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Food & Drink

Rawest New Food Trend 

Poke

The island trend of Hawaiian-style poke, or raw fish/seafood dressed with a variety of sauces and fresh toppings, has been kicking around the West Coast mainland for a while, particularly in Los Angeles, where its lean protein-rich nature is a big hit with the diet and camera conscious. It has been available in San Francisco for a long time at places like Blue Hawaii in Embarcadero Center, a cafe that also was an early local adopter of serving acai bowls, but it's only recently that it has started to gain steam as a movement, with two new places leading the pack and more to follow before the end of the year.

The quick and delicious salad bar setup at Poki Time in the Inner Sunset has been a quick hit with UCSF workers and neighborhood residents who are already well known to love Asian flavors. Protein choices include crab meat, yellowtail, salmon, and tuna, with more than a dozen possible toppings to add, from fried onions and mango to corn and seaweed salad. They're smart enough to offer mochi for dessert, too.

The even newer I'A Poke is capitalizing on two fun foods, poke bowls and "sushi burritos," which are essentially long, uncut sushi rolls that can be customized with seafood and veggies. Here the variety of proteins includes octopus and shrimp, salmon and three kinds of tuna, plus extra creative add-ons like sundried tomato guacamole.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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