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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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More poké coming to Mountain View

Uploaded: Oct 27, 2015
More poké, more problems. Downtown Mountain View is getting another build-your-own poké joint with the opening of Poke Bar inside Ava’s Market & Deli.

The Mountain View Poké Bar, slated to open this Sunday, Nov. 1 at the 340 Castro St. market, will be the owners’ first location in Northern California. They'll open before Pokéworks, an almost identical restaurant concept set to open just down Castro Street later this year.

Poké Bar co-founder/owner Yoon Ju has run a sushi restaurant in Southern California for close to three decades with his family. During his time there, poké, the Hawaiian appetizer made with raw fish, became one of the restaurant’s most popular items, said Erica Kim, Poké Bar’s communications person.

"That combined with the rise in popularity of sushi and raw fish in Los Angeles, as well as the need for Angelenos to obtain fresh, healthy food in a timely manner to accommodate their busy lifestyle, gave way to this concept of a grab and go style of restaurant," Kim wrote in an email.

Ju teamed up with Jason Park, who owns a pizza chain restaurant called Fat Tomato, and another restaurant owner, Chris Lim, to open the first Poké Bar in West Hollywood. Other Poké Bars have since opened in Long Beach, Studio City and Eagle Rock. The owners are now eyeing a new location in San Francisco and elsewhere in the "general Bay Area," Kim said.

Much like Pokéworks, Poke Bar serves create-your-own poke combinations. Start by choosing your base (brown or white rice, spring lettuce mix or nacho-style with tortilla chips) and then your poké (various marinated combinations of tuna, salmon and tofu mixed with ingredients like green onion, sesame seeds and cucumber).

Opt for more toppings, if you'd like, from quinoa and crispy garlic to mango, blueberries and macadamia nuts.

Sides include edamame (spicy and regular), miso soup, seaweed salad, cucumber salad and rice. Check out the full menu here, or head to the West Hollywood restaurant's Yelp to get a visual.

Follow Poké Bar's social media accounts this week and on Sunday of for special opening discounts.

Comments

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:26 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Just a small detail, Elena, but regarding time sequence, the "another" or "more" poke place for downtown Mountain View (in the phrasing currently appearing above) actually is Pokeworks, which you wrote up a few days ago. It not only plans to open later, it was announced much later. Poke Bar, described in today's blog, has been locally publicized, via signs and printed handouts at its location, for a couple of months, preceding your writeup about Pokeworks, and before Pokeworks (as "Poke Fresh") had its permit-application hearing last month. I see these sites up close as a pedestrian; as of a couple of days ago, remodeling was not yet evident at the location planned for Pokeworks, and its only visible on-site information was a City notice about the permit hearing.

I wonder if poke is a current trend (like the Bay Area's new-wave pastry shops, which likewise brought two new pastry businesses in quick sequence -- PanotiQ and Alexander's Patisserie -- last year to the same neighborhood now getting poke restaurants).


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Hawaiian, a resident of Downtown North,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:32 am

Poke isn't just an appetizer in Hawaii. It can be a whole meal (possibly with some rice or green salad on the side). We're really looking forward to this restaurant opening. Hopefully, they have access to fresh caught fish, which is the secret to great poke.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by charles reilly, a resident of another community,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:58 am


From time to time, Costco sets up a Poke display and sells a TON of Poke ! It's very popular. Not at our house, but at other places ... :)


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Just yet another small detail, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Nothing about "another" or "more" implies anything about who declared their intentions first or who is opening first. From Oxford, "another" means "[u]sed to refer to an additional person or thing of the same type as one already mentioned or known about; one more; a further." A prior article mentioned Pokeworks; that is therefore the "one already mentioned" per the definition of the word. Because that article came first, Mountain View Poke Bar is in fact "another." Elena's word choice is correct given the local frame of reference, and whether Pokeworks was first as an ontological or epistemological matter is entirely irrelevant. The complaint about "more" is also wrong under the same analysis.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Whatever. My point above (as you probably know, if you read it) is that Poke Bar was the first publicized and is expected also to be the first opening of the two new poke places near each other. Some might misunderstand the sequence from the phrasing in the blog headlines. (Not, of course, anyone posting comments here, the showplace of great wit. . .)


