Best Places to Enjoy Poké Bowl in Boston Right Now


Poké-City image provided

The bouquet craze took a few years to sweep Boston, but now the Hawaiian raw fish dish is no longer new to the West Coast. Influenced by Japanese and Korean cuisine, traditional bokeh features cubed raw fish on a bed of white rice with a light dressing of soy sauce, sesame seeds, and perhaps a few cubes of avocado. Modern day vessels, however, tend to favor the cap; Many quick, casual bouquet bars offer at least a dozen topping options, from seaweed salad to wasabi peas, and enough sauces to satisfy every flavor preference. If this more customizable sushi cousin isn’t part of your weekly lunch rotation, consider this a sign that it should be. Whether you prefer tuna, salmon, or even simply prepared tofu or with all the toppings, we’ve put together a list of stores that will make bouquet your way.

Banyan Bar + Shelter

Chef Philip Tang describes Hawaii as a “melting pot of Asian cuisine,” so it’s fitting that he serves up the signature snacks of Banyan’s island chain, where the menu includes Chinese, Japanese and Korean influences. Tang chooses diced ahi tuna to take in the classic Hawaiian dish, dressed with fiery sambal, fresh avocado slices, and a sweet and sticky glaze that will leave you scraping the bowl to lick every last drop. For added acidity and crunch, the meal also includes pickled red cucumber, carrots, and edamame. We’re all for building your own dishes, but in this case, we’d be happy to let Chef Tang take the lead.

553 Tremont Street, Boston, 617-556-4211, banyanboston.com.

hometown poke

Photography by Maya Alderman

Hometown Café and Bouquet Bar

This is based on Providence spur A spot that serves Boston patrons with its beloved food truck, which is setting up shop by Rowes Wharf Plaza and Massachusetts General Hospital. There you’ll find bowls stocked with your choice of protein, as well as a mix of homemade sauces and toppings like garlic flakes. For a great treat, indulge in a bowl of Jalapeño Shrimp Topped with sriracha aioli. Don’t feel fishy? Try the Veggie Works platter instead; Made with organic tofu and finished with a ginger-shoyu sauce, the bowl is a hearty mix of carrot, kale, seaweed salad, and more.

Hours of Operation: 11 AM – 2 PM, Tuesdays, Royce Wharf Plaza, Atlantic Avenue and High St, Boston; and 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Massachusetts General Hospital, 45 Blossom Street, Boston, hometownpoke.com.

Kimchibaby

photo by kibsta

Kimchipapi . Kitchen

Inspired by his mother’s Korean restaurant Wuchon House, Joon “Kimchipapi” Son opened his own kitchen in 2018 to honor his mother’s legacy of cooking and street food in South Korea. Besides eating classic roadside food like ddukbokki (rice cakes and fish cakes topped with gochujang sauce) and delicious Korean corn dogs coated with French fries, Son also serves up loaded bouquet platters. Choose a plate of kimchibabe or kimchimama on a bed of sushi rice with all the trimmings, or make a custom bowl with your choice of raw salmon, spicy crab salad, tofu, or shredded beef. If you decide to customize, be sure to choose at least two types of sauces ( Spicy mayonnaise and eels, perhaps?) for the perfect flavor-filled bouquet.

81 Harvard Ave., Allston, 617-208-8005, kimchipapi.com.

Manoa Book Shop

Things were looking bleak for Somerville poké after a short closure It’s 2019, but we’re excited to report that Manoa is back and brighter than ever. This lunch place is only open on weekends, so if you want to disrupt a team member Signature tuna and salmon dishes dipped in a Liliko’s homemade hot sauce, it’s best to get there early. The second time you walk through the door, you’ll be greeted with murals of Hawaiian plants and a table filled with colorful ornaments and shimmering raw fish cubes. Ahi shoyu bouquet, for example, is seasoned with tamari and dipped in thin slices of sweet onion, which add a nice crunch to the fluffy bowls of manua rice. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, go for the spicy salmon bouquet – which gets a kick out of kim chi aioli – or the Samoan-style yellowfin bouquet as it swims in a pool of coconut milk, spiced with chili. Come hungry and go with a nice bang for your buck.

300 Beacon Street, Somerville, 617-945-1042, manua.

ONO Bukebar

ONO is one of the newest additions to Boston’s bokeh scene and has already established itself as a local favourite. Tucked under bustling Japanese noodles worth a separate trip, the unassuming restaurant boasts plenty of seating if you have time for a relaxing lunch. The house’s ONO bowl comes with three types of protein – salmon, tuna, and shrimp – and features the restaurant’s signature mayonnaise sauce, crunchy onions, and long spring onion sprigs for garnish. We are also big fans of spinning around in the restaurant On a plate of classic Hawaiian salmon and a bowl of tuna bouquet, complete with orange slices and a sprinkle of crispy rice. While you can create your own dish, we prefer letting the experts make the decisions here; All of their curated options are instantly available.

