BY KAREN SUROS
Listen up, poké fanatics: there is a new spot in town. Pōku has opened up in the Cooper Square plaza, offering a unique poké bowl experience within a serene setting.
The restaurant offers a variety of options for customers ordering bowls. Chef bowls are handcrafted by Executive Chef Isaac Perlman, but customers can create their own bowls with a plethora of ingredients to choose from. Custom bowls start with a base of either white rice, green rice, mixed field baby greens or soba noodles. Next comes the protein, for which the options include salmon, tuna, spicy tuna, tofu and more. Add-ons like edamame, jalapeños, scallions and red onion are available, as are toppings like sesame seeds and sauces like soy sauce and spicy mayo. The options are almost overwhelming, ensuring that there is something for everyone at Pōku.
Of course, quantity does not always mean quality; luckily, the new restaurant simultaneously provides plenty of options and top-notch sustenance. As seen on their website, Pōku prides itself on its fresh, quality ingredients, describing itself as “a healthful chef-driven concept that uses local produce, sustainable fish and innovative ingredients.” Regardless of what the order looks like, it is sure to deliver on Pōku’s promise of high-caliber ingredients that ultimately make for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
Pōku’s entire atmosphere, in fact, seems to welcome customers with its high ceilings, modern look and natural feel.
The incredibly helpful and patient staff makes what could potentially be a nerve-wracking ordering process entirely painless. They are eager to explain Pōku’s philosophy and answer any questions one can think of, especially for first-time customers. The staff goes above and beyond the standards of good service, guaranteeing a positive experience in a friendly environment.
Pōku’s entire atmosphere, in fact, seems to welcome customers with its high ceilings, modern look and natural feel. Succulents and other plants on shelves decorate the clean white walls, making the whole space feel fresh. Pōku is picturesque down to its food, which is beautifully presented especially considering it is plated right in front of clients.
As for the cost of the food, Pōku is reasonably priced, varying on what one’s order looks like. Dishes range from about $12 to $16, so a decision to dine here will not break the bank.
The best part about Pōku’s existence might just be how close it is to CCHS.
Poké has its origins in Native Hawaiian cuisine, traditionally consisting of diced raw fish and a variation of other ingredients. It can be thought of as decompartmentalized sushi, as the two dishes often include the same ingredients. Pōku stays true to poké’s origins, attempting to make the dish as authentically as possible.
The options don’t end at poké; Pōku also offers dessert. What better way is there to follow up a satisfying poké bowl than with ice cream? For lovers of mochi, which are frozen Japanese rice cakes, ice cream flavors come in strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, mango, lychee and green tea. For those who prefer soft serve, there is vanilla, chocolate and matcha to choose from.
The best part about Pōku’s existence might just be how close it is to CCHS. Now, students can look forward to flavorful poké bowls after a long day at school. All they have to do is walk across the street and they will find no end to all the deliciousness Pōku has to offer.
- Friendly, helpful staff.
- Fresh, quality ingredients.
- Calm atmosphere.
- Not the cheapest.
- Picky-eaters may not be a fan of poké.
Photo by Arielle Kraus