Poke. Probably the latest food craze sweeping Los Angeles. Poke bars have surfaced as the go-to lunch, dinner, and snack spots in the city this year, attracting tourists and locals alike. One of our favorites is Sweetfin Poke located off of Broadway in Santa Monica. Sushi can be difficult for us GF folks, depending on your sensitivity to soy sauce; however, at Sweetfin, every ingredient offered is gluten-free. What?! You heard correctly. Everything…
For those of you wondering, poke restaurants offer bowls of diced raw fish with a base, usually rice, then topped with a multitude of goodies. At Sweetfin, you have the option to choose one of their signature bowls – their most popular being the Spicy Tuna with creamy togarashi sauce, hijiki, and avocado, and the Sriracha tuna with sriracha ponzu sauce, hijiki, and avocado. OR you can build your own. They offer a small and large size. The small size is a much lighter fare, a snack size if you will, while the latter is an appropriate meal sized portion.
We chose to build our own, so here is our ‘How-To:”
First you choose your fish or topper – albacore, salmon, snapper, tuna, tofu or vegetable.
Then you choose a base – bamboo rice (more filling option), citrus kale salad, or kelp noodle-cucumber slaw (also on the lighter side.)
Sauces – Although their spicy sriracha sauce is my jam, I opted for their Spicy Yuzu sauce with my salmon for some citrus spice. Other selections include classic with shoyu and sesame oil, creamy togarashi (spicy mayo), and ponzu-lime.
The final stage is the topping selection. This is where you get to add some extra sweet, spice, crunch, or bite to your concoction. Selections range from premiums at $1.00 each such as avocado, pickled shitake mushrooms, and blistered shishito peppers, or the basics which include seaweed salad, jalapeno, mango, wasabi toasted coconut flakes, and plenty more. Honestly, the crispy onions are the best option offered. Do not think twice!
*All bowls come with the basics of scallions, black sesame seeds and salt.
We chose to build one bowl with salmon, citrus-kale base, yuzu, crispy onions, seaweed salad, avocado, and cucumber. A light base with fresh fish and a combination of spice, crunch, and a little creaminess made this masterpiece complete. The second bowl we had was comprised of tuna, bamboo rice, spicy ponzu, crispy garlic, edamame, onions, and seaweed salad. This was our more filling option, constructed with just the right crunch to accompany. To make the meal complete, we shared a bag of their Matcha Pop – matcha green tea-white chocolate, toasted coconut, and black sesame coated popcorn. One word: YUM.
So, the next time you find yourself in need of a quick meal that is both worry-free and delicious, Sweetfin is your go-to. Fresh, filling, and fantastic.