New eatery thinks outside the ‘poke box’
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Eating poke in Hawaii just became more fun than ever thanks to the new takeout spot Poke & Box, located in Makai Market Food Court at Ala Moana Center.
Poke is the ultimate Hawaiian food, and while the 50th State is famous for its poke bowls, those who visit Poke & Box can now enjoy the classic mix of raw fish and seasonings in a new way with their very own PokeBox.
After selecting their preferred size — small, medium or large — patrons can customize their PokeBox as they make their way down a fresh-fish assembly line.
“It’s just a different and fun way to eat fresh fish,” says general manager Lauren Yoo. “Instead of serving poke bowls, I wanted a container where I could put the fish on the side of the hot rice instead of on top so that the fish doesn’t cook. Plus, fresh fish tastes better when it’s cold.”
An integral part of the customizable boxes is the PokeBoxMix selection of fresh ahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, tako, tofu and cooked chicken. The small option includes one PokeBoxMix and two PokeTops (toppings and sides) for $7.99; the medium offers two PokeBoxMixes and three PokeTops for $9.99; and the large comes with three PokeBoxMixes and three PokeTops for $14.99.
Additionally, patrons choose from rice (white or brown) or salad, and flavorful ingredients to mix in with their poke, such as green onions, raw onions, imitation crab and cucumber. Then, they can finish it off with a delicious sauce, whether it be shoyu, go chu jang, wasabi mustard, hot spice, Aja spicy shoyu, creamy sesame, mild spicy or very spicy.
Yoo initially got the idea to offer a variety of sauces for her poke when she worked with a diverse range of people about 10 years ago. “We were all from different places — Japan, Korea, Spain and Italy — and were talking about how we each ate our sashimi,” says Yoo, who also runs the beloved Aja Sushi & Bento next door. “For example, the Japanese eat their sashimi with wasabi and shoyu, while Koreans eat it with the go chu jang; the Spanish eat it with ceviche and the Italians with carpaccio.”
This variety of ethnic influences comes together at Poke & Box, where diners can enjoy picking and choosing their types of fish, sides, toppings and sauces, all to create the perfect mouthwatering meal.
Poke & Box
Ala Moana Center,
Makai Market Food Court,
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.