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Jan 9, 2012 09:35 AM

Japanese Food and Sake Festival 2012

Has anybody been to this event? The tickets are pretty pricey, but I've been told the Japanese food (sushi and sake) there is as legit as it gets in the states. I'm planning on checking it out but I was hoping you other hounds have been there and can give me some personal view on it.

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  1. I really want to know as well.

    1. Here's the link for this year. Wow. If it's legit - it looks pretty awesome.

      1. Looks like they've held several previous events: (see "Activities" section)

        exilekiss* provided a very detailed report on the 2009 event:

        If it's anything like the 2009 event, it sounds very worthwhile.

        * exilekiss is a hound extraordinaire who sadly hasn't posted since last March. :(

        1. wow, holy crap exilekiss had an awesome write up. they also seem to have a facebook page that is doing a giveaway for a pair of free tickets by posting a comment and liking the page for a chance to win.

          i hope the matcha booth will be there.

          1. I have been to this event a few times in the past, and each year it is a little less worthwhile. There are a lot of sake a beer vendors, so you can get plenty to drink, and you can get an education on the styles of sake available. I had some really lovely beers there as well, one was a sweet potato base that was not available through retail.

            The food offerings are so-so. There are a few places that set up boots and provide tastes, a'la taste of LA. These can range from so-so to quite good. There are also prepared foods on display, so you can get tastes of packaged ramen, miso, etc.

            In the past, the event has been split between an industry event and a consumer event. There were a lot of vendors who were targeting restaurants and distributors only. I scored a bag of frozen real wasabi from one vendor who was looking to get his product into sushi bars. The beer vendor I mentioned before was looking for distribution deals. There was a machine on display one year that packaged individual pieces of sushi, cool, but useless for the home chef. Then you have restaurants looking for business, a lot of travel offers to Japan, tourism reps from some cities, things like that.

            All the times I went, I was able to go gratis because of a friend who owned a restaurant. It was well worth it for free. I would not pay $50 or so for a ticket though. I would rather use the money for a decent dinner at a good sushi bar (OK, part of a dinner).

            2 Replies
            1. re: ocshooter

              I totally agree with this post... we went the first three years and it was an amazing event the first two. Great fresh food, neat exhibits and the freebies were impressive! But it suffered the same fate as the Tofu festival. The crowd got bigger and the quality suffered. Gone was the afternoon where I ate several times my $60 worth of Uni. Then came the long lines for a tiny wedge of okonomiyaki...

              Still, I certainly hope that since taking a few years off, they pull of a great event!



              1. re: ocshooter

                Thanks ocshooter for the info. If I go, i shouldn't expect a free food fest, but for the small wedges of sample food, I should expect quality Japanese taste. I think I can live with that.


                they're still offering free tickets on their facebook page if anyone is on the fence and want to score some free tickets.