1923A Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-1281, onopokebarcambridge.com.

poke by love art

The Love Art restaurant group has already been involved in sushi and udon (RIP Love Art Udon), and now they are dealing with the art of bokeh dishes. Their rotating dishes range from the sesame-marinated tuna dish with the house-Make unagi (eel) sauce and a scoop of mac salad—a staple Hawaiian lunch—in a spicy salmon bowl sprinkled with nori furikaki seasoning, black lava salt, and chili flakes for some texture. When it comes to personalizing your meal, try the pineapple aioli and garlic ponzu sauces, which complement the spicy tuna and salmon rich in sriracha. Before you head back to the office or set up your WFH with your bokeh masterpiece, be sure to order the lilikoi (passion fruit) fresca for a refreshing sip between bites.

103 Beverly Street, Boston, 617-588-0889, poke-by-love-art.square.site.

Bucky City

Poké dishes tend to be on the pricier side, but thankfully, this downtown bokeh shop offers reasonably priced dishes that don’t skimp on the toppings. With each bowl under $14, it’s hard to resist turning Poké-City into a weekly brunch habit. Here you’ll find all the typical shoyu tuna and spicy salmon, plus some surf and veggie bowls in case you’re worried about how much raw fish you’ve been eating lately. If you decide to make your own, substitute white rice for zucchini noodles for an extra crunchy (and yes, healthy) meal; Pasta tastes great with Poké-City Ginger Sesame Aioli. If cutting your lunch budget is the goal, Poké City offers a snack-size bowl for less than $7 so you don’t have to sacrifice your taste for store-bought, sad salads you left in the office fridge.

1722 Broad Street, Boston, 857-233-2260, poke-city.com.

Bocorks

We don’t often recommend national chains, but in the case of Pokeworks, we’ll make an exception. The California-based eatery made waves in New York City with its then-revolutionary burritos, but the team’s Hawaiian-inspired dishes — which, in addition to the usual proteins, can be made with crab, chicken, and tofu — are anything but tempting. A yuzu-ponzo salmon bowl, for example, is a great option if you don’t have time to discuss the intricacies of custom sauce pairings. If you’re not in the mood for starchy rice, order the salad bowl filled with crunchy romaine and springtime mix. Bonus: For a franchise, Pokeworks is very good at serving large portions, so if you don’t finish your meal, you can save it for a late-night snack.

1440 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-441-2999, pokeworks.com.

Tora Japanese Restaurant

This intimate Japanese sushi restaurant serves freshly baked bouquet until 4pm Monday through Friday, so if you’re looking for a quick place to meet a co-worker/friend/prospective client for a snack, this little restaurant downstairs is sure to impress. TORA offers eight different types of bouquet that feature familiar fish proteins and less typical options including octopus, shrimp, and masago (smelling roe). Order your regular favourites or branch out with desserts Ginger-salmon bouquet, topped with peach and crunchy rice. Do you want more heat? try the Korean Chili Bouquet, Chilled With A Side Of Seaweed Salad And Pickled Ginger. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?

20 B Tyler Street, Boston, 617-542-6688, toraboston.com.

Waikiki Poké, sushi, bubble tea and juices

Kitschy-themed, tropical-fruity decor covers this refreshing brunch spot, but in all honesty, it only adds to the charm. Decision-colored with thin slices of radish, cucumber, and avocado spread out to look like roses, huge Waikiki bouquet bowls are stacked with marbled salmon cubes and chunks of bright pink tuna that taste so fresh, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught that morning. Unlike some quickie stores, Waikiki doesn’t skimp on portions and lets you choose two to three proteins, plus up to 10 blends per order. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of filling your bowl with as many delicious toppings as possible, but a word to the wise: less is more. You’ll likely swing by this Davis Square store frequently anyway, so you might as well leave yourself something to look forward to next time.

27 Holland Street, Somerville, 617-764-1743, waikiki-poke-bar.business.site.

Yuki Express

When bokeh stores offer so many toppings and mixes, sometimes the runners end up Drowning in the flavor of fresh fish – the real star of the show. This is certainly not the case at Yōki Express, where quality prevails over quantity. Here you’ll find tuna bowls with a light drizzle of sweet soy sauce and spicy mayonnaise, plus fresh greens that don’t give in to a succulent sauce. Yōki dishes are a return to form, in a sense, since traditional bokeh began as wrapped on small Japanese sashimi. However, Yōki’s house dishes offer plenty of flourish. If you love to decorate your bouquet, the restaurant offers plenty of delicious options, especially in the sauce department. For a sweeter flavour, opt for the mango-pineapple salsa. Meanwhile, the folks at Team Savory should order a creamy sesame sauce and a dash of sriracha mayonnaise.

53 Boston Wharf Rd, Boston, 857-263-7418, yokiexpress.com.


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