And now, poké -- a Hawaiian dish that combines cubes of raw fish with different sauces and spices, like ahi tuna with sesame, green onions and soy sauce. (Poké is the Hawaiian verb for "section" or "to slice or cut.")
A new restaurant called Pokéworks will be opening in downtown Mountain View later this year, offering build-your-own poké bowls, wraps and salads.
The Pokéworks team, a mix of "serial entrepreneurs" and partners from a national restaurant chain, recently took over 211 Castro St., formerly the home of Alpine Books, partner Kasper Hsu said last week. Hsu declined to name the other restaurant chain he's involved in. He will serve as the managing director for the new Pokéworks concept, which he envisions expanding beyond the first location in Mountain View.
Hsu said he and his partners felt like Hawaiian poké was lacking in the area and wanted to bring in their own version: quick, customizable and healthy.
At Pokéworks, customers will be able to choose from some signature bowls or build their own. Those who want to customize start by choosing a base, which is either a bowl of warm sushi rice, organic brown rice or quinoa; a seaweed wrap with warm sushi rice; or salad with chopped romaine lettuce. There are two size options, regular or large.
Next, select a protein: ahi tuna, seared albacore, salmon, scallops or free-range chicken cooked in a sous vide machine or organic tofu. Then choose your flavor, which is a selection of sauces (shoyu, ponzu, siracha aioli, wasabi aioli, spicy ginger, sweet chili) and toppings and mix-ins like chopped green onions, cucumber, kale, cilantro, shiso leaves, diced mango, edamame, avocado, pickled ginger, roasted macadamia nuts and more.
Pokéworks will serve build-your-own poke bowls, wraps and salads with a variety of proteins, sauces and toppings to choose from.
Signature poké bowls will include the "Hawaiian classic" (ahi tuna with green and sweet onion, seaweed, Hawaiian salt, chili flakes and roasted sesame oil), "spicy ahi" (ahi tuna with siracha aioli, green and sweet onion, cucumber and masago) and a "salmon shiso" (salmon, green and sweet onion, edamame, shiso leaves, crispy onion and garlic, yuzu ponzu sauce). Others feature albacore, shrimp and scallops cooked in a sous vide machine, free-range chicken breast and tofu.
All fish will be sustainably sourced, and Hsu said he hopes the restaurant will help educate customers on seafood sustainability.
Pokéworks will also serve "Hawaiian-inspired" desserts and beverages, Hsu said.
There's no official opening date yet, but Hsu said they're hoping for the end of December.