Poke Dot - Irvine
If you're wondering why the heck there are so many poke shops every where these days, you should read an article I wrote about the dude who started it all--Julian Fukue of PokiNometry.
I point this out because it doesn't seem that most people are aware of how these build-your-own-poke shops became such a hot concept, not even a guest on Evan Kleiman's Good Food show on KCRW who was brought on to talk about the proliferation of poke.
As far as that guest was concerned, the spate of poke shops just came down from the Heavens by way of Hawaii as though through Immaculate Conception.
He had no idea that it was Fukue who figured out that poke lends itself well to the Chipotle assembly line concept, and most importantly, that there's a demand for it.
After all, what is a poke bowl if not disassembled sushi that's cheap and filling.
Since PokiNometry invented the concept, I've stayed relatively loyal to it and haven't tried too many of its knock-offs, but if you're going to copy PokiNometry, you can't do it better than Poke Dot.
At Poke Dot, to build your meal, you start with the usual selection of small, medium, and large sizes that comes with two, three, or five scoops of fish (salmon, ahi, yellowtail, shrimp, octopus, scallop, and spicy tuna). For a base: rice, brown rice, salad mix, chips or a wrap.
Then, cucumber, onion, avocado, and crab mix, which--like PokiNometry--are free. Also free: green onion, masago, seaweed flakes, ginger, wasabi, and sesame seeds.
After that, it's off to saucing, which includes a house-blend in various levels of scorch.
I write all of this down to show that like all the other copycats, Poke Dot is doing what PokiNometry does verbatim; but then, Poke Dot goes off and riffs on its own, adding jalapenos, tempura crumbs, and a cilantro dressing.
But the extra options aren't what make Poke Dot great. What makes it great is that Poke Dot's bowl satisfied me as much as anything I ate at PokiNometry--a meal that fulfills my sushi cravings without having to spend sushi dollars.
And as I said, this is exactly why PokiNometry's idea is genius. Just remember who started it all: Julian Fukue, the Ray Croc of poke.
17921 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92614
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