UPDATE: Eric Park's poké restaurant is open as of Aug. 18 in the former Black Hogg space. It is no longer being called Ohana Poké Co., however, but Ohana Seafood Co. and features a wider selection of fish and seafood than its downtown counterpart.
The poké craze shows no signs of slowing, and if you ask me it couldn't have come soon enough. There's really nothing I'd rather eat on these hot days than raw fish and rice, so the insane proliferation of poké joints seems like a wholly positive development.
One of the latest folks to jump on this bandwagon is Eric Park, who recently morphed his downtown sandwich place, Hero Shop, into the Ohana Poké Co. Then, earlier this week, Eater reported that Park would be transforming his Silver Lake restaurant, Black Hogg, into an outlet of the Poké Co. Park cites fatherhood as his reasoning, with the assumption being that the poké shop will be a daytime-only operation so he can be with his family in the evenings. The transformation is expected to take place over the weekend, with Ohana up and running in Silver Lake by next week.
This will be a sad turn of events for many neighborhood residents, who love Park's meat-forward cooking at Black Hogg. I never quite figured out how to love the place, even after it closed and was remodeled and rebranded as “Roots at Black Hogg.” I did, however, come to love the daytime sandwich shop, Sopressata, which he ran out of Black Hogg. But Sopressata isn't going anywhere: Park tells us that he plans to split the Black Hogg space in two. “We are planning to actually divide our Black Hogg space into two smaller spaces,” Park says. “The smaller westerly side will be Sopressata and the bigger side with the bar will be an Ohana. We're picturing two boutique eateries.”
I stopped by the original location of Ohana Poké Co. downtown, and found an attractive, subway-tiled space with counter service and a fairly straightforward poké menu. All poké here is made with big-eye tuna, unlike many of the shops around town where you can choose from a variety of fish. You order a small or large portion (the photo above is the large), white or brown rice, and one of six preparations, such as chili mango or sweet unagi sauce. You can add extras: avocado, edamame, Spam musubi.
There are certainly poké shops in town that offer more variety, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one that surpasses Ohana in freshness and savor. Alongside a pineapple-basil agua fresca, it was just about the perfect summer meal. Silver Lake may well mourn the loss of Black Hogg, but my guess is folks will be grateful for this as a lunch option when it's too sweaty to consider lining up for ramen across the street.
Ohana Poké Co., 2852 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake.