DTLA: First Look at Okipoki Poke Bar
Okipoki opened in Downtown Los Angeles about a month ago. It goes against the current fast-casual style of poke bars by actually opening a comfortable restaurant. After you take a seat at the large U-shaped bar, you’re offered a menu of choices.
I decided the Nani Moana shooter sounded really good for a starter. The shooter had everything from uni, scallops to tuna tartare and roe. The little dab of creme fraiche made it even more luxurious.
Or if you want to get a little shrimp roll to start, the Shrimpin’ ain’t easy, is a good choice. I loved that the roll was Hawaiian bread. The slight sweetness of the roll worked really well with the creamy shrimp salad.
There are currently 7 poke choices including one vegetarian option. I decided to try the eponymous Okipoki 101 figuring it would be the most traditional poke salad. You have the options of getting it with white or brown rice and add on avocado or uni (or both!). I went with the more standard white rice for the Okipoki 101. I loved the firm tuna, the seaweed salad and the pickled kombu. This one already comes with avocado so I’m glad I didn’t go with more avocado. You can also double the amount of fish.
Next time I’d like to try Lomi Lomi with salmon and kimchi or Coco Bae with scallops. I did try the Hama Time with hamachi (yellowtail tuna). I’m so used to soy-sauced based marinades that it was refreshing to try this with a citrus marinade. I love crunchy things and the watermelon radish and cucumbers gave this poke the right amount of snap.
Although DTLA is starting to see more and more poke shops, it’s still nice to find more lunch options around town. They’re also open for dinner and Saturdays which is key for local residents.