10 Poke Places Doing More Than Just Killer Poke
Some of the Best Poke Spots in Orange County... and Beyond
Written by: Wilder Shaw | 100eats
It’s definitely no secret that we are in the midst of a #pokexplosion. But fear not; this is a good thing. The more poke spots that open, the more opportunities you have to stuff your face with delicious, fresh fish. Here are some of the best spots whippin’ up killer poke... as well as other unique and tasty things, too.
Orange County, CA
Cubed rocks a big menu full of house creations, like the Yuzu Kisu Bowl (with fresh salmon, yuzu dressing, mango salsa, masago, edamame and chopped green onions over shredded cabbage) or the the PCH (with ponzu-marinated tuna, mango salsa, corn, green onions, and sesame seeds over hand-cut taro chips). But they don't just rock because of their Hawaiian style Poke bowls. They’ve also got a variety of specialty musubis (like egg, bacon, & cheese as well as chicken tonkatsu with pickled radish). Wash whatever you may choose down with one of their authentic Hawaiian sodas or iced-tea. Basically what we’re saying is that you need to be there right this very minute.
Santa Ana, CA
If you’re sick of always having to get your poke on top of boring old white rice, don’t worry, MAR has you covered. Feel free to skip the white rice and pop your fish on top of a zucchini noodles & carrot base. And go ahead and grab a couple dozen side snacks while you’re there - like their fresh ceviche, a coconut shrimp taco, or even a surf ‘n turf quesadilla. OH yeah, and did we mention the Poke Fries? Fresh meets fried food in perfect harmony. Doesn't get much better than that.
Santa Ana, CA
You know when you’re in Chipotle and you’re like, “This is great, but where’s all the raw fish?” Well, it’s at Poke-Ria, which is a build-your-own-poke-bowl bar. You’ll feel the Chipotle vibes when you load up your fish with tasty sides like roasted Peruvian corn and yuzu spray. Not feeling the standard poke vibe? Don’t you fret; they’ve got ceviche as well.
Okay okay okay, you’re watching your carbs, whatever. At PokiNometry, you’ve got more than just rice to cradle your fish. Feel free to stick your poke on a base of chips or a wrap. There isn’t a soul that’s gone wrong with a delicious poke wrap, especially when you have fish options like octopus and scallops. If only I had studied PokiNometry in school.
Los Angeles, CA
The poke craze in California has gotten so nuts that you’ll find a ton of spots charging an arm and a leg - because, ya know, people will pay it. It’s nice to know that Wiki Poki has our backs with some of the cheapest poke you can find, and without a single shred of quality sacrifice. Build yourself a multi-fish bowl full of as many toppings you can, and don’t even worry about it; it’s all under ten bucks. And $2 musubi? Yes please.
Santa Monica, CA
It’s hard to argue that any poke place in Los Angeles could possibly top Sweetfin. Everything is nutso-out-of-this-world quality, from the fish (tuna, salmon, albacore, and snapper) right down to the bases (bamboo rice, kelp noodle/cucumber slaw, and citrus kale). Mix and match your perfect bowl, then definitely grab a side of their furikake popcorn, and wash it down with a glass of their many house-infused iced teas.
Ain’t no poke you ever had that melts in your mouth the way the poke at Ono Seafood does. This family-owned spot has been crushing it island-style for years now. Their spicy ahi will rock your world (in a good way). Their shoyu is heaven, and if tuna isn’t your jam, plunge your face into a bowl of their octopus poke. You’ll be glad you did.
South Maui Fish Co.
We all know Hawaii is poke haven. If you find yourself on Maui, you’ll want to take a trip to the South Maui Fish Company - AKA a little cart near the beach. The fish is so fresh that whatever you eat was probably swimming around that morning. Make sure you order yourself a side of their coconut slaw to add that extra island kick. Aloha indeed.
New York City, NY
Wisefish is the brainchild of two friends whose love of poke gave birth to this laid back little shop in Chelsea. Their build-your-own-bowl system will hook you up with all kinds of goodies (like sea beans and the most picturesque masago you’ve ever laid eyes on). You can also pop your bad-boy of a creation right on top a base of zucchini noodles if you’re not feeling like rice. And be sure to grab a side snack of their house crab salad or seaweed salad. Wisefish is a wise choice.
Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max
Sure, Sam Choy’s poke truck will have you crying tears of happiness when you bite into their super authentic Hawaiian poke, but go ahead and take a gander at his “Reconstructed Musubi” - glazed spam, scrambled egg frittata, furikake, and rice wrapped in roasted seaweed and finished with creamy aioli, scallions, eel sauce, and sesame seeds. Not a spam lover? No problem, you can get down on their very banh mi-esque “Shrimp Love Boat Sandwich”, with panko-breaded popcorn shrimp, slaw, house-pickled veggies, spicy aioli drizzle, and cilantro on a Vietnamese baguette. Or just order everything on the menu. Why not?
Wilder Shaw is a Los Angeles based food writer who is probably eating poke right now. Argue about the pronunciation with him on Twitter at @WilderShaw_ and Instagram at @wildershaw.