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poke in l.a.?

cornhobble Mar 19, 2007 06:15 PM

Hi all,

Looking for a place that sells poke (hawaiian dish) - preferably in the san gabriel valley. there are probably places in gardena area, somewhere, but I don't know the area. Wiling to travel, however.


  1. c
    Clinton Nov 1, 2009 02:40 PM

    I guess this thread goes back to 2007 but the topic is still current? Very few places in LA serve up decent poke, at least the type that is found in Hawaii. Poke is generally diced seafood mainly using raw fish. Ahi or yellowfin tuna is usually preferred. The true basic traditional ingredients are limu (seaweed), inamona (toasted candlenut), red fresh chili pepper, and salt. All other variations are whatever ingredients one could find on the mainland mainly to improvise.
    Marukai in Gardena has ahi poke but lacks traditional ingredients. Places like Bruddah's, Cherrystones, and Happa's in Gardena serve it on their menus as a side dish which is quite OK. So far, I haven't seen any "poke bars" here on the mainland at either Costco or Sam's Club like they do in Hawaii but then, poke is not mainstream like it is in the islands. OK, I'm off my soapbox.

    1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

    Happa Restaurant
    1641 W Redondo Beach Blvd Ste 8, Gardena, CA 90247

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clinton
      velozo155 Jan 3, 2010 03:17 PM

      I say just buy the ahi, tako, or whatever other seafood, get some recipes off the 'net (for example, http://alohaworld.com/ono/ ) and have some fun experimenting and making it to personal taste. Almost everyone who can cook, puts there own personal twist to recipes a lot of the time anyway. It doesn't have to be a certain way. It's very easy to make for people not used to cooking/preparing food...just make sure the fish is fresh. They even have the sashimi cut for poke and packaged at the Japanese markets in Gardena/Torrance.

    2. w
      wei2go Oct 31, 2009 01:25 PM

      Just wanted to add that Gyu-Kaku has it on their appetizer menu, and it's quite good. Catch them on a good day and it's half price!

      1. notmartha Sep 11, 2008 08:55 PM

        Not sure why this thread is revived, but strangely enough Fresh & Easy has pretty good poke. Just use 1/2 the packet of sauce provided and add a touch of sweetener of choice to taste.

        4 Replies
        1. re: notmartha
          Briggs Sep 11, 2008 11:27 PM

          I was also just about to post that Fresh & Easy's ahi poké is pretty good. Not as amazing as Costco's at the Maui Airport (the best), but still tasty.

          As an aside, we use also F&E's albacore as sashimi in salads.

          1. re: Briggs
            justagthing Sep 12, 2008 05:04 PM

            I love the poke bar at the Costco's in Hawaii. Wish they would add a poke bar to the Costco's out here. The ahi is great there, but so is the octopus. Also, great to get some on the way home to eat on the airplane trip back.

            1. re: justagthing
              notmartha Sep 14, 2008 08:30 PM

              A little off topic, but when we went 4 years back I didn't notice any poke bar? We did get some poke that's packaged in a tray there (though I don't think they are as good as the F&E ones). That costco has a lot of good local hawaiian gift items.

          2. re: notmartha
            KinOfCain Sep 17, 2008 12:33 PM

            I searched for the thread and posted so that's what bumped it up.

            I'm currently eating Poke ("Poki") from Mitsuwa on Centinella. They have it in 1/4lb containers in the sashimi fish section of the grocery store area. It's a mix of ahi and octopus. It's less oily than the bristol farms and somewhat spicy. Fish seems to be decent quality.

            Not terrific, but not bad. $15.99/lb

          3. SecretAsianMan Sep 11, 2008 01:07 PM

            Musha in Santa Monica has Poke--454 Wilshire b/w 4th/5th.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SecretAsianMan
              Dommy Oct 31, 2009 01:56 PM

              LOVE Musha's poke!

              1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

            2. t
              torty Mar 21, 2007 05:50 PM

              Quality Seafood on the Redondo Pier (again not in your area) has a cold case of a variety of ceviche type treatments including I think 2 different pokes. Bring your cooler for transport storage, enjoy a seafood feast of some of the other treats there, and bring the poke home for later.

              4 Replies
              1. re: torty
                KinOfCain Sep 11, 2008 12:47 PM

                I just got back from Quality seafood to try out the poke. It looked pretty sketchy but in the interest of experimentation I tried the Ahi poke anyway. They had shrimp, octopus and ahi poke. The Ahi poke was terrible. It tasted fishy and the mix of seasonings were pretty poor. The green peppers were limp and it just looked like it had been sitting there for several days. I highly recommend avoiding their poke.

                1. re: KinOfCain
                  justagthing Sep 11, 2008 07:07 PM

                  Uh...green peppers in poke? That doesn't sound like the poke that I am use to eating. I think I would have avoided it when if I saw peppers in it at all.

                  1. re: justagthing
                    KinOfCain Sep 17, 2008 12:30 PM

                    Er, green onions. not green peppers, but yeah, It was bad.

                    1. re: KinOfCain
                      justagthing Sep 17, 2008 07:47 PM

                      Oh thanks, I was a bit perplexed with the peppers.

              2. rantsnravesnreviews Mar 21, 2007 02:12 PM

                FIsh King in Glendale sells it in their fresh fish case. I am not a huge Poke fan, but have bought it home and everyone seemd to like it.

