The large-scale Hawaiian food and cultural festival takes place from 6 to
9 p.m. at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island. The event’s main focus will be a competition between 14 top San Diego chefs to create the best poke dish in the city. The event benefits the Kona-California Scholarship.
Competing chefs include Justin Shea of Hapa J’s; Kari Rich of Food Farm Truck; Kurt Metzger of Kitchen 4140; Antonio Friscia of Gaijin; Simon Dolinky of Saltbox; Syd Marshall of Sushi Foods Catering; Johnny Duran of Top Of The Market; Paul Murphy of Humphrey’s Restaurant and Marc Brislin of Blue Wave Bar and Grill.
With the price of admission, guests can taste each competing chef’s poke creations in both the “Traditional” category (use of tuna required) and the “Any Kine” category (anything goes). Poke is a Hawaiian delicacy traditionally made with raw ahi tuna, cut into cubes and lightly seasoned.
A bevy of San Diego’s best restaurants and food brands will provide partygoers with complimentary tastes of Hawaiian, Asian and South Pacific Island-inspired cuisine in an assortment of savory and sweet food and drink. Restaurants will be divided into savory and sweet categories, which the festival has named “Food Land” and “Sweet Land.”
Participating restaurants and food vendors of the savory (“Food Land”) variety include Gabardine, Isabel’s Cantina, Da Kine’s Catering, Bad Ass Coffee Company, Cups Culinary, Quality Time Catering, King’s Hawaiian Bread, Casanova Fish Tacos, Chris Onolicious Grinds, Pop Chips and Honest Tea. Dishes will include Kalua pig and cabbage, musubi, coffee from Kona, brazil bowls with carnitas, fish tacos, chicken wings, macaroni salad and seafood. King’s Hawaiian Bread will also serve hot dogs in the company’s newest item debuting at the I Love Poke Festival: hot dog buns.
Sweet-oriented restaurants and food vendors include Kam Shave Ice, Chuao Chocolate, Specialty Produce, Sweet Layers, Wahine Kai Shave Ice, Ho’onani Cakes, Kona Kakes, CUPS and more. The Bali Hai is located at 2230 Shelter Island Drive. Single tickets are $50 and are available at http://ilovemusubi.com. Connect with the festival at www.facebook.com/ilovemusubifb or https://twitter.com/ilovemusubi.