Poke & Box
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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: Shoyu Poke bowl ($9.99 each; prices vary with toppings)
Poke bowls are nothing new to the Islands, and they’ve become so popular that they’re currently trending on the Mainland, too. But soon-to-open — scheduled for Wednesday — Poke & Box in Makai Market Food Court in Ala Moana Center is taking a different approach to these must-have bowls of goodness in an efficient, convenient way.
“We wanted to elevate the typical rice and poke,” says owner Lauren Yoo, who also runs beloved Aja Sushi & Bento right next door.
After a year of planning and building, Poke & Box is a breath of fresh air for Oahu’s food scene.
Enter from either one of the two entrances — from the food-court or parking lot — and make your way down the fresh-fish assembly line, where friendly staff members are ready to help.
First, choose from rice or salad, and then move on to selecting the ingredients you’d like to be mixed in with your poke. These options include: green onions, raw onions, imitation crab and cucumber. Next, pick your protein. The eatery offers cubed ahi, ground ahi, salmon, tako, shrimp and even tofu. Then, pick your sauce, which ranges from shoyu (with different levels of spice, or no spice at all), ceviche, tangy gochujang (Korean red-pepper paste) and more.
Because Yoo’s family is Korean, customers will find a lot of delightful Korean-influenced ingredients, such as taegu (dried squid) and kimchee, which will be available in the “toppings” section of the shop. Other toppings include cabbage, corn, radish and edamame.
Lastly, Poke & Box has an addon section, where patrons can choose additional items such as shrimp tempura and spring rolls (individually sold). Furthermore, the takeout spot will have already-made meals to-go, for customers who are in a rush.
Poke & Box
Ala Moana Center, Makai Market Food Court,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.