                1. j
                  jpb Mar 21, 2007 08:13 AM

                  Roy's - downtown and Woodland Hllls, has it on their appetizer menu. I enjoyed it, it's a spicier version.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jpb
                    Jwsel Mar 21, 2007 10:32 AM

                    I love Roy's "poketini," but I'm not sure if it is remotely authentic. It is chunks of ahi or yellowtail (I forget which) with a wasabi creme fresh, salsa-like ingredients, and some caviar on top. The waiter described it to us as a "southwest poke." Whatever it was, it was delicious.

                    1. re: Jwsel
                      bulavinaka Mar 25, 2007 10:11 PM

                      That truly sound tasty as well as very innovative. One thing alot of Hawaiians pride themselves on is their ability to improvise, from which some interesting combinations arise. In the old days when food sources were very limited, you had to make do with what you had. I don't think none but the most staunch of purists would have a problem with it. Roy is a food icon in Hawaii, and people like him keep things interesting... I think there's plenty of room for the traditional, as well as the avant-guard.

                  2. HPLsauce Mar 20, 2007 11:38 PM

                    Daichan, on Ventura Blvd at Eureka (same mini-mall as Nozawa), has poke. It's good.

                    Enterprise Fish Co. (in Santa Monica) has it on the menu, but it's terrible.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HPLsauce
                      MarikoDeVille Mar 21, 2007 06:02 PM

                      I vouch for Daichan on Ventura Blvd. They have good poke there. And the steamed cheesecake is a lovely dessert.

                    2. b
                      bulavinaka Mar 20, 2007 08:20 PM

                      Bruddahs in Gardena usually serves it... King's Hawaiian Bakery has it but their's was some of the worst I've ever had... of course, alot restaurants and cafes that serve Hawaiian food will usually carry it.

                      Mom & pop grocery stores that were owned by Hawaiian Japanese folks would usually carry it in their cold cases but I can't think of any off the top of my head, as places like Mitsuwa and Marukai have vaporized their once-lucrative businesses... I used to get poke at Aloha Market on Centinela in Mar Vista, but they closed down years ago. It was a great little store that would typically offer three kinds of poke on any given day. Alas, it's only a memory now...

                      It's relatively easy to make - if you don't have any luck sourcing some, you should be able to find lots of recipes. Your major task is to find sashimi-grade fish.

                      1. monku Mar 19, 2007 07:36 PM

                        Marukai in Gardena corner of Artesia/Western (you'll need a membership card or maybe they charge you 10% surcharge if you don't have one). Pre-packaged in the refrigerated section where the Hawaiian stuff is. Pretty easy to make your own poke.

                        Check the Marukai in Little Tokyo(ground floor at Weller Court-1st & San Pedro St.), they might have it and you don't need a membership there. Someone brought poke to a party a couple weeks ago and I think they stopped there for some sashimi and may have gotten the poke there too.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: monku
                          Ogawak Mar 20, 2007 04:23 PM

                          Actually there is another Marukai in Gardena on Redondo Beach Blvd near Western that doesn't require the membership and has good prices. They do have poke.

                          1. re: Ogawak
                            velozo155 Mar 20, 2007 08:40 PM

                            Yeah, that's the Marukai Pacific market on Redondo Beach Blvd and Denker Ave in the old Pacific Square market. In the market, they also have a Beard Papa, Shinsengumi take-out, Bentoss (bento chain take-out from Japan), and Mammoth Bakery.

                            1. re: Ogawak
                              noshie Sep 11, 2008 07:46 PM

                              The past few times I have been there they only have ahi poke, no tako poke, which they used to have and used to be fairly good. If you are in Vegas, go to Aloha Specialties (I think that's the name), its on the bridge between the Californian and Main Street Station. They have had ahi poke every time I've been there, spam musubi too.

                              I have not found kimchi poke around town just shoyu and that seaweed kind

                          2. j
                            justagthing Mar 19, 2007 07:18 PM

                            the bristol farms in long beach started carrying poke, check the one closest to you...wasn't too bad, not above average, but not bad

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: justagthing
                              KinOfCain Sep 11, 2008 12:49 PM

                              Bristol farms in Westchester also has poke, and I've heard other stores do too, so maybe it's all of them now.

                              I thought it was pretty good, has maybe a touch too much oil. They had a spicy and a regular. I've gotten it a couple times now and it has been very serviceable. It's good fish and on the pricey side of reasonable at $14/lb.

                              1. re: KinOfCain
                                Dogbite Williams Sep 11, 2008 06:32 PM

                                The Bristol Farms in Beverly Hills (Doheny @ Beverly Blvd.) has the regular and spicy tuna pokes. They had salmon poke for a few weeks, but I haven't seen in for months.

                                I like the spicy tuna, but I never had any other poke, so I can't tell you if it's superb or mediocre by comparison..

                                1. re: Dogbite Williams
                                  Hailyn Sep 11, 2008 08:54 PM

                                  The Bristol Farms in South Pasadena has regular and spicy poke. Like KinofCain says, it's serviceable to good, a bit on the oily side. You might also check the Mitsuwa on Las Tunas in San Gabriel and Aloha Foods on Main Street in Alhambra.

                            2. p
                              perfectlyamazing Mar 19, 2007 06:41 PM

                              so... santa monica seafood for sure has poke, but that is in santa monica! you could also check a local whole foods or wild oats. why not just make it! very easy!

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