Bad poke can be really, really bad. But good poke, made with freshly caught fish and a careful infusion of seasonings--divine.
A staple in Hawaii, poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a refreshing appetizer or side dish most commonly made with raw ahi tuna diced into small cubes and marinated in soy sauce, inamona (roasted crushed candlenut), sesame oil, onions, seaweed and sea salt.
Here's a cool opportunity to try it done right.
Laguna Beach resident Nino Camilo, creator of Hawaiian news-and-culture site I Love Musubi and Musubi Map--a guide to Hawaiian-inspired restaurants and shops in California--has rounded up 15 chefs from across Orange County to duke it out on the chopping board at the "I Love Poke" food festival and competition. Co-hosted by actress Tia Carrere, the event, which sold out last year in San Diego, will happen at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach on Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m.
Some of the competing restaurants include:
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- Tommy Bahama's Island Grill, Laguna Beach
- Tommy Bahama Island Grill, Newport Beach
- Ishiki Plate Lunch, Huntington Beach
- Mahe, Dana Point
- Tsunami Sushi, Huntington Beach
- Stadium Brewing Co., Aliso Viejo
- RA Sushi, Tustin and Huntington Beach
- Bear Flag Fish Company, Newport Beach
- Duke's, Huntington Beach
Judges include a chef from King's Hawaiian and Coach Oyama, a Hawaii-born MMA coach who owns Team Oyama fitness club in Irvine.
Along with poke tastings from the 15 competitors, there will be food samples from 15 other local Hawaiian/Asian restaurants and a performance by the Kahurangi Maori Dance Co. of New Zealand. Tickets are $50 (and will increase as the event nears), and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Rell Sunn Educational Fund.
Click here for tickets and more details. See you there!