It’s no secret that I love sushi and poke. Growing up in Hawaii, how could you not? When I heard there was a new poke joint in town, I knew I had to try it! Soulfish Poke is now serving up fresh and healthy made-to-order poke bowls here in the Vegas valley. Poke is traditionally Hawaiian dish of raw bite-sized fish sometimes marinated in shoyu with garnishes like green onions, seaweed, etc.
9500 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Hours: 11AM – 9PM daily
The whole poke bowl craze/trend has been spreading throughout the country lately and Soulfish Poke is the first of its kind for this Hawaii boy to try. The idea is simple. It’s a fast/casual Chipotle-esque type of establishment but instead of choosing your meat, you choose your type of raw fish.
The store itself is clean and nice appointed. The entire mission, even down to the name SOULfish Poke, roots itself in replenishing and recharging your body, mind and spirit through healthy food. Scattered throughout the walls, as you can see in the picture above, is ‘inspirational and spiritual’ symbols and decor to go along with this mission.
I hopped over to the store a little after opening time and low and behold, I was officially their #3 customer! The store had just gotten the thumbs up to open from the state on 5/3/16.
For the menu, you can either choose a ‘Soul Bowl’ which is their preset combination bowls or you can create you own! If you decide to do the latter, you start with your base (white or brown rice, quinoa, kale, greens or soba noodles) and add in your raw fish of choice (yellowfin tuna, octopus, scallops, shrimp, salmon or tofu).
Next up is your pick of toppings to mix in with sauces until your heart and stomach are content. (I was pretty bummed they did not have avocados during my visit, but will chalk it up to first day jitters.) My bowl included yellowfin, kim chee, cucumber, garlic, seaweed salad, green onions, crispy onions and tortilla strips (no wonton strips yet) topped with a yuzu ponzu and wasabi cream.
And the finished product looks a little something like…
The verdict? Soulfish Poke does deliver on the fresh and healthy front that they are touting. The portion size was good and the fish was plentiful. A little bummed there were no avocados or wonton strips in sight, but maybe next time. A couple bites of my ahi had a very sinewy quality to it. This speaks to the leanness of the fish and is a personal preference/taste.
However, nothing will ever be able to beat real poke bowls at home in Hawaii. (Some might even say that the way these mainland poke places are making poke bowls are sacrilegious.) Call me old fashioned, but I’m used to poke bowls that look something like this..
Poke bowls (not ‘poki‘ that when I see restaurants use, I weep on the inside) in Hawaii are made to be uncomplicated unlike its mainland counterparts that seem to throw just about anything and everything under the sun into it. Personally, I’m still wary about the entire poke bowl trend that’s sweeping through the country.
That being said, I think Soulfish Poke is worth trying at least once if you are a fan of poke/sushi though. I can certainly see it become a repeat offender for many. A second location is already slated to open in the coming summer months.
Here’s a few more random pics of the location: