Discovering Poke: The Latest Food Craze

So it all started one day when I noticed a grand opening sign in a neighborhood strip center: The Poke House. No description (at least none that I could see as I slowly crawled my car past the establishment to get a better look). Poke. Could it be a cutesy name for an acupuncture practice? No- I spotted tables and chairs through the tinted store windows. A restaurant! Not that there’s any shortage of restaurants in our area. But the site of a new one turns me into a kid on Christmas day. “I can’t wait to try this out!”

And that’s what we did. On the way, my husband and I debated the correct pronunciation of Poke. Poke…Po-kee…? Although a Google search was just a few finger-taps away, we found it more amusing to guess. And poke each other “poke!”. In admitting this story, I reveal our ignorance to an apparent Poke craze (and it’s po-kay, by the way).

Poke, we discovered, is raw fish salad. Raw fish. Salad. A delightful combination, especially to those who have ever wished they could eat a bowl of sushi. Originally a Hawaiian dish, mainland Americans seemed to have put their own spin on it. Doesn’t matter to me. Any restaurant that offers a choice of raw salmon, tuna, or hamachi – marinated in a savory sauce – placed in a bowl of rice, greens, veggies, and more goodness… is poke (po-kay) with me!

So where can you find Poke?

Outside of Hawaii, Poke first became popular in the US in Southern California and is most prevalent on the West Coast. However, you’ll notice Poke restaurants popping up anywhere you can find fresh sushi. Here’s a list of some popular Poke restaurants around the country. Know a Poke spot near you that you like? Let us know in the comments!

Anaheim, CABay Poke
Austin, TXThe Big Kahuna (Food Truck)
Brooklyn, NYOnomea
Chicago, ILAloha Poke Co
Columbus, OHPoke Bros.
Daly City, CAPoki Time
Fort Lauderdale, FLRaw Poke Bar
Lake Forest, CAKikari Poki Bar
Las Vegas, NVSoul Fish Poke
Los Angeles, CAPoke Me
Miami, FLPoke-Che
Philadelphia, PAOishii Poke
Rancho Cucamonga, CAThe Poke Spot
San Diego, CAPacific Poke Company
San Francisco, CAPokihub
Scottsdale, AZPoke Bar
Seattle, WABilly Beach Sushi
Vancouver, BCThe Poke Shop

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