Poke shops are starting to pop up in a lot of different locations across the country. Poke Papa, located right outside of Chinatown, is a great one to check out. The employees are extremely friendly and cheerful, the neighborhood is great, and – most importantly – the food is very fresh. There’s a variety of signature bowls one can choose from, and if none of them sound as good as you want, there’s the option to create your own as well…
Three of the signature bowls are gluten-free without substitutions: the Lomi Homie, Volcano, and the Beach Bum. We decided to try out those three and they were all delicious in their own way! The Lomi Homie bowl is a more ‘traditional’ poke bowl, in that it essentially tastes like you turned a salmon roll into a bowl and added toppings. However, because the salmon has been marinated, it had a great punch of flavor. The Volcano bowl was the most intense of the three because it was pretty hot. If you’re one who loves spicy foods, this bowl is definitely for you. The main part of the bowl is the spicy tuna and it’s usually paired with their Lava Sauce which adds even more hotness. Lastly, the Beach Bum bowl tasted just like a tropical vacation put into a bowl. The shrimp, scallops, and octopus made up the protein part of the bowl, and had a great light, refreshing flavor to them.
You can choose which rice base you want for your bowl. The options include white rice, brown rice, and their black “forbidden” rice which actually has a lot of antioxidants! Each bowl can also be paired with whatever toppings you want as well as any sauce you want, too. Lastly, there are also ‘sprinkles’ that you can add including coconut flakes, tempura crunch, and even puffed quinoa.
Not only did all of the toppings taste fresh, but the fish was, too. You can tell it’s not cheap fish because it melts easily in your mouth when you bite into it. In addition to that, the scallops, shrimp, and octopus weren’t overcooked, making them easy to chew.
Poke Papa is a great place to go if you’re looking for a poke bowl, or even just want to switch up your usual sushi lunch special! It’s in a great location, has a wonderful and welcoming vibe, and will definitely fill you up.