I Love Poke Festival OC

Ready for a culinary vacation? Sometimes you don’t have to fly to paradise to surround yourself with island vibes and tastes. Last weekend, I got to experience ONO YUM’s I Love Poke event in Orange County, and got to try the BEST poke prepared by award-winning chefs! With the poke bowl craze taking over southern California by storm, I was super excited to expand my knowledge about how poke is actually crafted. There are so many other ways to eat and enjoy raw fish, poke style. The event took place in Irvine Hotel’s backyard. It was such a fun place to chill, play lawn games and enjoy all the food samples. The venue even looked like Hawaii, with lush tropical plants and palm trees around the perimeter. Each ticket cost $75, which included unlimited tastes from over 20 vendors.

Throughout the day, there was live music, performances and poke demonstrations on the center stage. There was also a panel of judges that got to decide which chef took home the title of Best Poke!

Foodland vendors filled the outdoor section, so we decided to try some dishes out before getting poke inside. Our first stop was the Pocky booth! We got to sample different and unique flavors of Pocky, I liked the corn flavored one a lot surprisingly. L&L Irvine had mini saimin bowls, my favorite comfort food.

Next we entered the Pokeland section, there were tables and tables of poke samples, it felt like foodie heaven. Each vendor had a unique take on their poke, no two dishes were the same. Each table we visited was a new experience in presentation and taste. Each explosion of flavor represented their restaurants well, props to all the amazing chef's for all their hard work! We stopped by Zarlitos from San Diego, their spicy garlic poke was my absolute fave!

Next we caught Sushi Studio Arts arranging their samples on skateboard decks! Loved their presentation and their ahi tuna poke was so delicious. Next we had Poke OG and their refreshing watermelon and poke with cucumber.

ILNLYF Foods served their poke in mini coconut shells. They definitely brought island flavor to OC!

Here are more shots from all the other vendors, notice how fresh and vibrant the dishes look!
To top off all the poke, we indulged in pineapple flavored cotton candy and Rainbow Shave Ice with condensed milk drizzle from Hula Girls! The perfect way to end the day.

Overall, I loved everything about this festival, the ambiance, the music, the food and especially the people. Everybody lived and breathed poke and the Hawaiian lifestyle. I had such an amazing time, I’ll definitely be visiting some of the shops when the festival is over for a full bowl of poke. Till next year!

Life is Brewtiful ♡ // OC Beer and Music Festival


Cheers to good music an amazing pours! This weekend I attended Orange County Beer and Music Festival, hosted by Rockstar Beer. It was a half outdoor and half indoor event at the National City Grove of Anaheim. There are two ticket tiers, GA and VIP. Thank you to Rockstar Beer for sending us some VIP tickets which got us in an hour early before GA. We got a ride to the event, which is a smart thing to do if you plan on taking advantage of the unlimited samples. Entry was quick and efficient! Once you get past security, they give you a small cup for your beer samples.

My favorites of the night were The Honey and Pineapple Cider from ACE and The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewery! I went back to grab some more, but they ran out by the end of the night. I actually went to Total Wine and More and bought some bottles the next day. 

There were a lot of popular local breweries pouring their top drafts, with a wide variety too. I saw IPAs, stouts, ales, everything along the beer spectrum. There were over 100 different types of beers to taste, so if you’re not quite a beer expert yet, this is the perfect place to learn. Once you’ve tried them all, rule out your favorite and keep coming back for more!  For those champs that know their beer, they also had high alcohol content kombucha and some sprit samples. Don’t forget to eat too, they had a few food trucks and a booth that sold pretzel necklaces and water bottles.

Do you remember that band from our childhood that sings “My Own Worst Enemy”? They were headlining the event! Lit was a huge surprise because I didn’t know they were still around, but they’re still rocking  out and creating new music. They had multiple bands playing throughout the night and the concert hall had easy in and out access. It wasn’t a problem if you wanted to head outside to grab a beer sample, and them come back in when you were done.

Overall, it was an amazing event. When you combine craft beer and incredible music, you’re definitely going to have a great time! Music and free unlimited samples are included in the ticket price so it’s definitely worth it. Be sure to check out Rockstar Beer’s website to see if they have any festivals coming to your hometown!