I was fortunate enough to be invited to yet another great Pechanga Festival: the Inaugural Sake & Beer & Sushi Festival and this first time event had absolutely zero "beginners mistakes" .
Many first time festivals spend their first couple of times working out the inefficiencies and mistakes, but with the extensive long term experience that the staff at Pechanga has producing these events, you could tell they came right out of the gate with a perfectly produced event.
This festival was held in a different conference center room than the previous food and drink festival- I didn't know Pechanga had so many conference rooms available. If you are planning your own private event, you might want to check in and see what Pechanga can do for yours....
We arrived at 1 (the VIP entry was at noon), and we got right in and immediately started experiencing all the was to offer: food, drink, music, culture and more!
The large stage in the back of the room had a steady amount of performances. My favorite was the drum expedition.
We started our "tasting" with the Sake. The first thing I learned is that I knew nothing about sake! I have clearly been missing out as previously I've always just ordered the "house sake" whenever I was dining. Now I feel much more educated knowing how great daiginjo, ginjo, junmai and sparkling sakes can be. The pics below of some of my favorites.
In the center of the room there was a large area with sushi on one side and sashimi on the other- all fresh and tasty and high quality. I could have just loaded up my plate and spent the rest of my time there, but there was so much more to experience.
One side note: I forgot to take a picture , but the coconut Nigori was my single favorite beverage of the day.
In the center area of the room you could learn how to make sushi as they had experts conducting classes. If you think making good sushi yourself is easy...it's not..I know from personal experience. Learn from the experts....or just go to Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar at Pechanga and enjoy how the experts create......
The bento was delicious and we even found some Japanese caviar.
We actually filled ourselves up with food and drink to the point of taking a rest in the center area, where there were plenty of tables and chairs. We met new friends (in the photo below), and as we talked about what a great time we were having we were approached and served more sake, topping off what was an amazing experience. I'm not sure how Pechanga could do a better job for the 2nd Sake and Beer Festival...but I can tell you for sure, I'll be back to find out!
Next festival to put on your calendar at Pechanga: The 11th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Fest & Chili Cook-off Saturday, June 15
I'll see you there!