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I Love Poke Festival

The island-inspired event returns to Bali Hai May 26
I Love Poke Festival

For one night, California and Hawaiian flavors collide in San Diego’s 6th Annual I Love Poke tasting event and competition on Tuesday, May 26. Held once again at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island, I Love Poke brings together San Diego chefs to compete for the title of best poke. Guests will also have the opportunity to sample poke entries and island inspired fare prepared by the region’s favorite restaurants and bakeries. Poke, pronounced “Pohkay” means to cut or slice. With its roots in Hawaii, poke is typically prepared as a raw salad of fish, sea salt and any number of complementary ingredients such as seaweed, soy sauce and onion, among others.

In prior years, I Love Poke events have crowned Chef Kurt Metzger from Kitchen 4140 and Chef Keoni Simmons from Sushi on a Roll poke champs. The two chefs will return this year alongside 13 other competing restaurants. Guest judges will crown the poke champion, while live music by Loa Greyson entertains guests at the Bali Hai Restaurant’s outdoor, waterfront setting. The I Love Poke event, which began in San Diego by Nino “Neens” Camilo of Ono Yum, is also an annual event in Orange County with additional cities forthcoming.

Tickets ($65) are on sale now at

Check out scenes from last year’s event:

I Love Poke Festival

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