We practiced the recipe for one whole month and got it down, called the monk, and said we’re ready.” 

That same dauntless attitude guided Jean to approach Waan and start a pop-up stand in Palms. “We wanted to do something simple. We don’t have a lot of money, and we didn’t want open flames or whole kitchens, and we thought: Why not Mango Sticky Rice? Everybody loves it!”  

Pair it with their Thai Iced Tea, made with almond milk instead of the usual half and half, and you have a nice filling meal of a dessert to get you through even the thickest of traffic jams on the 405.  

They learned their mothers’ recipes, did some more research, practiced at home until they created the coconut cream base for the sticky rice and a salted coconut cream topping.  

Mango Sticky Rice is only available during Mango season in most Thai restaurants. But Jean & Waan are constantly sourcing quality Mangos from around the world to bring you this wonderful dish year-round. They are also working on new mango sticky rice dishes, like Berry Sticky Rice. 

The namesake dish is perfectly balanced, it’s not a thick, creamy texture or drowned in milky sauce. You won’t taste a spoonful of sugar either, and the salted coconut glaze topping brings the soothing textures and flavors of this dish home. Pair it with their Thai Iced Tea, made with almond milk instead of the usual half and half, and you have a nice filling meal of a dessert to get you through even the thickest of traffic jams on the 405.  

Follow My Mango Sticky Rice on Instagram to find out their hours of operation.

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