With the huge poke (pronounced “PO-keh”) craze going on right now all across LA — you know, those yummy Hawaiian-inspired sashimi bowls usually served with rice or salad — you’d think downtown’s hot South Park district would’ve gotten its own dedicated poke shop a whole lot sooner. Well, one is finally opening later this year under the posh apartment tower at 8th and Hope. As a huge poke fan, this will be a very welcome addition to the neighborhood adding to a much needed diversity of food options that’s slowly coming together here in downtown.
The new poke shop will be called Hoke Poke (pronounced “HO-keh-PO-keh”) and will be in a 1,200 square foot space sandwiched in between the uber popular Philz Coffee and Jersey Mike’s Subs along 8th Street. I was told Hoke Poke is slated to be a slightly different concept from the usual poke places popping up around the region with a combination of Hawaiian, Japanese and California flavors and ingredients.
“You can choose from our renowned poke chef’s signature bowls, ‘How do you want it’ bowls, poke burritos, and hand rolls,” explained Hoke Poke co-owner Darin Barton. “Think Sweetgreen meets Sugarfish.”
You’ll be able to choose from a variety of fish like salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and albacore (I am really hoping they’ll add scallops and octopus to the menu) that will go over green bamboo rice, quinoa, or baby kale (I’m also hoping they add sticky white rice). In addition, you can include some other healthier add-ons like fruits, vegetables, and spices.
And because the owners wanted to keep the business local, their designer for the store is downtown-based STUDIOUNLTD, which is best known for designing Bestia in the Arts District.
Hoke Poke is hoping to begin store build out in May (depending on securing plan check with the city), and opening by the late summer.