International Man of Mystery, Dan Einzig in LA is down with the latest food & drink trends from the West Coast.
No, I’m not propositioning you for a lunchtime tryst. Nor am I asking you for a poke, as in something you do to your friends on Facebook...I’m talking the latest food trend, Poke – pronounced pok-eh – a traditional Hawaiian sushi/sashimi style dish that’s now the food to eat in in LA.
The first Poke shack, Poke Poke, is basically a hole in the wall, and calls Poke “The Surfer’s Sashimi”. It serves delicious, fresh and filling Poke dishes and there’s always a queue outside.
With what seems like a new Poke shack and restaurant opening every week, the LA media have got a hold of this new trend: https://www.thrillist.com/eat/los-angeles/the-15-best-poke-crudo-and-tartare-dishes-in-la. The interesting thing about this new style Poke is that as well as just being a great take on a traditional raw fish dish, new variations and a popularisation of Poke are combining with the trend for “food personalisation”, where you take your core ingredients and add sauces, toppings and sides to make it your very own.
Poke in Hawaiian actually means “sliced” and the traditional Hawaiian Poke is raw meat or fish that’s been gutted skinned and deboned, sliced across the backbone and served with seasalt, seaweed or other salady sorts of vegetables.
Modern Poke is sliced or cubed raw fish (typically yellowfin or ahi tuna) or other kinds of sashimi, marinated in lemon juice, sea salt, oils or soy sauce mixed with seeds or nuts and seaweed or onion. It’s a bit like Ceviche, but although traditionally a starter, it’s now being served as a tasty main course, tossed around in healthy salads, rice or even noodles.
This high protein, low fat healthy and nutritious dish is a winner for LA types for obvious reasons, but it’s also amazingly tasty and surprisingly filling. So if you get the chance, give Poke a go. Much like the other type of lunchtime hanky-panky, it will leave you satisfied, but definitely begging for more!
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Dan Einzig is founder and CEO of Mystery Ltd. Having built up the business to the point he can leave the London office in the safe hands of MD Richard Samarasinghe and FD Steve Sharp, he's swanned off to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood (ultimate aim to be the next James Bond), while building Mystery's USA business to pay the bills...It's more fun than turning tricks on Hollywood Boulevard.