Poke, with its Hawaiian ethos, fresh flavors and ability to fit perfectly into a bowl, has grabbed diners’ attention in the last year, and it’s a safe bet for next year, too, as new concepts are just beginning to explore where one can go with poke and ceviche as well.
In Fort Lauderdale, the Poke House, a fast-casual eatery led by former director of SBE Hospitality Memphis Garrett, is bringing the healthy, fresh, affordable poke trend to South Florida by taking the Hawaiian tradition in a new direction. Your basic poke bowl consists of sushi-grade tuna in soy and sesame over rice.
But at the Poke House, it’s all about customization: Choose your protein (tuna, salmon, hamachi or tofu), base (white rice, quinoa or kale) and then things really get deeply interesting with more than 20 sauces and toppings, including aji Amarillo lime, chipotle mayo, crispy lotus, black radish and more. Plus, there are composed bowls for those opting out of DIY, and each is inspired by a different region, such as the Venice Beach Cali bowl with fish marinated in salsa verde and served with avocado, baby heirloom tomato, lotus and nori. Other regions are as far-flung as Florida, Peru and Korea.
Similar flights of fresh fish fancy are happening across the country at Como Ceviche, which made a big splash opening last month in San Diego’s East Village. The focus is on including all sorts of international takes on ceviche.
Ceviche hits a lot of customers’ cravings all the same time, says co-owner William Lopez.
“Ceviche is a versatile dish that answers the call from consumers who’ve been leaning towards food that’s nutritious, sustainable and authentic,” Lopez says.