San Diego's I Love Poke Festival Returns To Bali Hai For 7th Year This May 24

April 19, 2016

San Diego’s 7th Annual I Love Poke Festival and food competition returns to Bali Hai on Tuesday, May 24, from 6-9pm to celebrate Hawaiian culture and cuisine, featuring a poke dishes from an incredible lineup of restaurants, plus island-inspired tastes, music and more. This year’s tasting event will not only feature 30 of San Diego’s top chefs and restaurants, but will have, for the first time, Pokeland competitors from both Hawaii and Australia. Tickets to this event always sell out well ahead of time, so be sure to act fast!

Poke (pronounced 'po-KAY') means to cut or slice. It is a Hawaiian delicacy traditionally made with raw ahi bluefin tuna, cut into cubes and lightly seasoned with any number of preferential ingredients, including seaweed, soy sauce and onion, among others.

The I Love Poke Festival is broken up into two sections - Pokeland, where 12-15 chefs compete for the “Best Poke” crown, and Foodland, a place for attendees to sample Hawaiian and Asian inspired food from 15 or more additional restaurants.

Who will be this year's Poke Champion?
At Pokeland, expect samplings from some of San Diego's top chefs and restaurants. Guest judges will crown the poke champion, while live music entertains guests at the Bali Hai Restaurant’s outdoor, waterfront setting. Pokeland competition participants include The Safehouse, Tom Ham's Lighthouse, Bay Park Fish Company, Bali Hai, Ocean Pacific Grille, San Diego Poke Company, JRDN at Tower23 Hotel, La Valencia Hotel and more.

In addition, there will also be food samplings from at least 15 San Diego restaurants providing bites inspired by the tropics. The variety of sweet and savory tasters include SuperNatural Sandwiches, Zarlitos, Hodad's, Tajima, Hammond's Ice Cream and others.

“It’s going to be another delicious San Diego event,” said Nino “Neens” Camilo, producer of I Love Poke and founder of ONO YUM (formerly​. “The chefs are excited and eager to compete, and they’ve already taken to social media to scope out their competition - it’s all in the name of good food and good fun!”

Since 2009, I Love Poke has grown from a San Diego event to include a festival in Orange County and an upcoming offshoot in San Francisco. Combined, the annual events attract more than 1,300 attendees, and tickets always sell out. This year’s event will also benefit the San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House, specifically the families from Hawaii that travel to San Diego seeking much needed medical attention for their children.
Tickets to I Love Poke are available online for $75 and include unlimited food samplings. Bali Hai will also be serving their famous Mai Tai's and a full cash bar. Drinks are not included in price of admission.

Bali Hai Restaurant is located at 2230 Shelter Island Dr. Get your tickets before the event inevitably sells out! For more information, visit and check out the promotional video below.