 +   10 people like this
Posted by I'm sorry!!!, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Upon reflection, my nitpicking over seemingly inconsequential details about someone's statements on a website really serve no purpose other than to point out how much I know about everything. While true in this case, upon re-reading it, this kind of behavior is actually really annoying. I hope you'll forgive me - it is difficult to have any kind of self-awareness of how awful one can come off online when engaging in this kind of behavior.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Look, whoeveryouare in Blossom Valley (I don't know how to address you, since you aren't willing to sign your words): You did a good job of reading misimpressions into some comments to Elena's blog already, then responding based on those notions; so it's a good bet you'll do the same again. But in case anyone ELSE is curious, there's more going here than meets the troll.

I send raw MV restaurant-news tips to the Voice and have done so for many (13?) years. Sometimes, Elena will research much further and write a blog post (or if the restaurant has been open long enough, a staff member will visit and write a review article for print). If you read these papers regularly, you've seen this process in action. This time, I found surprises in the blog posts (including, eventually, that this website won't show accented letters) just as I was finishing some other writing about the same two pending poke restaurants. So, I pestered Elena publicly here via blog comments instead of by private mail. But then, many people tell me they're interested to read about these details. (Even if, clearly, not everyone is!)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

There's something broken with the way this website displays accented characters.

Poke with some sort of accent is showing up as "PokÃ'©" (pok, capital A with a tilde ~ above, and the copyright c symbol, where the word should be poke with a macron (solid line) over the e, like this: "pokÄ“" (if the website renders correctly).

Anyhow, it's tasty, so I look forward to more diversity in the downtown restaurant offerings.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Ah well, it was worth a try, but my comment was mangled by the web server as well.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Another Hawaiian, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Oct 28, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Poke is an awesome meal. I make it at home 2-3x a month. I'm sure the restaurant will be great, but it's also a super easy dish to make at home (no cooking, ha ha!) so no need to just eat at the restaurant. Plenty of poke recipe books online.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Accents, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 7:14 am

Poké Is yummy! (Copy paste)

Poké is too good! (Typing)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 11:55 am

Max Hauser is a registered user.

I'm curious so here's a test pattern of accented letters, to see how they appear currently. In order: a e i o u each w/ grave accent, acute accent, circumflex, diaeresis/umlaut. Second line has them with macron and breve; then tilde a, ring a, cedilla c, diaeresis y, schwa, Viet. long schwa, double-acute u)

à è ì ò ù á é í ó ú â ê î ô û ä ë ï ö ü

ā Ä“ Ä« ō Å« Ä' Ä• Ä­ ŏ Å­ ã Ã¥ ç ÿ É™ ở ű


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Umlaut, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

This is an outrage. Next i will be hearing that it's not formatting carons properly. Let's see...

ÇŽÇŽÇŽ


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Umlaut, a resident of Rex Manor,
on Oct 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Noooooooooo!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Nov 1, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Poke should be written with a macron over the 'e', not an acute accent.

PokÄ“, not poké.

Or no diacritic at all.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Reader, a resident of another community,
on Nov 1, 2015 at 10:35 pm

Ah, the Embarcadero Media web server still doesn't handle all accented characters gracefully. A shame.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by , a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Nov 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

is a registered user.

Tell me about it my last name is Spanish and there is a ~ over the n in Sardina. Can't do that here. it shows up as a diamond......

Roy Thiele-Sardina


 +  Like this comment
Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown North,
on Nov 5, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Did they open on November 1? Any customer reviews? Strangely, Yelp is silent about this restaurant.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Elena Kadvany, a resident of another community,
on Nov 5, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for the prompting, resident. I just checked and Erica Kim, their communications person, said the opening has been pushed back to Monday, Nov. 16.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Hawaiian, a resident of Downtown North,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Went by there today (Nov 23). Still not open and seems like a lot of work still to do.

Also, poke is typically a warm weather food. With no indoor seating, I wish them luck opening during the winter. Build your own poke works best if you eat it right after building it. This isn't nearly as much fun if you have to take it home or back to work, especially if you're buying for a group or family.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Nov 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Hawaiian: I was there this afternoon, the Poke counter is in place and the cooks were doing training runs with the chain's owner supervising. So I expect it will be open very soon.



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