San Diego Poke Company, a popular vendor at the farmers markets, recently opened its first store front, joining the sudden explosion of poke restaurants in San Diego.
When we visited this past weekend, the restaurant was quite packed. After an overview of the menu, it is clear why this poke place has such a large following. In terms of options and customization, San Diego Poke Company is clearly leading the competition. In addition to 8 specialty bowls, they offer 4 bases, 8 proteins, 7 sauces, and whopping a 18 different toppings. The best part is that there is no additional surcharge for any of these. That’s true for even premium toppings like avocado.
Our friends ordered this customized bowl, which I believe had just about every topping except the flaming hot cheetos.
I was afraid to add so many toppings, but this seemed to work. Next time, I need to remember to add garlic chips to mine.
In Love with Koko
Mr. K chose one of the specialty bowls. The bowl comes with shrimp, octopus, scallops, krab meat, cucumber, onions, green onions, tomatoes tossed in Koko Loko sauce. Most poke restaurants only allow the choice of 2-3 proteins per bowl, but San Diego Poke Company allows five for the large bowl. Since this bowl only starts with three, he also picked tuna and salmon for his other two. He also added some additional toppings including edamame beans, avocado and masago eggs.
We’ve never tried their koko loko sauce but we both thought we’d enjoy it since we normally like coconut flavored foods. However, the sauce didn’t quite work for me. The coconut aroma came out a little too strong and didn’t seem to pair very well with the ingredients.
Here is my customized large bowl:
My bowl consisted of brown rice, tuna, salmon, octopus, scallops, Oh No sauce, avocado, green onion, masago, edamame, krab salad, seaweed salad, cucumber. I really enjoyed being able to have a larger variety of fish in my bowl as I always have a hard time picking just two. I was a little surprised that the rice tasted like plain rice that hadn’t been seasoned with vinegar. It was still a tasty bowl and now I think I have a better idea of how I want to customize mine next time.
Li Hing Mango and Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream
For dessert, they also offer Brick’s macaron ice cream sandwiches and Bubbies mochi (a company from Hawaii). I adore Bubbies Mochi and have been getting them often at Whole Foods, but I was excited to see Li Hing Mango, a flavor I haven’t seen at Whole Foods. I love Li Hing powder, made from preserved plums. The salty, tart powder is often sprinkled on fruits to enhance the sweetness of the fruit and it worked just as well on the mango flavored mochi. The bottom mochi is a green tea flavored one.
Overall, we had a good experience here. Out of the three poke places we’ve been to recently (Pokirrito, Poke UTC, San Diego Poke Company), San Diego Poke Company definitely has the most variety and serves up some flavors beyond the traditional. I think all three new businesses are good in their own way and it really just comes down to personal preference. I slightly favor Pokirrito’s flavors, but I’d be happy eating at any of these new spots.