The 10 Best Poké Restaurants in Los Angeles

The 10 Best Poké Restaurants in Los Angeles
Ohana Poké Co.

Now that 2015 is almost over, we can look back at some of the year’s biggest food trends and consider their importance. This much we know: Few of those trends were of the same scale as the explosion of poké, the Hawaiian-inspired diced raw fish bowl that swept across L.A. over the past year.

What was once limited to South Bay diners and delis has spread like wildfire to varied neighborhoods. With so many options — from chef-affiliated restaurants to beach take-out windows — it’s hard to know which poké purveyors are elevating this surfer snack to a higher existence and which are just cashing in on a trend. We’ve compiled 10 of our favorites below, but don’t be surprised to find more on the horizon soon. 

Signature bowl at Snociety
Signature bowl at Snociety
Garrett Snyder

10. Snociety Urban Eatery
Part tea house, part shaved ice shop and part poké bar, the oddly named Snociety in Little Tokyo has a hand in all the current Asian food trends. Its most popular seller is, of course, poké, many varieties of which are topped with unusual ingredients like marinated spicy mango and creamy garlic sauce. These bowls stray greatly from tradition but somehow manage to work (the signature bowl resembles Thai papaya salad crossed with Mexican fruit salad). Portions are ample, too, which sweetens the deal. 330 E. Second St., Little Tokyo; (213) 265-7879. 

DIY Poké at PokiNometry
DIY Poké at PokiNometry
PokiNometry

9. PokiNometry
Many new-wave poké places have adopted what’s been dubbed the “Chipotle model,” an assembly-line process where you choose different, sometimes overwhelming topping combinations. PokiNometry, an Anaheim import that opened earlier this year on the third floor of the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, probably has the most streamlined setup. Pick a protein (yellowtail, tuna, salmon, scallop, etc.), choose between miso or spicy mayo sauce, and then load up on included toppings such as cucumber, avocado and imitation crab. The simplified ordering system makes escaping the tourist-packed mall with lunch in hand (slightly) more bearable. 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (323) 645-7730, pokinometry.com.

Lomi Lomi poké at OkiPoki
Lomi Lomi poké at OkiPoki
Garrett Snyder

8. OkiPoki
There’s no standing in line or figuring out topping combos at OkiPoki. This minimalist poké counter downtown serves elegant, pre-designed bowls that are destined for Instagram. With punny names like the Coco Bae (scallops, coconut lime, kaffir oil and serrano chile) and Stop, Hama Time (hamachi, citrus soy, edamame, watermelon radish), the combinations are fun if a little more expensive than the ones at the build-your-own shops. It’s the high-quality seafood, including a $7 uni add-on, that makes OkiPoki worth a visit. 507 S. Spring St., downtown; (213) 628-3378, okipoki.co.

Luau poké at Mainland Poké
Luau poké at Mainland Poké
Garrett Snyder

7. Mainland Poké
Located on the West Third Street corridor amid boutiques and fancy cafés, Mainland Poké is an upmarket shop popular among the Pilates and power-lunch set. Fish is drizzled with sauce rather than marinated, meaning the freshness and quality of the sashimi is always front and center. Kale and avocado are popular additions, naturally, but the glossy, deep red cuts of ahi tuna are probably best with a coat of wasabi cream and crushed pink Hawaiian sea salt. 8318½ W. Third St., West Los Angeles; (323) 452-9904, mainlandpoke.com.

Poké at PokeStuf
Poké at PokeStuf
PokeStuf

6. PokeStuf
Pastry chef John Park, who runs the popular Burbank dessert shop Quenelle, flipped his Alhambra gourmet popsicle shop into a poké restaurant this year, effectively swapping one food trend for another. The unique elements at PokeStuf are custom-created sauces, which range from miso honey to edamame pesto. Toppings are mostly standard, but we do like the ability to throw things like chewy rice cakes and kukui nuts into the mix. 401 W. Main St., Alhambra; facebook.com/pokestuf.

Poké-Poké take-out window in Venice
Poké-Poké take-out window in Venice
Poké-Poké


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