A recently-opened restaurant in Santa Monica is spreading poké, a Hawaiian raw fish appetizer, to Californians.
Opened in April, Sweetfin Poké has been popular due to its ‘build your own bowl’ menu. Customers can base their bowls with bamboo rice, citrus kale, or kelp noodles. People can make bowls that fit their tastes with salmon, tuna, albacore, or snapper, toppers including a variety ingredients from wasabi-toasted coconut flakes and pickled shiitake mushrooms to avocado and seaweed, and sauces like sriracha ponzu, creamy togarashi, or yuzu koshu. There are also vegan options with tofu or just vegetables.
“The fish is incredibly flavorful and it melts in your mouth the second you take a bite,” Jesse Nadel, a customer, told JSR. “The toppings range in flavor, from salty to sweet to spicy, but all of them are delicious.”
Nadel continued, “The fish is super high quality, it’s fast yet high end, and you really can’t beat the customizability it offers. I usually get tuna with rice, seaweed salad, original sauce, crispy onions, avocado and edamame. It’s the perfect combination.”
“I love the concept of being able to build your own bowl,” Izzy Wiesenthal, a frequent customer at the restaurant, said to JSR. “Although using a concept many restaurants are now using of building your own meal, Sweetfin was innovative when deciding to use poké. It’s so new and original”
Seth Cohen, the restaurant’s co-founder, spoke to JSR in an interview.
“We feel that poké is the evolution of sushi. It is healthy, portable, and customizable,” he said.
Cohen continued, “We have a wide variety of customers from high school students to families, but most of our customers are millennials.”
Cohen’s sister, Sophie, added, “Seth is looking to expand Sweetfin Poké within the end of this year to other locations. It’s a great new concept; poké bowls are kind of the new ‘sushi salads.’ Anyone who loves a healthy sushi alternative should check it out.”