Pasadena: Trendy Food Alert at Poke Salad Bar
Poke Salad Bar in Old Town Pasadena happened to be open on July 4 while nearby Spinfish Poke House was closed. Otherwise I may have gone on a mini poke crawl. LA’s latest trendy food is everywhere and it did sound like a great lunch idea since it was in the 90s that day.
Poke, a Hawaiian dish, generally features raw tuna that’s been marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil. As with all trends, there’s wild excitement in customization. These days you can find it with all sorts of seafood, lots of crunchy vegetables and various dressings.
Poke Salad Bar takes over the old Saladish space on Colorado in Old Town Pasadena. First you decide what size you want (small, medium, large). A small gets you two scoops of fish while you get three scoops with the medium and four scoops with the large. I went with medium because I get sushi greedy (my term for craving delicious raw fish).
You can also choose salad, rice (white or brown) or rolls to go with your poke. I went with salad. Then I opted for seaweed, cucumber and onions. There’s also pineapple and crab but I decided that’d be a lot going on.
Then it’s crazy customization time. I decided my three scoops would be spicy tuna, tuna and salmon. Other choices include octopus, yellowtail, scallops and albacore. I went with a more traditional sauce; sesame shoyu. Next time I wouldn’t mind trying yuzu ponzu. The chipotle mayo and wasabi mayo dressings sounded too rich when I was trying to be “healthy.” But wait! There’s more. You now get to top off your creation. I chose masago, ginger and sesame seeds. You can also choose green onions, peanuts and wasabi. I did add avocado for an extra $1 and it was worth it considering how much avocado I got.
For seafood that hasn’t been marinated, it wasn’t bad. I liked the portion. I probably spent just a bit less than what I did over at Poke Poke in Venice and got way more food. But I do have to say I liked Poke Poke just a tad more.
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