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    What’s on the menu for Pechanga Resort Casino’s Sushi and Sake Festival
    • April 5, 2023

    The Sushi and Sake festival is headed back to Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula on Saturday, April 8.

    Guests can expect to sample more than 40 kinds of sake including daiginjo, ginjo, junmai and sparkling varieties, as well as eight different types of Japanese beer.

    Ray Jalili, manager at Umi Sushi and Oyster Bar on the property, has previously worked on pairing wine and food for other events, but said that pairing sushi with sake provides a unique experience.

    “It’s more about trying to pair it with the different rolls because you have more flavor combinations,” Jalili said. “Sake is a wonderful medium because you have a citrusy and flowery tone that goes with most fish.”

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    Jalili said some fresh-cut fish dishes include sashimi tuna, yellow tail and Hamachi Crudo. Attendees will also witness a 100-pound tuna fish cut and sliced into sushi rolls by Kiyo Ikeda, head chef of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.

    “Guests should come hungry and ready to enjoy lots of sushi, sake and Japanese beer together and see what appeals to them,” Jalili said.

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    The event also includes live music from a traditional Japanese Taiko drummer, a Japanese guitarist and a harpist, as well as a silent auction that will benefit Habitat For Humanity Inland Valley. Items up for auction include travel packages, designer handbags and sports memorabilia.

    Tickets for the 21-and-older only, single-day event held at the Pechanga Summit include a sampling of sushi, sake, beer and desserts and are $120 for general admission; $160 for VIP; and $75 for those sampling food only.

    Here’s a list of the different stations and food options offered at the Sushi and Sake Festival.

    Yasai Station (Vegetables):

    Asparagus gomaae served with sesame dressing; Kinoko oroshi with wild mushrooms served with grated daikon, ponzu and truffle oil; and Nasu agebitash, a crispy eggplant marinated in dashi soy with ginger, green onion and sesame oil.

    Zensai Station (Appetizers):

    Buta shabu shabu pork with cucumber, celery, shiso and ginger vinegar; Takoyaki (octopus ball) with green onion, itoyori bonito & okonomi sauce; Yakitori chicken with spinach; and Crispy wakasagi with kaiware, smoked paprika and sansho pepper and salt.

    Hibachi Station:

    Scallops with pea shoots, bean sprouts and ginger sauce; Shrimp with pea shoots, bean sprouts and ginger sauce; Wagyu striploin with Napa cabbage, ponzu and yakiniku sauce.

    Shokuji Station (Hearty Snacks):

    Soy ramen with pork, fish cake, green onion, garlic & green onion oil; Salmon teriyaki rice with micro chive and shiroteriyaki takuan; and Gyudon served with rice and beef.

    Sushi Station:

    Sashimi plate served with toro, tuna, salmon & yellow tail; Spicy tuna rolls; California rolls; and vegetable rolls.

    Sushi and Sake Festival

    When: 11 a.m. for VIP and 1 p.m. for general admission Saturday, April 8

    Where: Pechanga Summit, 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula

    Tickets: $120 general admission; $160 VIP; $75 food-only (no alcohol) tickets are available at

    ​ Orange County Register