Takoyaki and Taro at the 2011 Lunar New Year Festival

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There were fewer food booths at the 2011 Lunar New Year Festival this year, but that didn't mean the vendors at the Chinese Community Center were any less creative in their offerings. The longest line of the day belonged to a food stand that was turning out little egg puffs stuffed with octopus: takoyaki, that Japanese street food favorite.

The takoyaki stand had three lines: One for the little puffs, one for pastries shaped like rabbits and filled with lavender-colored taro, and one for Hong Kong-style egg waffles. All three offerings were going as fast as they were being made. Other lines were moving faster, but none culminated in a cup full of octopus balls or a waffle cone.

The second longest line ended at a booth selling two more favorites: congee and beef chow fun. I grabbed one of each along with a Thai-style milk tea from the Kim's Tea House booth and made a cross-cultural meal out of it, Japanese egg puffs, Hong Kong beef chow fun, Chinese congee and Thai tea all mingling happily together.

And those bunny-shaped taro pastries made for an excellent breakfast the next morning with coffee. What a way to ring in the Year of the Rabbit.

See more photos from the Lunar New Year Festival in our slideshow.

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