Netflix Night Market Collaboration Highlights Asian-Owned Food Businesses in Houston — Updated

Double Smash Burger at Burger Bodega.

Update, 4/5/2023, 11 a.m.: Tickets are gone, for now at least. The ticketing page now has a waitlist sign-up. Have A Nice Day posted on Facebook, “Please don’t start any beef with us, but we are sorry to share we are SOLD OUT.  Due to very high demand, our BEEF Night Market is currently out of tickets. However, you can sign up for our waitlist in the meantime as we work on a solution to get more BEEF fans through the door. We seriously appreciate your support and understanding.”

Despite the name, the upcoming Netflix series BEEF, which starts airing on April 6, has to do with a feud, not red meat. However, in Houston, the series debut is indeed leading to some great food. Netflix has teamed up with local organization Have a Nice Day and is sponsoring the BEEF Night Market on Saturday, April 8. The celebration is at The Ion, located in midtown Houston at 4201 Main. While the event is free, tickets are required and can be obtained from the Have a Nice Day website. The organization advocates for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and businesses owned by those who are Black, Indigenous and People Of Color (BIPOC).

BEEF is an Asian-produced fictional series that stars Asian actors — a group that receives few opportunities to headline projects in Hollywood. It’s directed by and stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong. BEEF’s plot follows what happens after their characters engage in road rage after nearly getting into a car accident. The incident opens the door to each acting on dark impulses. A synopsis, full cast list and trailer are available online.

Joseph Lee as George in episode 102 of Beef
Ali Wong as Amy and Joseph Lee as George in episode 102 of Beef. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

“Partnering with Netflix to celebrate the release of Beef and being able to showcase our community on such a large scale is kind of surreal to us,” said Have a Nice Day co-founder Brian Rama. “We get to celebrate AAPI representation in film and in food with the city that means so much to us and we’re truly grateful that Netflix is using their platform to help us tell this story.”

Alex Au-Yeung of Phat Eatery
Alex Au-Yeung of Phat Eatery. Photo by Kimberly Park.

Featured restaurants serving small bites at the night market are:

Edwin Hui of AtCha
Edwin Hui of AtCha. Courtesy photo.

Also promised during the Netflix-sponsored night market are, “a few surprises and one time only dishes that were created specifically for the night.”

Rama co-founded Have a Nice Day along with Julie Nong, Isabel Protomartir and Michael Ma. It was in response to the hatred leveled at Asians during the start at the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s worth remembering that before the virus had even been detected in Texas, some people cast general blame upon Asians and stopped patronizing Asian-owned restaurants. The problems didn’t go away as COVID-19 cases declined. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have persisted to this day.

“Our lineup is a testament to Houston and its passion for food,” said Rama via a press release. “They’re a mix of James Beard nominees, Masterchefs, and incredible small businesses. They all represent so many corners of the world and we’re proud to celebrate them, the delicious food they make, and all the good they do. Our advice? Come hungry.” says Brian Rama. He continues

Keep up with the discussion of Netflix’s BEEF on social media with hashtag #BEEFnetflix.

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