Poke Guys is where to go for the poke bowls a short walk from City Hall. You basically have three options here: build your own poke bowl (starting at $9), get a pre-selected signature bowl (starting at $10), or 'just poke' starting at $11.
Johnny Chan, co-founder of the store, says that in Hawaii, most people eat their poke straight up. The fish is marinated and is sometimes accompanied by some veggies. That's it. No carbs and no other accoutrements.
How can I refuse the opportunity to eat like a true Hawaiian? I opt for a poke serving of the Spicy Shoyu Salmon. Fresh cuts of salmon are marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, red chili, garlic, and served with cuts of cucumbers and onions. It's a refreshing dish and good option for anyone who is carb-conscious.
The more conventional Cali's Bowl is the house special and comes with shoyu-coated salmon, masago, edamame, pickled red ginger, and garnished with sesame seeds on a bed of white rice. The ginger provides a nice exclamation marks to the subtle flavour of the fish.
The PG's Bowl is a mixture of salmon and ahi tuna, along with crab meat, masago, sliced avocados, pickled red ginger and white rice with sesame seeds. This feels like a more substantial dish than the Cali Bowl so would work better for those with a big appetite.
It's probably worth mentioning that you can always add extra toppings (+50 cents each) or sauce (free) or even garnishes (also free!) to your bowl. I recommend the togarashi sauce - it'll elevate the creaminess of any bowl to another level.
Vegetarians aren't left out of the fun here. The Vegetarian Bowl mixes tofu in a shoyu marinade with seaweed salad, grape tomatoes, clementines, and avocado on a bed of brown rice, topped with sesame.
To drink, try the 'Exotic Juices' ($2), which are actually Philippine brand fruit drinks. My pick is the 4 Seasons variety, which is essentially a tropical fruit punch. It's a bit sweet but seems to work well with the food offered here.
Posted by Darren "DKLo" Susilo. When not writing for blogTO he can usually be found tweeting here or delaying mealtimes indefinitely by posting pictures here . Photos by Hector Vasquez.