Sushi & Sake Keep Festival Season in Full Swing at Pechanga

Sashimi available for the taking at the 2019 Sushi & Sake Festival at Pechanga.

TEMECULA, Calif. – (Dec. 9, 2019) – Festival tickets can make great gifts for the holidays. Passes to the 2nd annual Pechanga Sushi & Sake Festival prove a tasty ticket for foodie fans on the holiday gift list. Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for an afternoon filled with premium Japanese sake, house-made sushi by master Pechanga chefs, a silent auction, and live music. Tickets go on sale Thursday, December 12, and may be purchased at the Pechanga Box Office, by calling (877) 711-2946 or online at Proceeds from the event benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.

Sake bottles at the 2019 Pechanga Sushi & Sake Festival

For one entry price, guests can taste more than 40 premium sakes (daiginjo, ginjo, junmai and sparkling) including many award-winning brands and styles from all over Japan and around the world. Pechanga chefs get rolled up in the festival as they prepare thousands of fresh sushi pieces to pair with the sake selections. Chefs Kiyo Ikeda, head chef of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, Kok Che, executive sous chef of Pechanga’s Asian restaurants, and Duane Owen, Pechanga Executive Chef, will be on hand to meet with guests, present them with fresh, made-on-site sushi, and share their expert suggestions for matching sushi with sake. Attendees will also find Pechanga’s sommelier, Mark Amodeo, available for questions about what sakes go with what types of foods and why.


A traditional Japanese Taiko drummer, a Japanese guitarist and a “Koto” – Japanese harpist – will set the mood of the festival’s musical interludes for the festival. A silent auction also features sought after gifts such as art, vacation packages and more.

Umi’s head chef, Kiyo Ikeda, cuts a 16-foot sushi roll at the 2019 Pechanga Sushi & Sake Festival

VIP tickets are $150 and include early entry at 12 p.m. and a wooden sake holder and cup. Designated driver VIP tickets are $70 and allow access to everything at the festival except sake. General admission tickets are $75 and allow entry at 1 p.m. General admission designated driver tickets are $45. Guests must be 21 or older to attend.

The festival’s idea sprang from the popularity of beer and sake within Southern California, as well as the continued rise of sushi as a mainstay of sought-after fare in America. The 2nd place win for Pechanga’s Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar in USA Today’s Best Casino Restaurant readers’ poll in 2018 also helped cement the festival’s possibility at the Temecula resort/casino.

Proceeds support Habitat For Humanity Inland Valley’s programs that provide housing needs and home repairs to senior citizens and those no longer able to do such work themselves.

The food bites tasting menu and sake selections will be released soon.