Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mainland Poke


Poke is a wonderful thing that hails from a wonderful place: Hawaii! There are all kinds of poke, but when I hear the word, I think of raw tuna marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil on top of rice. I was so happy to eat poke while in Hawaii where supermarkets have dedicated poke "counters," much like deli or seafood sections. It is a beautiful thing to behold, all the different poke choices before you (memories!!). Poke is riding a big popularity wave right now in LA and I am pretty thrilled because it is a more affordable option to take care of those sushi cravings! Also, I’ve been trying to think of different ways to eat fish after hearing a piece on NPR last year (I think it was this one.).

I recently stopped in at Mainland Poke and tried the lu’au bowl with octopus, tuna and salmon; the pieces were not marinated, but a sauce of your choosing is added (I got the spicy shoyu). I also added tobiko because I cannot resist fish roe. The bowl turned out quite good and made me a happy camper. It was about $12 and, considering the quality of the fish, I thought it was worth it. The shop is small and very casual (like a sandwich shop where you pick and choose as you move down the line) with some counter seats and a few tables outside.

Parting thoughts: to me, any poke shop outside of Hawaii may come close, but will not be the real thing. The way I look at it, even with the best ingredients, the missing component would be Hawaii (the sand, the beautiful water, the relaxed state of happiness that occurs when you are there). It just won’t be the same. But, if you can’t go to Hawaii, let it come to you (sort of) by eating (sushi-grade) poke wherever you can find it! If interested, you can read more about poke over at Bon Appetit.

Mainland Poke
8312 1/2 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 234-8800